The war in Texas; a review of facts and circumstances, showing that this contest is a crusade against Mexico, set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, & c. in order to re-establish, extend, and perpetuate the system of slavery and the slave trade. Page: 43 of 64
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
INVASION OF TEXAS BY GENERAL GAINES.
colony, district, or people, as a soldier, or as a marine arms and ammunition been procured, for Texas, in
or seaman, on board of any vessel of war, letter of Cincinnati? If they have, then has the law been
marque, or privateer, every person, so offending, violated-then are the individuals concerned obnoxshall
be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and ious to legal punishment.
shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars, In the report of the doings of the identical Fulton
and be imprisoned not exceeding three years. Texas meeting, about which Mr. Read has written
6. That if any person shall, within the territory or his comniunication, we find the following:
jurisdiction of the United States, begin or set on foot, ' I he meeting was then addressed by N. C. Read
or pro, ide or prepare the means for, any military ex- and Captain Lawrence.'
pedition or enterprise, to be earried on from thence Again:
against the territory or dominions of any foreign 'It was moved and seconded, That a committee
prince or siate, or of any colony, district, or people, of five be appointed to assist Capt Lawrence in raiswith
whom the United States are [at] peace, every ing recruits and funds for the cause of Texas, which
person, so offending, shall be deemed guilty of a high being put to vote, the following gentlemen were
misdemeanor, and' shall be fined, not exceeding three elected,thousand
dollars, and imprisoned not more than three ' B. Hazen, L. Fagin, A. Gordon, E. Townsend,
years. and E. Anderson.'
The resolution, of which Mr. Read avows the Now, this very self same Capt. Lawrence has
auttiorship, declares a determination not to obey this opened and advertised a rendezvouz, on Front street.
law, but to nullify it. Is this allowable in any citi- for engaging emigrants; in other words, enlisting re.
zen ? Hear what Judge Paterson says upon this cruits He proclaims that he acts under a Captain's
head, in the case of Wm. S. Smith, speaking in re- commission from Texas. Mr. Read acts in concert
ference to a section of the then existing law, in the with him, in declaring,
same terms as the 6th section above quoted. "'I hat no law, either human or divine, except such
"The section which prohibits military enterprises as are formed by tyrants and for their sole fienefit,
against nations with which the United'States are at forbids our assisting the Texians; and such law, if
peace^ imparts no dispensing power to the President. any exists, we do not as Americans choose to obey."
Does the constitution give it ? Far from it; for it ex- And this, in direct contradiction to the public and
plicitly directs, that he shall " take care that the laws statute law above published, Mr. Pead represents as
be faithfully executed." This instrument, which merely using the liberty of speech!! Mr. Read's
measures out the powers, and defines the duties of speeches and the acts of Captain Lawrence, go hand
the President, does not vest in him any authority to in hand. It is an insult to common sense to assume,
set on foot a military expedition against a nation with that so gross a violation of law can be evaded upon
which the United States are at peace. And if a pri- the grounds put forth by Mr Read.
vate indivifiual, even with the knowledge and appro- I have nothing to say to the rhodomontade in which
bation of this high and pre-eminent officer of our Mr. Read has dealt so largely. It may go for what
government, should set on foot such a military expe- it is worth. My business is with palpable facts and
dition, how can he expect to be exonerated from the existing laws. I would, however, remark, in concluobligation
of the law? Who holds the power of sion, that.no appeal has yet been made to Cincinnati
dispensation ?-True, a nolle prosequi may be enter- for aid to the suffering women, children, and decrepid
ed, a pardon may be granted; but these ,resume old men of Texas. exposed by war to the most horcriminality,
presume guilt, presume amenability, to rible calamities. Our sympathies have been invoked
judicial investigation and punishment, which are very for soldiers and munitions of war.-Let Mr. Read
different from a. power to dispense with the law. confine himself to these subjects.-When he makes
Suppose, then, that every syllable of the affidavit is an appeal in behalf of suffering humanity, in the form
true, of what avail can it be on the present occasion ? of bread and covering, then he may talk about it. No
Of what use or benefit can it be to the defendant in law forbids supplying these to an enemy. Mr. Read's
a court of law? Does it speak by way of justifica- appeals have been for the teated field, and that is
tion ? The President of the United States cannot quite a different case.
control the statute, nor dispense with its execution, I have called our Texian patriots ' land brawlers;.
and still less can he authorize a person to do what I cannot take it back. Has not a whole Kentucky
.the law forbids. If he could, it woild render the corps come home in dudgeon, because of some diff.
execution of the laws dependent on his will and plea- culty about land ? Are not the Texians themselves
sure, which is a doctrine that has not been set up, disputing to the knife upon the same subject ?-And
and will not meet with any supporters in our go- why do our patriot volunteers prefer to be soldier
vernment. In this particular the law is paramount. in Texas to soldiers at home, in defence of our own
Who has dominion over it ? None but the legisli- citizens, beleagured by a savage foe ? It is land !ture;
and even they are not without their limitation speculation ! Any thing, rather than a generous
in our republic. Will it be pretended, that the disinterested love of the liberty that good governPresident
could rightfully grant a dispensation anid ment and wise laws secure and make peisnanent."
license to any of our citizens to carry on a war I ave before adverted to the fact, that
against a nation with whom the United States are at Geeral Gaines, commander in chief-of te
peace? Ingeniousand learned counsel may imagine G e neral Gaines, commander in chiefof tle
and put a number of cases in the wide field of con army for (he southern department of the
jecture; but we are to take facts as we find them, and United States, was authorized by the governto
argue from the existing state of things at the time. merit to cross the boundary line-but I have
If we were at war with Spain, there is an end to the merely adverted to it,-and as a matter of great
indictment; but, if at peace, what individual could elucidating the views andde
lawfully make war, or carry on a military expedition importance in elucidating the views and deagainst
the dominions of his Catholic majesty?" signs of those in authority, as well as in showSmith
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Lundy, Benjamin. The war in Texas; a review of facts and circumstances, showing that this contest is a crusade against Mexico, set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, & c. in order to re-establish, extend, and perpetuate the system of slavery and the slave trade., book, 1837; Philadelphia. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2414/m1/43/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .