The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 10
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10 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the body of our population, and it does seem to me that no in-
jury could arise from the adoption of the measures.25
Houston was very much opposed to the policy of sending out
companies for the general purpose of operating against any hos-
tile Indians on the frontier. On May 25, 1838, he returned to
Congress an act of that nature, with a veto message. Besides
other objectionable features in the bill, the president pointed out
that men sent to the frontier felt that they must distinguish
themselves, and in attempting to accomplish this made war indis-
criminately on whatever Indians crossed their path. By such im-
prudent actions tribes that were peaceable, or in the act of mak-
ing treaties, were forced to resume hostilities. Instead of send-
ing out companies to operate against hostile Indians in general,
Houston suggested another way of handling the situation. He
If means were placed at the disposal of the executive, and
agencies with trading houses should be established at the proper
points on the frontier, with a few troops stationed at each place,
who will do their duty, and white men and companies on the
frontier will act with prudence, less than one-fourth of the amount
required to sustain the force contemplated in this act will make
peace, and preserve it, on the frontier. The Indians of the prai-
ries have no local habitations, and, therefore, we can not hope to
conquer them by any number of troops. They can elude us when
they do not wish to fight, nor will they fight without an advantage
in the prairies-we cannot overtake them for they are fleet horse-
men, and can disperse themselves with a signal, to meet at any
point, having a knowledge of the whole region unknown to white
men. If we can once treat, and they find that they can trade with
us-and learn that we are not their enemies they will become our
friends. The executive has never yet known a treaty made with
an Indian tribe first infracted or violated by them. Everything
will be gained by peace, but nothing will be gained by war. The
Comanches have lately come in and desired peace. They are pow-
erful, and if peace is made with them they will find it to their
interest and security to obtain from the hostile tribes, on their
borders, obedience to them and peace to us. The reason is ob-
vious, because should depredations occur, they would be liable to
"Journal of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, 2
Congress, 1 Session, 158-159.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/16/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.