The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 52
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and by a vote of 3,277 to 91 the people expressed their desire
for annexation to the United States. Though anybody who chose
to go to the polls could vote, without regard to length of pre-
vious residence in Texas, there is no reason to believe that the
returns misrepresented the will of the old settlers.
President Houston appointed Stephen F. Austin secretary of
state and selected William H. Wharton to represent Texas in
Washington. Austin had earlier opposed annexation but had
changed his views before the Declaration of Independence was
issued, and he now spent much of the last few weeks of his life
writing Wharton's instructions. Since he could not be received
officially until the government recognized the independence of
the new republic, Wharton's first mission was to strive for
recognition. After that question was out of the way, he was to
propose the annexation of Texas as a state. Austin took great
pains in defining the boundaries that Texas claimed. The line
that he proposed on the south and west followed the Rio Grande
from mouth to source, and thence north to the forty-second
parallel of latitude. The Texan congress subsequently adopted
this line by statute.
Much to Wharton's disappointment, President Jackson sent
a message to Congress on December 21 advising delay in rec-
ognizing Texas. The reasons that he assigned were plausible,
but probably nobody regarded them as expressing the Presi-
dent's real views. Wharton reported, after an interview with
him, that Jackson wished to force the responsibility upon Con-
gress; and this was probably true, though its strategy was
risky. The result indicates, however, that he knew what he
was about. On February 28, 1837, the House of Representatives
passed an appropriation to pay the salary of a diplomatic agent
to Texas when the President elected to send one, and on March
3, the Senate passed a resolution declaring explicitly that Texas
ought to be recognized. The President did not delay, but on
the last day of his administration, appointed a charge d'affaires
Wharton, who had already received permission to return to
Texas, departed immediately without broaching the subject of
annexation directly. Sailing on a Texan naval vessel from New
Orleans, he was captured by a Mexican ship and taken to Mata-
moros a prisoner, an unhappy situation from which he escaped
with the assistance of Captain Thomas M. Thompson, an Eng-
lishman in the Mexican Navy.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/68/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.