Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 16 of 119
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enormities and wanton;aggressions of the latter, and will,,it is confidently
believed, furnish abundant ground for the exercise of the right of interference
What is most to be deplored in a war of this character is, that the unoffending
and defenceless become victims of the most relentless cruelty.
War, in its most generous and noble aspect, is accompanied by great calamities.
Nations are seldom benefited by it, and it must be productive of
great individual suffering. But when individuals and nations are exasperated
by repeated wrongs, even cruelty may be rendered tolerable
when it is used as retaliation for injuries long endured. The massacres
and cruelties which have been inflicted upon Texas since the commencement
of the revolution have been responded to by a generous forbearance.
But that forbearance cannot be expected much longer to exist.
The object of Mexico in her course cannot be misunderstood. By incursions
of the character complained of she may depress our husbandmen
and farmers; the cry of invasion that is kept up, and the excitement incident
to a state of war, may prevent emigration and embarrass our revenue,
by deterring men of enterprise and capital from making importations of
goods into our country. These, for a time, may avail her something; but
the aggregate of human suffering will be a poor recompense for the advantages
thus gained. The origin, genius, and character of the people of
Texas are guarantees for her ultimate success. Nations that contribute to
her advancement will command her gratitude.
Never since eighteen hundred and thirty-six has Mexico attempted any
thing of the character of a general invasion of Texas, or conducted the
war upon any plan calculated to test the superiority of the two nations
upon tile field of battle, and bring the war to a close by the arbitrament of
arms. Her hostile demonstrations, thus far, have consisted exclusively in
the clandestine approach of small bands of rancheros from the valley of
the Rio Grande, accompanied by Indians, (both of whom are actuated
from purposes of plunder and theft,) but sometimes associated with fragments
of the Mexican army, composed, for the most part, of convict soldiery,
fitted for nothing either honorable in enterprise or magnanimous in
The people of Texas being for the most part agriculturists, and engaged
in the tillage of the soil, the consequences of this predatory warfare have
been to them extremely vexatious and harassing, without in any degree
hastening the adjustment of tlhe difficulties existing between the parties.
Entirely different is the general character of the Mexicail population.
They are literally a nation of herdsmen; subsisting in a great measure
from the proceeds of their flocks and herds, they can move about from
place to place, and make their homes wherever inclination or convenience
may prompt, without detriment.
Hitherto the conduct and disposition of the Government and people of
Texas have been diametrically opposed to those manifested by Mexico.
While Mexico has been depredating upon the property of our exposed
and defenceless frontier, murdering the inhabitants in cold blood, or forcing
them away into a loathsome and too often fatal captivity, inciting the
numerous tribes of hostile Indians, who reside along our northern frontier
to plunder our exposed settlements, stimulating them to the most cruel and
barbarous massacres and inhuman butcheries even of our defenceless
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/16/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .