The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 371
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Mexican Opinion and the Texas Revolution 171
to Mexican suspicions. From Washington, Mexican representatives
reported that Americans had little regard for Mexicans, that the
two nations were probably destined to become enemies, and, most
ominously, that Americans had designs upon Mexican soil." The first
American minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, by blatantly inter-
fering in Mexican politics, deepened Mexican hostility and mistrust.'
But by the early 183o's it was American pressure upon Texas that
captured the attention of Mexicans. Before that time there had been
very little contact between the citizens of the United States and of
Mexico. To most Mexicans the Americans remained a strange, alien
people, seen in dim focus from a great distance; the Mexican view
had not yet been sharpened by the personal experiences and the first-
hand knowledge requisite to understanding. The day was soon
to arrive, however, when, in the distant province of Texas, the ac-
quaintance would become more intimate.
It was during Poinsett's mission that Mexicans began to take an
active interest in Texas. Americans had been migrating to the prov-
ince since 1822, of course, and it was widely feared that the United
States coveted it, but little attention was given to the matter until
about 1827, when a combination of events caused Mexico to turn
with some alarm to the subject of Texas.
One of Poinsett's objectives in Mexico was to obtain a treaty of
limits. In preparing for the negotiations the Mexican government
conducted a systematic search of its archives for all documents
relating to the boundary between Mexico and the United States. It
consulted the papers of Luis de Onis, the Spanish diplomat who in
1819 had negotiated the treaty that established the western boundary
of the United States. Onis was deeply hostile to the United States
and warned of its territorial ambitions, and in their own correspond-
ence Mexican negotiators revealed a decided mistrust of American
To prepare themselves for the pending negotiations, the Mexicans
established a commission to survey the unmarked boundary of 1819.
3Joseph C. McElhannon, "Imperial Mexico and the United States," in Thomas E.
Cotner and Carlos E. Castafieda (eds.), Essays in Mexican History (Austin, 1958), 138.
4J. Fred Rippy, Joel R. Poinsett, Versatile American (Durham, 1935), 104-133.
'Request for correspondence, March 29, 1826, Archivo General de la Nacion, Mexico,
Relaciones Exteriores (AGNM transcript 554; University of Texas Archives, Austin),
99. The entire volume of transcripts concerns preparations for the boundary negotia-
tions. Archivo General de la Nacion, Mexico, is hereafter cited as AGNM; all transcripts
cited below are in the University of Texas Archives, Austin.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/205/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.