The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
1834, he asked to return to the United States on the ground
that a personal interview with the President was highly im-
portant, and that after it he could return to Mexico to be much
more useful to his government5 Having finally secured Jackson's
consent to his request, Butler landed in New York in the early
part of June, 1835, with a still more extensive scheme of bribery
in his head than any he had so far suggested, and in his pocket
a note signed by Hernandez, a priest standing close to Santa
On June 17 the returned Minister addressed a letter to the
Secretary of State, John Forsyth, and enclosed the note from
the Mexican priest. In this Hernandez had promised to bring
about a cession of the desired territory provided $500,000 were
placed at his disposal "to be judiciously applied."8 In the ac-
companying letter Butler assured Forsyth that the plan, if fol-
lowed, would result not merely in the acquisition of Texas but event-
ually in the dominion of the United States "over the whole of that
tract of territory known as New Mexico, and higher and lower
California, an empire in itself, a paradise in climate
rich in minerals and affording a water route to the Pacific through
the Arkansas and Colorado rivers."37
This letter met with cool response from the President.38 Never-
theless, after an interview with Butler he allowed him, at his earn-
Jackson, Oct. 28, 1833, Ibid.); Jackson warns Butler against employing
corrupt means (Jackson to Butler, Nov. 27, Ibid.) ; Butler insists that
"resort must be had to bribery," or "presents if the term is more appro-
priate" (Butler to Jackson, Feb. 6, 1834, Ibid.). Later Butler writes
McLane that "bribery and corruption" are the sole means of bringing the
negotiation to a successful issue. (Butler to McLane, MS., State De-
partment.) Some of these letters are mentioned by Rives.
"Butler to Jackson, June 6, 1834. Jackson MSS.; same to same, Oct.
20 (Ibid.). It is interesting to note that Butler thought his negotia-
tions for Texas had been thwarted by Stephen F. Austin whom he charged
in a letter to McLane with being "one of the bitterest foes to our govern-
ment and people that is to be found in Mexico." Butler to McLane, July
13, 1834. MS., State Department.
"Butler to Forsyth, June 17, 1835 (MS., State Department). See also
Rives, as cited, I, 257-258.
'7Butler to Forsyth, June 17 (quoted also in Reeves, 73-74).
s8It is endorsed, " . . . Nothing will be countenanced to bring the
government under the remotest imputation of being engaged in corruption
or bribery . . . A. J." See also Adams, Memoirs, XI, 348; and
Rives, I, 258.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/20/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.