Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 16, Ed. 1, Tuesday, May 9, 1837 Page: 1 of 4
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T E R
"VOX. II. NO. 16.
WE LABOR FOR OJJIt COUNTRY.
WHOILE NUMBER 68.
PUBLISHED BY BORDEN & MOORE,;
PUBLIC PRINTERS. j
TERMS, $5 PER ANN., IN ADVANCE
ADVERTISING, USUAL PRICES.
HOUSTON, TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1837.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
With peculiar pleasure I greet your return to the Capitol.
At the adjournment of the last session, the country was under
the apprehension of an invasion from our enemy, which crea-
ted much solicitude, and had an unkind influence on our foreign
relations. It was temporary in its effects, as was manifested in
the recognition of our independence by the Government of
the United States of America. We now occupy the proud at-
titude of a sovereign and independent Republic; which will
impose upon us the obligation of evincing to the world, that we
are worthy to be free. This will only be accomplished by wise
legislation, the maintainance of our integrity, and the faithful
and just redemption of our plighted faith wherever it has been
pledged. Nothing can be better calculated to advance our in-
terests and character than the establishment of a 'liberal and
disinterested policy, enlightened by patriotism, and guided by
The plan of legislating for present emergencies, without re-
ference to a general and permanent system, will render a gov-
ernment less stable in its institutions and less prosperous in its
progress, than it must be where a proper foundation is laid, and
a corresponding fabric is erected on jits basis. Diversified inter-
ests must exist in every community, and that system which is
best calculated to promote the general interest, is the one
which should be adopted and adhered to with fidelity. The
representatives of the sovereign people by a calm and deliberate
discussion of the various interests of the different sections of our
country will be enabled to arrive at such conclusions as will in-
duce them to adopt a course, which must be in its effects, both
salutary and pleasing to every true patriot.
The views which must actuate every friend of the country,
will be the advancement of its glory and the happiness of its
citizens. The present prospects of crops in our country is a
subject of sincere gratulation, and while it reflects lustre on the
industry and enterprise of our citizens, it should inspire us with
veneration and gratitude to a Divine Providence for this manifes-
tation of his continued favor.
Among the various subjects of deep and vital interest to the
country, is that of our finances. The demands on our Treasury
since the adjournment of Congress, have been great, without
the means of meeting them, and rendering that aid which was,
in every way, so desirable. The several acts providing for the
issues of land scrip to the agents specified, have been complied
with, and I regret to say, that comparatively none of the res-
ponsibilities incurred by the laws, have been met by these
agents to whom the scrip was issued. A compliance with the
conditions of the law, placed the agents beyond the con-
trol of the executive, and left it without resources, so far as the
supplies of the army and navy were dependant upon the means
placed in 'their hands. Repeated calls have been made
upon them to render their accounts current to the proper,
department, but no response has been given or reason ren-
dered, for protesting the drafts which have been drawn upon
them. This state of affairs" being presented, the Executive re-
sorted to the only alternative left, and directed that no further
sales of scrip should take place by them; but, that the means re-
maining in their hands, should be immediately passed over to
the special agent of the government and that they should render
their accounts accordingly. To this subject the early attention
of congress is earnestly requested 1
The commissioners sent to the United States, for the pur-
pose of negotiating a loan of five millions, have constantly re
ported so unfavorably of the money market, that it was not
deemed necessary to issue the bonds until recently. One of the
gentlemen indicating a wish to retire after having been much
delayed on his journey by ill health, and the other giving us no
hope of being able to effect any thing by present exertions, it
was thought proper to permit them both to return, and others
have been appoiritedand proceeded to the United States, with
a part of the bonds, and with confident hopes of success.
The public domain of the country being the foundation of its
finances, will demand the most serious and eulighted judgment of
congress, and from its importance, urge the necessity of adopting
some secure system for the future government of that branch of our
resouices, and for the regulation of the rights which have been
acquired under former laws in relation to it. The views of the
Executive having been given duriug the last session of congress
in relation to the land bill, submitted for approval, have un
dergone no change, but time has only given to them additional
weight. By reference to the bill, it must be manifest to all,
that it is not adapted to our situation, and should it be permitted
to go into effect, the public interests must suffer injury, and the
public faith, so far as it is concerned, in the redemption of pledg-
es, based on her public domain, must also suffer serious preju-
dices. I would recommend that some plan be devised that will
ascertain all the located lands of the countiy; this being done,
the vacant lands will be readily indicated, and prevent the fu-
ture conflict of titles. Unless some precaution of this character is
adopted, endless litigation must be the consequence.
The subject of the undefined limits on our northeastern fron-
tier, between the United States and this republic will re-
quire the action of congress. The boundaries have been so well
described bv the treaty of 1819, between Spain and the United
States, that little difficulty is apprehended in defining, and es-
tablishing our just line and obviating all trifling difficulties which
may have at any time existed, through a want of proper consid-
eration. Provision for the appointment of a commissioner to
meet one on the part of the U. States is desirable. Connected
with the subject of boundary is that of the Caddo Indians, in-
ministers at Washington City, have been advised and instruc
ted to make immediate and urgent remonstrances to that gov
ernment, and I am well assured from the character of the gen-
tlemen, that they have not been wanting to their duty in this res
pect. The principal aggressions on our frontiers have either
been instigated or perpetrated by the Caddos: It would be pain
ful to suppose, under the circumstances, that the U.S. agent in fur-
nishing them the means of further injury to the exposed frontier
inhabitants of our country, had acted under the orders of his gov
ernment. It is due to his government to suppose that he has pro-
ceeded unadvisedly and that thestipulationsofthe treaty conclu-
ded between the United Slates and Mexico in April 1830, will
be rigidly adhered to so far as they-aTJpertamTO the United states
and republic of Texas. It was among the first objects of the
constitutional government, on assuming its duties, to adopt such
measures as would give peace and security to our extended fron-
tier. For this purpose commissioners were appointed at an ear-
ly period to hold treaties with several of the most numerous and
active of the frontier tribes. As yet, nothing has been effected, ow
ing in part to the season of the year at which the business was
commenced as well as other causes. A hope is entertained that
something beneficial will shortly result, as our commissioners are
in constant expectation of holding a treaty with the associate
bands of the prairies. This government has recently received L
information from sources entirely satisfactory, that a dele-
gation consisting of twenty northern Indians residing on
the borders of the United States, had visited the town of Mata-
moros, and had stipulated with the Mexican authorities, to fur-
nish that government, three thousand warriors, well armed, so
soon as it would invade Texas. Commentary upon such alliances
in the present age would be an insult to chivalry and a reflection
upon the hearts and understandings of those who have sought
to establish the maxim, that war is calamitous enough without
the evils of treachery and massacre, which devote alike the fe-
male an J the warrior to cruelty and death. Assurances arc ren-
dered to this government, that citizens of this republic have late-
ly been made prisoners by the Caddos, and that scalps recently
taken on our frontier have been seen in their nation. It is with-
in the province of this government to enquire into the causes
which have produced these calamities, and no vigilance
on my part shall be wanting to prevent their recurrence. I
feel fully aware that the policy of this government is to pursue
a just and liberal course towards our Indian neighbors; and to
prevent all encroachment upon their rights,
a,. The army of Texas has never been in a more favorable condition
than at present. The permanent force in the field is sufficient to
meet all the emergencies of invasion, while at the shortest notice
the defence of the country can be brought into immediate action
in that event.
I feel assured that a system of discipline, subordination and po-
lice has been established in the army, which reflects much cred-
it upon its general, and docs no less honor to the officers and sol-
diers than to our country. They have encountered many pri-
vations and difficulties within the last season, which it was impos-
sible for the government to avert, owing to causes already stated,
and I am proud to say that order has been maintained, and the
spirits of those men devoted to liberty have not sunk into pusa-
lanimity and weakness, but have been borne up and illumined
by the ardent hope that they may, ere long, meet an
enemy opposed to human rights, when they can evince to the
world that they arc the descendants of freemen, and that they
are invincible. I feel pleasure in recommending their con-
dition to the consideration of congress and trust that every
possible aid may be rendered to their comfort efficiency and
glory. At the same time I feel assured that theywill not disre
gard the history of revolutions,, and one important truth will
not escape their observation, that those who contend for liber
ty must be prepared to endure privations. -The glory of the
soldier is always proportioned to the difficulty and danger of
his achievements. 1 he situation of the army at the adjourn-
ment of the last session of congress was far from what was
desirable to the country; since then zx. organization has ta-
ken place, and much credit is due to the officers and soldiers for
their ready obedience to the laws and regulations which have
been enacted for their government. Bv the reduction of the
number of supernumerary officers its expenses have been dimin-
ished to the amount of 229,032, per annum. The requisite
number, of officers are now in command, and the organization
The insufficiency of our navy must be a subject of serious
consideration. When the constitutional government assumed its
functions, the armed vessels, Brutus and Invincible, were in the
port of New York, and remained there until a fcv weeks past,
when they returned, but without either crews or provisions for a
The Independence having not more than two weeks pro-
visions, was taken to New Orleans some months since, where
she has been detained, and has not yet been reported to this
government for service.
At an early day a confidential officer was despatched to the
United States, for the purpose of purchasing such vessels as
would enable us to keep the command of the gulf from our ene
He has reported to the proper department, and his arrival
is daily expected with one or more fine vessels, in preparation
to defend our commerce, and make reprisals on the enemy.
Our commerce has suffered to some extent, and a small por-
tion of supplies for the army, has been captured and taken into
Mexican ports. I take leave to call the serious attention of con
gress to the establishment of a naval depot at some point on our
habiting a portion of our north eastern frontier. Bv a trcatv 'coast, which will add irreatlv to our fftirionrv n cm nn1 r flip
recently held with that tribe they have ceded certain lands to same time diminish our expenses.
the United States, and have shown a disposition to amalgamated- The suspension of business attendant on the removal of the
with the wild Indians within oucunquestionable boundary, while public archives and documents, with other reasons, has rendered
late advices have assured me that the United States agent of it impossible to lay before congress detailed reports of the several
the tribe has issued to the warriors, rifles and ammunition. The departments of the government, showing their condition; but so
condition and disposition of these Indians as well as their thefts soon as practicable, and at an early day, they will be submitted,
and murders upon our borders, have been subjects on which our ' and all important information referred to congress.
Not unconnected with the naval force of the country, is the
subject of the African slave trade. It cannotbe disbelieved that
thousands of Africans have lately been imported to the island of
Cuba, with a design to transfer a large portion of them into
this republic. This unholy and cruel traffic has called down the
reprobation of the humane and just of all civilized nations.'
Our abhorrence to it is clearly expressed in our constitution ana
laws. Nor has it rested alone upon the declaration of our poli-
cy, but has long since been a subject of representation to the
government of the United States, our ministers apprising it oi
every fact which would enable it to devise such means as would
prevent either the landing or introduction of Africans into our
The naval force of Texas not being in a situation to "be di-
verted from our immediate defence, will be a sufficient reason
why the government of the United States, and England should
employ such a portion of their force in the Gulf as will at once
arrest the accursed trade and redeem this republic from the sus-
picion of connivance which would be as detrimental to its char-
acter as the practice is repugnant to the feelings of its citizens.
Should the traffic continue the odium cannot rest upon us, hut
will remain a blot upon the escutcheon of nations-who have
power, and withhold their hand from the work of hmnanity.
It will be proper "to remark that our attitude in relation to
the subject of annexation to the U. S. of America, has under-
gone no important change since the adjournment of the last ses-
sion of congress. Our ministers at Washington City gave to the
subject of our national concerns, their able, zealous and unti-
ring attention, and much credit is due to them for the character
which they sustained in advocating our interests at a foreign
court. The period at which the congress of the United States
was compelled to adjourn, prevented any action of that govern-
ment, relative to annexation. It will,itis hoped,be referred to the
action of the next session, and receive its early determination.
In the mean time it will be proper for Texas to pursue a
course of policy which will be beneficial to her in a character
substantive, and to secure her existence and her rights, without
reference to contingencies. For it is not possible to determine
what are to he her future relations to the civilized nations of the
globe. Blessed with a soil the most fertile, and climate themost
delightful and salubrious, Texas must attract the attention of
the whole commercial and manufacturing nations of the world.
Her cotton, sugar, indigo, wines, peltries, live stock and the
precious minerals will all become objects of mercantile enter-
prise and activity.
Nor can we loose sight of the important production of the
live oak. It is but reasonable to say that four fifths of all that
species of timber, now in the world, is to be found growing in '
Texas, while many millions worth of it is daily decaying on our
To establish such intercourse with nations friendly to, us, as
will induce them to seek our market with their manufactures
and commodities, and receive from us in exchange our produc-
tions, will become our most imperative duty.
Texas with her superior natural advantages must become a
point of attraction, and the policy of establishing with her the
earliest relations of friendship and commerce will not escape the
eye of statesmen.
England has not disregarded our situation this far, nor can
we believe from the indications already manifested by her, that
she is to regard our prosperity with unkind feelings of suspicion
Should our resources be regulated by a wise and politic sys-.
tern of legislation, we must remain an independent and become
a prosperous people.
Our relations to Mexico since the last session of congress,
have undergone no important change, nor have overtures been
made by either nation.
Texas confident that she can sustain the rightsfor which she
has contended, is not willing to invoke the mediation of other .
powers; while Mexico, blind to her interest and her future exis-
tence, seems determined on protracting the war, without regard
to her internal commotions. Revolution is stalking abroad
throughout her land while she is unable to defend her frontier a-
gainst the incursions of the bands of predatory Indians on the
frontier of the Rio Grande from Santa Fe to Matamoros. Ear-
lv in last winter a correspondence was opened by the secretary
of state with the Mexican Consul at New Orleans containing
propositions to exchange prisoners, so far as the number oi lex-
ians would extend, and then to release the excess of Mexican
prisoners on parole.
lyotwiinstanaing me iiumamiy ana iiDeranty oi mis oner,
it has met no official response from that government. It
seemed to me, that it would be in accordance with the civilza-
tion of the age, to release all the prisoners, and to permit them
to leave our shores so soon as they can do so. In the mean-
time 1 have learned that our citizens, as well as the prisoners,
at Matamoras, (amounting to thirteen in number) have been
liberated. It is impossible for me to account for the apathy
with which Mexico treated the subject, and her willingness to
permit a portion of the bravest troops of the nation to remain
prisoners in exile, when a just policy, would, at once,.ljave res-
tored them to their country and their homes.
Congress will no doubt find it necessary to revise the laws '
of the Republic, and to direct that a digest be made of those
of Coahuala and Texas so far as they may Tie useful to the
establishment ol rights acquired, under them.
It will be seen that the adoption of the common law of
England, with modification adapted to our situation, is re-
quired by the provisions of the constitution.
Nothing can conduce more to the order and stability of a. gov-
ernment than the simplicity of laws, the proper definition of
rights, and their impartial and consistent administration.
I will not close this communication to your honorable body,
without presenting to your consideration, the claims of citizens
of the United States, M'ho acquired, as they conceived, bona fde
titles to lands in Texas.
It is due to many of those individuals, to suggest, that their
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Borden & Moore. Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 16, Ed. 1, Tuesday, May 9, 1837, newspaper, May 9, 1837; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth47929/m1/1/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.