The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 6
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ther extension westward by the slavery interests. This led to tac-
tics for delay on the part of the slaveholders, and as a result it
wa, impossible to agree upon the organization of the civil govern-
nient for New Mexico and California. The military government
established by General Kearny continued, therefore, to hold control.
The Texan Movement to Establish Jurisdiction in 1848.-As
long as this state of affairs existed, the New Mexicans were appar-
ently upheld in their boundary desires, and there was no incentive
for immediate action on their part. But since Texas had expected
to receive jurisdiction over the territory east of the Rio Grande,
she was not inclined to acquiesce in the arrangement. Under the
circumstances, therefore, it seemed necessary that she should take
the first step toward securing a settlement of the boundary ques-
tion. No immediate action had followed the activities of Governor
Henderson in January, 1847, because of the conciliatory attitude
of the administration at Washington. But during its next session
the legislature of Texas began to act concerning western juris-
Early in the session, and even before the status of the territory
between the Nueces and the Rio Grande was settled by the treaty
of Guadalupe HIidalgo, the new counties of Nueces, Webb, Starr,
and Cameron, all of them within this region, were created.8 The
actual work of organizing these counties had already been begun
under the supervision of Mirabeau B. Lamar, a former president
of the republic, who was now a captain of Texan troops stationed
in the region, and considerable opposition had been encountered."
The terms of the treaty confirmed the legality of this action, but
the legislation soon advanced another step. In a special message
to the legislature, on March 2, 1848, Governor George T. Wood,
who had succeeded Henderson, called attention to rumors of efforts
to establish a state government in New Mexico, and asserted that
had the United States government assigned Texan troops to that
region, such a move would never have occurred. He warned the
legislators that silent acquiescence might be construed into a sub-
mission to unauthorized encroachments, and, therefore, he recom-
8Gammel, Laws of Tewas, III, 18, 24, 26, 27, 484.
OLamar to Bliss, July 10, 1847, in Lamar Papers, Texas State Library.
The election returns from Nueces county showed a total of forty votes,
and the list discloses the fact that thirty-seven of the voters possessed
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101078/m1/12/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.