The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 11
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The Indian Policy of the Republic of Texas 11
suspicion, which would interrupt their trade and intercourse with
Houston's policy was based on the firm principle that might
is not right. He seems to have been thoroughly convinced that
the policy of peace, friendship, and commerce, was not only eth-
ically sound but practical and expedient. At the beginning of
the year 1838 the land offices were opened and surveyors and
locators had gone beyond the settlements and had begun their
operations.27 In his message to Congress on November 24, 1838,
Houston brought out the fact that for purposes of private specu-
lation and individual benefit the country was about to be involved
in an Indian war. He suggested "at least for some time to come,
that restrictions should be laid upon all surveying beyond 'the
limits of the settlements, and that the enterprize which has here-
tofore been employed in individual benefit, should be directed in
some channel that will enable the Executive to repel the aggres-
sion of the Indians and chastize them for all wanton outrages so
far as the energies of the nation can be combined."28 Houston
consistently maintained that in dealing with the Indians it was
right, economical, and expedient to refrain from acts of aggres-
sion, to negotiate treaties of friendship and to establish trading
posts along the frontier.
II. MEASURES OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE INDIANS
Houston, though opposed to aggression against the Indians,
was in favor of the sure protection of the frontier, and during
his administration Congress passed several bills with this object
in view. On November 19, 1836, an act for the protection of
the frontier came up for discussion in the House, and was passed
on November 21, and signed by Houston December 5. The bill
provided: that the president be required to raise a battalion of
two hundred and eighty mounted riflemen to guard the frontier;
that in cases of emergency he be authorized to order out the
"Journal of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, 2
Congress, Adjourned Session, 171-173.
"7Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 248.
2"Journal of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, 3
Congress, Regular Session, 87-93.
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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/m1/17/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.