The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 90
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
on the Colorado. On January 14, 1839, an act was passed for
the permanent location of the seat of government, and this loca-
tion was to be limited to some point between the Trinity and the
Colorado, north of the San Antonio Road." The connection be-
tween these two acts will appear presently.
Among the officers under the above act, William Jefferson Jones
was appointed as a lieutenant. He had taken part in the cam-
paigns against the Indians in the East in the summer of 1838.
He was in Houston in December, 1838, or January, 1839, and
it appears that he was the first to outline a program for taking
possession of the Santa F6 country. He had a conversation with
Lamar on the subject, but whether he initiated the proposal, there
is no present way of knowing. The only record of the conversa-
tion is contained in a letter from Jones to Lamar a short time
later, and this would indicate that the originator of the scheme
was Jones. It is necessary to quote at length from this letter in
order to make clear the connection of Jones with the enterprise.
Genl M. B. Lamar. Bastrop Feby 8th, 1839,
My dear Sir,
In a letter, which I addressed to the Secretary at War a few
.days since relative to the contemplated expedition against the
Comanches, I took occasion to refer to the importance of the Santa
Fe trade and of the facilities of diverting it to the Colorado Val-
ley, the natural outlet for all commerce of the North Western
'Territory of Texas, at this moment the most productive portion
of it. The lowest estimate of the trade of what was formerly
New Mexico has been placed at $20,000,000 (millions), consisting
,of gold & silver and the rich furs of the mountains, which now
pass out by the Red River valley and the Rio Grande, building
up the towns of St. Louis and Matamoras. . .
Whilst in the City of Houston and at the time of my appoint-
ment to the Regiment against the Comanches, I suggested to you
the importance of a politico-military mission to Santa Fe with a
view to the introduction of the trade of New Mexico thro' the
natural outlet within the limits of this Republic.
. . . I have every reason to believe the seat of government
will be located on the Colorado between this place and the moun-
tains, probably at their foot and I have no doubt, the selection
will be the most judicious which can be made within the limits
assigned the Commissioners by the law. In that event the Cap-
ital of the Nation may command the entire trade of New Mex-
"lbid., II, 163.
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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/m1/96/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.