The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 204
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
understanding of U.S. government intentions than he had previously
formed. He was gratified by his hosts' sympathy with Mexican independ-
ence, but exasperated by Eustis's assertion that the Louisiana Purchase es-
tablished U.S. rights to lands as far south as the Rio Grande. After one
such exchange, Guti6rrez exclaimed in his diary: 'Maria Santisima, help
me and rescue me from these men!"21 According to one account, Gutier-
rez jumped furiously from his chair when Monroe proposed to admit
Mexico into an American confederation if it adopted a constitution mod-
eled upon the United States. This report, while credited by some histori-
ans, is questionable, since it comes from a secondhand report by Luis de
Onis, envoy of the Spanish regency. Guti6rrez made no mention of such
an incident in his diary.22
Without reaching any precise diplomatic understanding, Gutierrez and
U.S. officials shared sufficient interests to establish a limited working re-
lationship. Washington absorbed the small cost of paying Gutidrrez's liv-
ing expenses and soon aiding his return to the Louisiana-Texas frontier.
From that region, he might undermine Spanish control over Texas and
Mexico-all without directly involving the U.S. government in his battles.
Notwithstanding U.S. pretensions under the Louisiana Purchase, the
Madison administration had not yet settled upon a policy of incorporat-
ing Texas into the Union. The president was far more concerned in early
1812 about acquiring East Florida from Spain, partly to prevent that re-
gion from falling into British hands.2"
Gutierrez was ultimately pleased with his mission to Washington. In ad-
dition to obtaining some U.S. support, he had the opportunity to learn
about a foreign land that many of his compatriots regarded as a worthy
example for their own country. Once we look beyond the arena of diplo-
macy, we find that Gutierrez admired the United States for its social, eco-
nomic, and political achievements. While visiting Virginia factories where
machinery was driven by water power, he observed, "All this well-being
comes to this nation as the result of having a good government. Oh how
much I could say!" He later marveled at the reformed penitentiary in
Philadelphia, whose humane treatment of prisoners seemed a great ad-
vance over Spain's penal system. As a provincial from Nuevo Santander,
Guti6rrez expressed wonder at a new American world in the United
2" Diario JGB, Dec. 15, 1811. (Quotation: "Maria S[antisx]ma Sea en mi alluda, y me saque
de entre estos"). At least some Mexican scholars, who have noted Gutidrrez's outcry, have not
quoted him from the original diary. See Valdes-Ugalde, 'Janus and the Northern Colossus,"
22 Luis de Onis to the viceroy of New Spain, Feb. 14, 1812, in Alamin, Hstona de Mezco, III, Ap-
pendix, 45-46. Onis obtained this intelligence from Tel6sforo de Orea, envoy of the Venezuelan
insurgency, who evidently remarked that he had received a similar proposal by Monroe.
' Frank Lawrence OwsleyJr. and Gene A. Smith, Fzlzbusters and Expanszonsts:Jeffersonzan Manz-
festDestny, z8oo-z82 (Tuscaloosa: Unlversity of Alabama Press), 66-81.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/256/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.