The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 14
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14 The Sou-twestern Iistorical Quarterly
it had been gotten up and conducted, both among the Mexicans
and Americans."49 According to the accounts given to him by
the people, the movement was planned in secret by those holding,
or desiring to hold office under the military government. Only
five days notice was given for the election of delegates, and "poll
books were made out and distributed to the various precincts
headed with the names of those whose election was desired by the
conclave." It was to this cause that Baird attributed the protest
against the Texan claims. le accounted for the anti-slavery state-
ment on the grounds that discord in the convention caused the
withdrawal of enough delegates to reduce the number below a
quorum, and thus disappointment caused those remaining to. draw
up this resolution in the hope of enlisting the abolitionist sympa-
thies on their side."
But at the same time that these New Mexicans were engaged in
formulating this petition, opposing the division of their territory,
Secretary of War Marcy, following instructions from President
Polk, was writing to the commanding officer of the United States
forces at Santa F6, to inform him that the national government
had not contested the claim of Texas to all the territory east of
the Rio Grande. He also stated that any civil authority which
Texas had established, or might establish in the region, was to be
respected, and in no manner interfered with by the military forces
in that department, unless their aid might be needed to, sustain
it."' In giving these instructions, Polk stated that he deemed
them necessary because of the danger that the military officers at
Santa F- might come into collision with the authorities of Texas.
He added also that he had not changed his opinion as expressed
in his message of July 24, to Congress, concerning the right of
Texas to jurisdiction over all that part of New Mexico east of the
Rio Grande.52 Two months later these same instructions were
sent to General William J. Worth, who was in command of the
eighth and ninth military departments, composed of Texas and
New Mexico, respectively.53
"Baird to Miller, September 30, 1849, in Santa PF Papers, Texas State
50Baird to Miller, September 23, 1849, in Ibid.
"Marcy to Commanding officer at Santa F6, October 12, 1848, in
House Ex. Doc. 17, 31st Cong., 1st sess. (Ser. no. 573), p. 261.
"'Quaife (editor), Diary of James K. Polk, IV, 150-151.
"Marcy to Worth, December 10, 1848, in House Ex. Doe. 17, op. cit.,
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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/m1/20/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.