The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 369
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New York and the Independence of Texas
history beginning with the Texan revolt in 1835 and ending with
the treaty of Guadalupe iidalgo in 1848, they say, is one of
which Americans should feel thoroughly ashamed. While few,
perhaps, would contend that the government of the United States
should be acquitted entirely of blame in its dealings with Mexico,
it is doubtful if, in spite of the abuse which has been heaped
upon Polk, there is one who would be willing to surrender a
foot of the territory acquired by a President whose administra-
tion, a recent writer asserts, stands second to few, so far as
achievements of vital importance are concerned.3 While design-
ing men and sordid motives were not entirely wanting in con-
nection with the movement for the independence of Texas, yet
the empresarios who settled Mexican soil were, in the main,
moved by "the never extinct yearning in the United States for
territorial expansion." This same yearning was to carry the west-
ern boundary of the United States beyond the Stony Mountains,
stopping only at the shores of the Pacific.
It was in the fall of 1835 that the citizens of New York State
read in their papers of the invasion of Texas by Mexican troops.
T'he news excited great interest in the empire state, as is evidenced
by the large amount of space given to the Texas question by the
leading journals in New York City.4 Of these the Courier and
Enquirer and the Evening Post were perhaps the ablest. The
former was edited by James Watson Webb and was a staunch
defender of Whig principles: Hence the tone of this newspaper
was at times decidedly hostile to Texas. Our government, it as-
serted, could ill afford to promote the views of land speculators
or those engaged in an illicit trade.5 What illicit trade this was
is not stated, but evidently reference is intended to the slave trade.
'Dodd in American Historical Review, XVIII, 524. See Schouler, His-
tory of the United States, V, 124: "The crown jewels which Polk's
strong policy bequeathed to the country were of priceless worth.-Oregon,
and all that splendid spoliation of Mexico, whose chief of hidden treas-
ures was California."
'See the letters of Henry Meigs of New York to Austin, cited by Miss
Ethel Z. Rather, "Recognition of the Republic of Texas by the United
States," TIrE QUARTERLY, XIII, 171.
New York Courier and Enquirer, Oct. 28, 1835. This newspaper had
its regular New Orleans correspondent who kept it informed as to the
situation in Texas. An interesting letter from this source appeared in
the issue of Nov. 21, 1836. Among other things, the writer expressed the
opinion that the Texan war was a mere pretext on the part of Mexico to
establish upon a solid basis a despotic military government.
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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/m1/375/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.