The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 287
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Robert Owen's Texas Project
Naci6n (Mexico City), Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (1828-
1829) as an enclosure in a letter written to the Mexican govern-
ment by its representative in London, Vicente Rocafuerte.5
Rocafuerte was an Ecuadorean by birth, but he served the
Republic of Mexico with distinction for many years, later be-
coming president of his native land. In 1828, when Owen sub-
mitted his plan to him, the Mexican minister clearly pointed
out that he had no faith in the scheme, that it would be unac-
ceptable to the Mexican government, and that it would be un-
wise for Owen to undertake a contemplated trip to Mexico, since
his plan had no chance for success. Owen was not convinced,
however, and even though Rocafuerte warned him a second time
that a trip to Mexico would be useless," Owen set sail for Vera
Cruz in the latter part of November.
Owen arrived in Mexico as the turbulent presidential election
of 1828 was in progress, and he immediately joined hands with
the Santa Anna forces, which succeeded in installing Vicente
Guerrero in the presidency. Owen then had conversations with
the president, with Santa Anna, and with others in high govern-
mental positions, and, according to Owen's own version, he re-
ceived a promise to the effect that he would be given complete
control over a strip of neutral ground, one hundred and fifty
miles in width, and running from sea to sea, provided that the
Mexican Congress would pass a law establishing religious tolera-
tion in Mexico.8 There is some doubt that Owen received such
a promise,9 but regardless of whether he did or not, his efforts
in Mexico came to naught, although Santa Anna apparently con-
tinued to show enthusiasm over Owen's ideas.'0
Setting sail from Vera Cruz for New Orleans, in March, 1829,
Owen arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, early in April. Far from
being discouraged over his recent failure in Mexico, he seemed
IManning refers to the Memorial in his article "Texas and the Boundary Issue,
1822-1829," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVII (January-March, 1913), 245-
6Rocafuerte to Owen, Ivy Lodge, Fulham, October 17, 1828, in Podmore, Robert
Owen, I, 337-338.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/296/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.