The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 66
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
to the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen the military forces on
the Texas frontier. President Houston did not consider this
guarantee of protection altogether adequate, but it went as far
as Tyler's constitutional authority permitted. Tyler thought
that the army and navy dispositions might deter Mexico from
attempting an invasion of Texas.
In the same letter that expressed his dissatisfaction to Van
Zandt and Henderson, Houston declared:
If from any cause we should be rejected, we must redouble our energies.
... Texas can be sovereign and independent, founded upon her own incal-
culable advantages of situation, and sustained by European influences
without the slightest compromittal of her nationality. ... I again declare
to you that every day which passes only convinces me more clearly that
it is the last effort at annexation that Texas will ever make.
After rejection by the Senate, the Texas government directed
a continuous correspondence to its agents in Washington and
to the American representative in Texas demanding fulfillment
of the pledge of protection. At the same time, Houston redou-
bled his efforts to convince the British agent in Texas, by sug-
gestion and implication, that he was done with annexation;
and in that endeavor he succeeded, thereby increasing the
anxiety of friends of annexation in the United States. In effect,
the American government reiterated many times its more or
less guarded promise of protection.
Toward the end of September, 1844, Houston wrote a short
memorandum to Anson Jones, who was then secretary of state
and president-elect of Texas. He instructed Jones to order Ash-
bel Smith, minister of Texas in London and Paris, to conclude
certain commercial arrangements with England and France.
There can be little doubt that Houston expected these instruc-
tions to leak out, but Jones took them seriously and declined
to forward them to Ashbel Smith. He wrote on the back of
Houston's note to him:
The within order cannot be obeyed for it would either defeat annexation
altogether, or lead to a war between Europe and America. Besides, it
would directly complicate our relations and entangle us with France and
England, produce disturbances and revolution at home, and probably render
it very difficult if not impossible for me to administer the government of
Texas successfully. General Houston has furnished no explanation of his
motives for this course of policy. If they be to defeat annexation, produce
a war, or break down my administration (about to commence), I cannot
favor any of these objects and can conceive of no other.
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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/m1/82/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.