The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 32
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
refrained from interfering, it would be the duty of the President
to see that the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as a part of the su-
preme law of the land, was sustained in every particular, down
to the maintaining of the inhabitants of the territory in the free
enjoyment of their liberty and property.
In submitting this correspondence to Congress, however, Presi-
dent Fillmore was less guarded than Webster had been in his lan-
guage. HIe reiterated the claim, on the New Mexican side, that
the territory had always been regarded as an integral and essential
part of New Mexico, and after stating that the Texas legislature
had been called into session for the purpose of establishing her own
jurisdiction, and her own laws over the region by force, he added:
These proceedings of Texas may well arrest the attention of
all branches of the government of the United States; and I re-
joice that they occur while the Congress is yet in session. It is,
I fear, far from being impossible, that in conseouence of these
proceedings of Texas, a crisis may be brought on which shall sum-
mon the two houses of Congress-and still more emphatically the
executive government-to an immediate readiness for the perform-
ance of their respective duties. . .. The constitutional duty
of the President is plain and peremptory, and the authority vested
in him by law for its performance, clear and simple. . . . If
Texas militia, therefore, march into any one of the other states,
or into any territory of the United States, there to. execute or en-
force any law of Texas, they . . . are to be regarded merely
as intruders; and if, within such state or territory, they obstruct
any law of the United States, either by power of arms, or mere
power of numbers, constituting such a combination as is too. power-
ful to be suppressed by the civil authority, the President of the
United States has no option left to him, but is bound to obey the
solemn injunction of the Constitution, and exercise the high powers
vested in him by that instrument and by the acts of Congress.122
In sending this message to Congress, the President submitted no
other evidence than Governor Bell's letter and Webster's reply,
and the meagerness of the information furnished concerning the
probability of forceful measures in Texas made the tone of the
message decidedly alarmist. That government officials had more
information concerning the actual developments in Texas than
they cared to divulge, however, is shown in the work of General
Winfield Scott, who was at the time acting Secretary of War. On
the same day that Fillmore's message was written, General Scott
"2Fillmore's message to Congress, August 6, 1850, in Ibid., 1-6.
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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/m1/38/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.