The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 88
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
channel, including the islands, to its most northerly source, then
in a straight line to the United States boundary, and along that
boundary to the starting point.'
The First Congress took early action in proclaiming the bound-
aries of the new republic, and on December 19, 1836, the Presi-
dent approved an act providing that the civil and political juris-
diction of Texas should extend to include the boundaries as
Austin had outlined them to Wharton, at the same time the Presi-
dent was directed to open negotiations with the United States to
ascertain and determine the boundary between those two coun-
tries.2 And from that time on the Rio Grande to its source was
officially considered as the western boundary of Texas.
Just when Lamar conceived the idea of establishing the author-
ity of Texas over the territory included in this claim, it is not
possible to say; nor can we determine positively what motive
chiefly influenced him in adopting the policy which he ultimately
carried out. It is likely that he began his administration as
President with some idea of taking possession of the Santa F
country, though it was not until the last year of his administration
that he was able actually to undertake the measure. There is no
doubt that he desired to establish control, partly because he was
convinced that the people of New Mexico desired to live under
Texan sovereignty, and partly because he wished to create a nation
reaching ultimately to the Pacific; but chiefly because he under-
stood the commercial benefits that would accrue to Texas through
a diversion of the trade between St. Louis and Santa F6 to the
ports of Texas,
The importance of this trade to Texas was early recognized. On
August 27, 1829, Stephen F. Austin wrote to Henry Austin, stat-
ing that he contemplated opening a. road to El Paso and to Santa
F6 with a view to diverting the Missouri trade to Galveston.3
Later, in 1835, Austin recommended to the Mexican government
that two companies of riflemen be stationed on the Colorado and
Brazos rivers for the purpose of defense and for opening a road
to Chihuahua.4 One cannot say whether these suggestions in-
'Garrison, Diplomatic Correspondence of the Republic of Texas, I, 132.
American Historical Association Report, 1907, II.
2Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 1193-1194.
*Austin Papers, file of July, 1836. University of Texas.
4Stephen F. Austin to James F. Perry, March 4, 1835, in ibid.
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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/m1/94/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.