The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 34
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34 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Everett to accept the new embassy to China in order that Webster
might take his place in London and carry through the measure
under discussion. But Everett, preferring the pleasures of the
Court of St. James to the uncertainties of the Mandarin ministry,
declined the exchange.69 About this time, also, Thompson's des-
patch of January 30 reached Washington, with the information
that it would be useless to approach Mexico regarding the cession
of any territory; and Webster, whose days of usefulness in the
cabinet were over, and who saw no prospects of effecting anything
further, either regarding the adjustment of the Oregon difficulties
or the acquisition of California, retired to private life.0
Following Webster's resignation, and the death of Hugh S.
Legar6, after only a month's service as Secretary ad interim.
the cabinet was reorganized, and in July, Abel P. Upshur, former
Secretary of the Navy, became head of the Department of State.
Effect of Mexican hostility to England.-At this time interest
centered primarily in Texas where matters were fast coming to a
crisis; but in the fall of 1843 Thompson's despatches began to
call attention again to California. On September 28 he wrote
that the strong bond of friendship, formerly existing between Mex-
ico and England, was fast giving way to a feeling of hostility
that had manifested itself openly in an insult to the British
flag.71 A few days later he reported an interview with Santa
Anna in which he had been told that, in the event of a collision
with Great Britian, which seemed probable, Mexico would look
to the United States to protect California."
In less than two weeks Thompson again referred to the subject
of his conversation with Santa Anna and assured Upshur that
if war actually broke out between the two countries, Mexico would
certainly cede California to the United States to keep it from
falling into English hands. The comparison suggested in this
communication seems worthy of note: "You will remember,"
wrote Thompson, "that it was the fear of the seizure of Louisiana
by England that induced Bonaparte to cede it to us. The ac-
quisition of California will be of little less importance
0His resignation came May 8, 1843.
nThompson to Upshur, Sept. 28, 1843. MS., State Department.
7"Same to eame, Oct. 3. Ibid.
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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/m1/40/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.