The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 43
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Texas Congressional Leaders, 1913-1917
for neutrality and advised Americans in Mexico to leave at
once.24 Following repeated speeches in the Senate by Albert B.
Fall of New Mexico demanding the use of force in preventing
depredations by the revolutionists, Morris Sheppard defended
the administration's policy in these words: "I think I know some-
thing of the feeling of the people of Texas on this subject; and
I think it due the Senate and the country to say that . [they]
are almost unanimously in sympathy with Woodrow Wilson and
William Jennings Bryan in the course they have pursued as to
Mexico."25 Sheppard believed the matter should be left to Wil-
son and his advisers to handle. When the "Tampico Incident"
precipitated a crisis in this country's relations with Mexico, Rob-
ert L. Henry of Texas proved to be one of the most outspoken
congressmen in favor of giving the President the authority to
use armed force in Mexico. There was no Texas opposition on
A second issue with diplomatic ramifications was presented to
Congress on March 5, 1914, in the form of a request by Wilson
"for the repeal of that provision of the Panama Canal Act of
August 24, 1912, which exempts vessels engaged in the coastwise
trade of the United States from payment of tolls. . "27 Many
southerners had voted for this act in 1912; there now followed a
fight over repeal which occupied the better part of three months,
and which tested the leadership of the President over his party
before the exemption clause was repealed on June 15, 1914. The
Texas delegation, like most of the southerners, supported Wilson;
in fact, Representative Rufus Hardy proved to be a bulwark in
defense of the President's position in the House."2
Although in 1914 Congressman Garner successfully opposed a
freight tax designed to increase the Federal revenue following the
slump in customs revenue brought on by the war,21 and Robert
L. Henry agitated for an amendment to the revenue bill of that
24Ibid., 63rd Cong., Ist Sess., 3803-3804.
25lbid., 63rd Cong., 2nd Sess., 4533; New York Times, March lo, 1914.
2oCongressional Record, 63rd Cong., 2nd Sess., 6957-6958, 7014. Culberson later
became "a pronounced and bitter critic of President Wilson's Mexican policy."
Review of Reviews, LIV (October, 1916), 370-371.
27Congressional Record, 63rd Cong., 2nd Sess., 4346.
28Ibid., 5554, 5881, 5992-5993; American Year Book g1914, 26.
29American Year Book 1914, 4o; New York Times, September 13, 1914.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/61/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.