History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 74
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74 HBTOR OF EXAS
opened his message with congratulations upon
the prosperity of the country, but advised
hostilities with Mexico, stating that he had
already sent the Texan navy to co-operate
with the government of Yucatan, which had
lately declared her independence of Mexico.
Lamar's administration was a bad one. He
was too military and sanguine. During his
administration the question of annexation to
the United States lay quiescent. The Government
at Washington consistently maintained
that so long as Texas was at war with
Mexico and the United States at peace with
her, annexation would be a breach of treaty
with her and involve our Government in war
with her; and, on account of public criticism
and the labors of his office, he obtained permission
for absence from his office during
the last year of the term, while the government
was administered by the vice-president,
David G. Burnett.
President Houston, on the opening of his
second term, did not hesitate to announce
that his administration would be guided by
a policy directly opposite to that of his predecessor,
advocating a kinder and more patient
course with regard both to Mexico and the
Indians. Financially, he made a number of
recommendations to improve the treasury
and the credit of the Republic. As long as
Texas was able to borrow she had been borrowing,
and as long as her paper was of any
value at all she issued it and lived on the
proceeds, no matter how ruinous the rate.
On the recommendation of President Houston
congress adopted a policy of retrenchment,
abolishing many unimportant offices
and cutting down the salaries of the government
officers to less than half. A system of
economy was likewise practiced in 'all the
departments of the government. During the
administration of Lamar the treasurer paid
out $4,855,215, while during a like term,
Houston's second, only $493,175, the principal
difference being caused by the inflation
of low credit.
THE MEXICAN WAR.
As an argument for annexation to the
United States, it was stated that Mexico had
for six years failed to reconquer Texas or
even sent an army within her borders, and
that the war therefore might be considered
ended, although no formal recognition of the
independence of Texas had been made by the
mother country. Her prolonged inactivity
might be considered an acknowledgment that
reconquest was impossible.
Mexico, however, in order to make good
her claim, prepared at the close of 1841 to
invade Texas. On January 9, 1842, General
Arista issued a proclamation from his headquarters
at Monterey that the Mexican nation
would never consent to the separation of the
territory, and that it was owing only to the
civil wars in Mexico that no effort had rebcently
been made to subjugate Texas. He
declared that his country was determined to
recover her rights through the only means
left her, namely, persuasion or war; that hostilities
would be directed against only those
who sustained and fought to maintain the
Texan nationality; and he called upon the
people to reflect and consider their own interests,
and return to their allegiance.
On March 5, General Rafael Vasquez appeared
before San Antonio de Bejar at the
head of 500 men. The Texan force there,
being small, evacuated when the surrender
of the town was demanded. Vasquez entered
the place, hoisted the Mexican flag and
departed. About the same time small forces
of Mexicans occupied Refugio and Goliad,
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/79/?rotate=270: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .