The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 102
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
States in its negotiations with Great Britain in 1826-1827 and
especially in 1845-1846 made a good deal of the title acquired
from Spain; but it seems likely that Adams would have confided
to his faithful diary or divulged in his later speeches any delib-
erate purpose to exchange our claims to Texas for those of Spain
to Oregon. Dr. Marshall has examined with minute and critical
care all the printed sources on President Jackson's relations to
the Texas question. Some of this evidence is susceptible of in-
terpretation unfavorable to Jackson's straightforwardness and up-
rightness, but in the opinion of the reviewer such interpretation
requires somewhat forcible wrenching of the plain significance of
the documents and often ignores the exigencies under which they
were written. One or two illustrations of this must suffice.
Remembering that General Gaines on the Sabine frontier was
from four to five weeks distant from Washington, it seems obvious
that a large measure of discretion had to, be allowed him-especi-
ally as the author shows, more clearly than has ever been done
before, the real danger of Indian disturbances in that quarter.
This being the case, it is difficult to find in Cass's instructions,
quoted on pages 158-159, 164-165, and 167, the double meaning
that Dr. Marshall perceives. It is perfectly true that Gaines had
very little discretion, but he was the Commander of the South-
western Division of the United States army, and his employment
on the Sabine in 1836 does not prove the administration insincere
in its protestations of neutrality. Moreover, Gaines himself does
not seem to have held at this time that settled determination
which the author suspects to use his position to promote war with
Mexico and assist the Texans. His meagre correspondence in the
Adjutant General's office of the War Department at Washington
shows that during the whole summer he was momentarily expect-
ing to ask for a leave of absence and turn over the command to
some one else. Too much weight seems to the reviewer to be
given David Lee Child's irresponsible statement of President Jack-
son's intention to seize Texas (page 115); a cautious person will
not be disposed to contend that a declaration of war was "beyond
the range of possibility . . . if Santa Anna had continued
his victorious career in Texas" (page 199); but he would risk
little in asserting that the book presents slight evidence that it
was within the range of probability; and the order to Gaines to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/111/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.