The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 87
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New Mexico and the Texan Santa F Expedition
Texas and Santa Fe;4 secondarily, if it seemed advisable, to es-
tablish the political jurisdiction of Texas over a region lying
within the statutory boundary of the republic. But this last
part was to be undertaken only in case the inhabitants of New
Mexico indicated their desire to unite with Texas.6 It is certain
that the officials in Texas who were responsible for the expedition
sincerely believed that the majority of the New Mexican popula-
tion would welcome the establishment of Texan jurisdiction. This
is shown by the small size of the party which was sent to Santa
Fe, and is further emphasized in official communications of the
period." In a letter addressed to the people of Santa Fe in April,
1840, President Lamar apparently took it for granted that they
desired to accept the government of Texas, and promised to send
commissioners in the near future to assist them in making the
change.' Then in the instructions to the commissioners who ac-
companied the expedition, Samuel A. Roberts, the acting secre-
tary of state, made it clear that little opposition to their work
was to be expected, and emphasized the fact that force was not
to be used unless it was found that the authorities in New Mexico
were attempting to thwart the desires of the inhabitants. In this
case if they found that the people were willing to support the
Texans, they were authorized to use force against the Mexican
officials, but under no circumstances were they to attempt to co-
erce the people themselves.8
While these documents furnish evidence concerning the belief
of the Texans, they are not satisfactory proof that this belief was
well founded. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the informa-
tion which was available in Texas concerning New Mexico. In
the first place, the fact that even among the highest officials of
4The best discussion of this phase is Marshall, "Commercial Aspects of
the Texan .Santa Fe Expedition," in THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUAR-
TERLY, XX, 242-259.
5Christian, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 102-130, is a thorough discus-
sion of various aspects of the expedition.
8Kendall, Narrative of the Texan Santa F6 Expedition, I, 15-16, sums
up the opinions as expressed by the Texans in conversations.
'Lamar to the citizens of Santa F, April 14, 1840, MS. in Santa F4
Papers, Texas State Library.
'Roberts to Cooke, Navarro, Brenham, and Dryden, June 15, 1841, in
Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of the Republic of Temxas, II,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/93/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.