The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 31
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Question of Texan Jurisdiction in New Mexico, 1848-50 31
in order to check any attempts which might be made to shake the
allegiance of that region to Texas. At the same time he was to
keep the governor advised concerning the developments at Santa
Fi.1" On June 13, he wrote to the Texan delegation in Congress,
stating the situation, and voicing his intention to act,18 while on
the following day he wrote to President Taylor, demanding an
explanation of the steps taken by Munroe, especially as to whether
he had acted under orders from his government, and whether his
proclamation met the approval of the President.119 In addition
to this, a special session of the legislature was called for August 12,
in order that the methods for meeting the situation might be prop-
erly determined upon.120
The letter to the President did not reach Washington until after
Taylor's death, and therefore went to his successor, who placed it
in the hands of Daniel Webster, the new Secretary of State, to be
answered. Webster answered the first of the two questions asked
by Governor Bell, by quoting from the instructions of November
19, to Colonel McCall, thus upholding Munroe's action. In answer
to the second question, he stated that if the call for a convention
intended to settle the boundary question, it was not approved by
President Fillmore, for the oft repeated reason that the power of
making that settlement belonged solely to Congress. But he held
that such was not the intention of the convention, and pointed out
that it could not make such a settlement because its acts were in-
effectual until they were ratified by Congress. And he added that
since "it is the right of all to petition Congress for any law which
it may constitutionally pass, this people were in the exercise of
a common right when they formed their constitution with a view
to applying to Congress for admission as a state," and for this
reason the President felt bound to approve the conduct of Colonel
Munroe in issuing the proclamation.121 Throughout the letter
there can be seen a veiled suggestion that Texas had as little au-
thority to interfere in the boundary question, as had the Presi-
denlt; and there is also a carefully worded hint that unless she
11Bell to Baird, June 12, 1850, in Senate Journal, 3rd Legislature, 2nd
sess., appendix, 81-83.
"'Austin State Gazette, July 13, 1850.
"'Bell to Taylor, June 14, 1850, in House Ex. Doc. 82, 31st Cong., 1st
sess. (Ser. no. 579), pp. 6-7.
"'Austin State Gazette, July 6, 1850.
"'Webster to Bell, August 5, 1850, in House Ex. Doc. 82, op. cit., 7-12.
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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/m1/37/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.