Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 56
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56 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1941-42.
off diplomatic relations with the United
Gen. Zachary Taylor was ordered to
occupy the disputed area between the
Rio Grande and the Nueces. Mexico
maintained that the Nueces was the
boundary line between Texas and Mex-
ico, aside from its claim to the entire
area of Texas.
The first encounter was at Palo Alto,
near Brownsville, May 8, and the follow-
ing day another engagement was fought
at Resaca de la Palma, a short dis-
tance from the scene of the first en-
counter. Thereafter Mexican forces
withdrew from Texas soil and no more
engagements were fought north of the
Rio Grande. Enlistment in the United
States Army from the new State of Tex-
as was heavy. The progress of Generals
Winfield Scott and Taylor was rapid and
Mexico City fell Sept. 14, 1847. By the
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2,
1848, claim to Texas including the area
below the Nueces was relinquished and
that part of the United States lying west
of Texas and the Louisiana Purchase
was ceded to the United States which,
however, paid Mexico $15,000,000.
The administration of Governor Hen-
derson (Feb. 16, 1846, to Dec. 21, 1847),
and that of Gov. George T. Wood (Dec.
21, 1847, to Dec. 21, 1849), which fol-
lowed, were given, aside from the inter-
ruption by the events of the Mexican
War, to the organization of civil govern-
ment in Texas. Having attained political
security within the union, Legislature
and the Governor were faced with the
tremendous task of instituting state and
local government under the new Consti-
The first of Texas' many boundary
problems was settled during the adminis-
tration of Gov. P. Hansboro Bell (Dec.
21, 1849-Nov. 23, 1853). Texas after
winning its independence had laid claim
to all territory north and east of the Rio
Grande, from its mouth on the Gulf of
Mexico to its source in Southern Colo-
rado, and it claimed a vaguely defined
area even north of this point.
The difficulty was disposed of by a
provision of the Compromise of 1850 by
which Texas accepted $10,000,000 for its
claim to all land north and west of the
present boundary lines of the Trans-
Pecos region and Panhandle. Since that
time there have been minor disputes over
boundary lines, but the Compromise of
1850 settled definitely the claim of Texas
to half of what is today New Mexico, as
well as certain portions of Colorado,
Wyoming and Montana. The new state
was badly in need of the money because
a debt of more than $5,000,000 (large in
that day) hung over it. Bell did not fin-
ish his second term, resigning to become
Congressman. He was succeeded briefly
by J. W. Henderson, Lieutenant Gov-
ernor, Nov. 23, 1853, to Dec. 21, 1853.
Money for Public Schools.
The administration of Elisha M. Pease
(Dec. 21, 1853, to Dec. 21, 1857) wit-
nessed the establishment of the public
school permanent fund through the ap-
propriation of $2,000,000 of the $10,000,-
000 received from the United States un-
der the Compromise of 1850 to school
purposes. This is regarded by historians
as a step that put the Pease gubernatori-
al administration on a par with the pres-
idential administration of Lamar in fos-
tering education in Texas. Among the
other outstanding features of Pease's ad-
ministration were the passing of the first
law -granting lands to railroads to en-
courage building in Texas, the so-called
Cart War in 1857 between Texas and
Mexican teamsters on the freight route
between San Antonio and the Gulf
ports, and the attainment of political im-
portance in Texas of the Know-Nothing
party. For his second term Pease ran in
opposition to the Know-Nothing party,
defeating its candidate, D. C. Dickson.
Increasing bitterness over the question
of slavery and secession clouded the ad-
ministration of Hardin R. Runnels (Dec.
21, 1857, to Dec. 21, 1859). It marked
also the passing of the only serious at-
tempt that Texas ever made to settle its
Indian population within its own
bounds, the two reservations near Fort
Belknap being abandoned. (See later
paragraphs on End of the Indians in
Runnels was defeated in the elections
of 1859 by Sam Houston. Houston and
Thomas J. Rusk had been named the
first United States Senators in 1846.
Houston, after re-election to a second
term, left his seat in March, 1859. He
had in the meantime run against Run-
nels for Governor in 1857, but lost. In
his victory in 1859, Houston was aided
materially by support of the Know-
Nothing party. This party, which op-
posed foreign immigration and had as
its slogan, "America for the Americans,"
gained considerable strength in the
United States and in Texas immediately
prior to the Civil War.
Beginning Dec. 21, 1859, Houston
served until March 16, 1861, when his
office was declared vacant by the State
Government following secession and re-
organization under the Confederacy.
Houston was deposed because he re-
fused to take the new oath of allegiance.
Like many other Southerners of his day,
Houston was a Unionist. Texas had se-
ceded by action of the secession conven-
tion Jan. 28, 1861, and ratification by the
people Feb. 23. Houston's last official
service to Texas was beset by trouble in-
cluding the growing boldness of the In-
dians on the west and the incursion of
the Mexican freebooter, Juan Cortinas,
into the Lower Rio Grande, where he
captured and held several points, includ-
ing Brownsville, before being driven back
into Mexico by the Texas Rangers.
When Houston was deposed, Edward
Clarke, who had served as Lieutenant
Governor, was sworn in and served
through the remainder of 1861 (March
16, 1861, to Nov. 7, 1861), supervising
military organization of the state under
the Confederacy. Clarke stood for re-
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/58/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.