The National Vindicator. (Washington, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 16, Ed. 1, Saturday, December 2, 1843 Page: 1 of 4
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"OUR COJIN'TRY OUll. WIIOLE-COUNTRY AND NOTHING BUT OUR COUNTRY."
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
WASHINGTON SATURDAY DECEMBER 2 1843.
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THE NATIONAL VINDICATOR.
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WXCTW ' 4-UlgWJM 5 i I IJA:WJ'-iXIlLW
From the Citizen.
GEN. HOUSTON'S SPEECH
WMvcrcd at the Presbyterian Church on the Sth
I greet with pleasure the fairer portion of the au
dience assembled nere lo-oay. i am prouu aim
happy that matters connected with my political
course ana tne condition 01 me comiuy auumu in
spire them with the design ot gracing the pres-
ent occasi ui. The ladies are always patriotic ; al-
wavs influential upon the destinies oi nations.
Hud tiicir mnueucu m i.vi uu a.
cage and sent hhuMiomef; and the net of liberation
tofd him this was the n&jhiral burying ground of
tyrants and butchers ofifiankind. 'n
And 1 would see this accomplished : for what ?
To be transferred to Eittlaud. to become a British
. - ..il
territory. The English may be our menus ana
serve us as they have done. They are attached
to a legitimate monarchy. But take the race of
North America and their progeny who have re-
moved to Texas. Can you place sceptres before
thi-m that thev will not break or crowns that they
will not tramnle in the dust? The Anglo-Saxon
cannot stoop beneath equality with the world. H
Answer me the question mat i snouiu uuuk u
throw chains over the multitude of Texas for a
There is a constant effort made to prejudice Tex-
as against England. Why ! Because England
has done us service. Let her be turned away irom
us ; drive her Irom our cause and Houston's pol-
icy must sink and Texas may revert to her form-
er condition. This is the secret. It is not the pol-
icy thai is denounced. It is the man. I never
could s.o the mystery which lies concealed in the
breast of a nation's parricide who would rather
see his conntrv destroyed than saved by its consti-
tutional head.' 1 am not popular in address and
r.-uhnr immnich' in presence. 1 never could see
trust thev will cvei aid those to whomher political
ir .- rxnietiui hu cncfnimiior them m a course
honorable to themselves and beneficial to all con- any .thing else as cause of objection. But it will
iiectvd with them.
My countrymen I
I am interested on this oc
casion to see your here present and to note tne
anxiety you evince to become acquainted with mai
lers connec;ed-or identihcd with the individual
who now addresses you. No matter wnetner tnai
anxietv is directed to his individual fate or what
is more desirable to the fate of your couutry as it
is that which 1 regard. Upon tne solicitation of
many friends among you I have yielded to their
desire that I should address you. It is not the
ronrse I would seek or advocate iu an Executive
when assailed by his adversaries. But there are
ihmw which every individual has a right to de-
mand. Every individual has an interest in the
administration of public affairs no matter if lie
have ten thousand dollars worth of property or if
1 have one peu:iv. lie is a irecman pueu
of the elective franchise and entitled to regard in
the community. To all and each I would respond.
It is my consolation that I have never been im-
mindhil of my high responsibility nor unwilling
. Ka r.nn in the communication of mv thoughts
ftttr-sbTilmiBmrustiS with delegated pow
ers. Assailed as I have been and my motives mis-
ronresented not by the patriotic and honest multi
tude but bv the malignant and mischievous their
-stab? milictna wounds upon me but arc too effi
cient to blast their country and tiarjucc its charac-
ter abroad. Iti this condition (have I been assail
ed lor years withaii mitigation malice never re-
i lariiig"its anxiety nor vengeance staying its hand.
I Every arrow has been shot that it was deemed
could wound and poison by rancor or malice.
Have I deserved this my countrymen Have 1
incurred it bv acts of m.ne or have they been mis-
jrepresented and tortured into crimes?
When I was m tne aiscuargeoia aeucate trust
important not only to iexas but to the ctv-
filized world what has beeu the misrepresenta-
tion of my course ? "1 am a traitor to my country :
bribed by Santa Anna's gold." I am denounced
as a villalu a drunkard a blackguard and a
yictch. These things come teeming from the
press of New Orleans and are Echoed here by rep-
etition in the papers of Texas. "An effort must be
made to dispossess the present Executive and call
others to his station. Not for the sake of revolu-
tion oh no' The cry did not originate here.
It only came from the instigators of action in New
u Orleans. It found a ready echo by repetition in
.Texas. Have I no -right to vindicate mvself a-
gainst the (our aspersions of treason to my country
uu urtuwiy uuouty wiiiwti uiwiuuea uvciy uuuji
crime 1 u l wenty hrc h thousand dollars' was the
sum I had leceived. But this charge wasdis-
claimed by editolrs in Texas they did not believe
him guilty of that whatever might be his other vi-
ces and crimes." 1 challenge not only you my
:. countrymen" but yourrepresentatives to place the
linger upoa uie pointin my whole course where 1
vcbcen deserving of these charges. I cannot
but view them with astonishment; I have been
before the citizens of Texas for ten vears. I was
'here four years before they became" citizens and
juded them m becoming citizens. Was I perndi-
: ous to tneir cause men- in those dark days
; when all were reduced to despair ; when many
lirire I ugitiv-s fleeing from their homes did I turn
llttritor then? Or did I not then stand unflinching
and brave with you the last extremity? Was
there any man1 among you more .ready to bare his
r' breast to trie dangers that then surrounded us thnri
J-iaySwin Would I think vouj selL ray country
Jieairhafc would make me a prince for the rest of
swyaays. V'a.y "airs nave ai'trKcu isiia neua
Jixdnzed when vour revolution began. These
libiirsfeave told that fifty summers have -passed o-
erjHyineaa. in auanai penounie ioui crimes oi
n to my country or infidelity to a friend have
vdr' been iraputedHome'by'an honest man.
the hwtory w vour cotintrv shall be written
in -you -take i pge crchaptef jdehul
ivaocemeni to treeaom aria profpenty ana wipe
tt the name of Houston and leave no blank there?
be so. It can't be helped. 1 will excuse the ma
lignity while I cannot excuse the crime. Yes it
is that drive England and France from us and
what would be our situation 1 England has open-
ed a negotiation with Mexico in relation to our
affairs "lias that done us no service? We are
certainly more tranquil. When have we had a
years' respite from anxiety before this? Never
since the revolution. Now" people have planted
their crops and pursued their various avocations
for one year and their has been no sound of war.
Are these no. benefits ? Has Englatid withheld
her aid from us? Is she entitled to the denuncia-
tions thrown upon her in connection with the Ex-
ecutive of this country.
Abolition forsooth. Not like certain agitators
who have several sides : not like some gentlemen
who have enjoyed every phase of character and
politics ; and have always been opposed to the ad
ministration of gooa government. Now is this
rmtriorism? Can you sever rae from the station
h liilin my political relations while I constitution-.ally-dischargo
she duties devolving upou me?
You cannot. The attack is made upon your na-
tion. Communications received from all parts of
the Slates and Europe say your papers are damn-
ing your country i nese tmngs are immediately
copied into other papers and circulated every-
where. Our Minister in the United States writes
the same thing and invokes it as a favor that the
evil should be suspended. Those in England and
France re-echo ihe same. Tho: other govern-
ments may appreciate the head of this there are
individuals among us who would be willing to
sink their country that they may destroy the man.
There are those who expect nothing good to come
out of Nizarelh. Il was the way of the Jews in
ancient times a good people but theyhad a
prejudice they could not resist that no good thing
couTd come out of Nazareth. It is so in this in-
stance. Every act of the government ts denoun-
ced ; the individual at the head of it is denounced
and by whom? Is it by men who have suffered
more or boen less beneficiaries of the nation than
the Executive? No. But by men who have re-
ceived not less than a million of liabilities from the
people of Texas by men who would have drawn
from the treasury not Jess than seventy thousand
dollars on a contract for the publication of laws
in value not exceeding 3500; but the fraud was
set aside. These are the men who have denoun-
ced the present Executive not as a vagabond and
scoundrel but in epithets and terms with which I
will not insult the cars of the fair and intelligent
p irtion of this audience ; and why? because the
Executive would not yield to their candidate.
"Withdraw your namej and do. not run." "Mv
name has not been out sir." "If you run sir your
former history every thing shall be brought to
bear against your election." "I will not place the
damning seal upon my nation by permitting those
that have aided in her destructions hold further
connection with her." Because 1 would not give
the substance' of the nation into the hands of favor-
ites; moths that eat the garments of the people
and stiip them naked. I state nothing but facts.
Individuals who have been in this attitude have
come to the Executive and with piteous tears im-
ploring forgiveness. When tears of contrition are
shed the angels of heaven look on with interest;
when the tear oi the crocodile is shed its young
become fugitive ; at the tear of the hypocrite Sa-
tan rejoices but angels weep.
-' Tiuth is mighty and will prevail. What was
our situation when I commenced the discharge of
my official duties ? It was at the crisis when vou
believed that the country; was lost ; that no genius
no forecast could save you. England was tun
over by your Loan Oommissibneis : Texas was
offered in. the markets of FranceJ the MS. States
were careless towards us : Texas remained here
isolated without a hope from abroad. Your two
Ministers were kicked back from Mexico and when
they returned here they had succeeded in nothing.
la the outset of the present administration our citi-
'eitipjUie Santa Fe expedition were imprisoned
and in chains and their release had to be effected.
.Not one dollar was in the Treaauty.'nor the rep-
to be done 7
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JM5ltclltoM;Sin-t iesenfationof:.one;dollf." Whatwas to I
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land would have us if she could get us To -my
mind it is clear that England' does not cart about
the abolition of slavery. She has destrovetLher
iiwat juium puswwwwions oy us auoiuion were: ;
she knows very well that a slave populations
deveope the resources of a new country in one-'
eighth of the time it would take'by free labor. The
superior quality of our productions and the'ad-
vantages thut England might derive from us in.
various ways are strong inducements to her to
lend us her aid at this juncture; notwithstanding:
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universal abolition of slavery. Men who have ac-
cumulated one half their fortunes in the African
slave trade who sinned against high heaven until
they icared to call down its just vengeance upon.
their heads; and then bethought themselves that
some atonement must be made to appease the Great
.(uuiiui tu rengiou aim virtue iieuce u was iliac
they became fanatics and "all the world must; be
Lord Aberdeen s.tys whatever can be done "Aon-
cruhty and legitimately" will be done. England
has a right to make a proposition and we hnve a
right to reject if. But there is no talk of imerfer-..
ence. England will notattemnt to exercise forcef
If pereuaiioti will not do force will not be tried.
"Vyiiat has England done agajiwt this country?
Why forsootlf we are tafccTeld to her ! England
i5o swallow us up-L TVe are all to be sold a par-
cel ofslavww-and beggarspjnglish mercy ! Eng-.
land don't want 'Oii. in mvomninn. o-RnMnmpn '
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8hc has a great many mischievous and unruly
subjects to govern already ; and'if she had Texas
in addition she would be "glad to get rid of us.
There was a blow up at Galveston the other
day about the Navy. Galveston cut herself right
off. They would not let the President execute
lh law. ffle didn't happen to be nresenl.l
Wliy ? Because the Mexicans might come and
take them !r They were now fitting out a secret
expedition destined for Galveston f It would be
a subject of; wonder to every sensible man if this
disloyalty would not encourage Santa Anna. He
win say "it 1 go to Texas i shall at least find
such a division among the people and such an
opposition to the authorities of the country as will
render tjiem an easy prey."
What has our Navy done ? It has cost us mil
lions of dollars. It has been a dead expense and
has acouijBd 'neither-honor nor glory to the nations
The Commodore has receivedronc hundred and
odd thousand dollars and has never accounted for
one dollar! When Tobasco was taken fie re-
cetveu iweniy-iour inousanu cioiiars ana out a
pittance xvas disbursed to the. officers and seamen.
He has recently received forty thousand dollars
hum Yucatan Government has been saddled
with the responsibilities. The Commodore receiv
ed eighteen thousand dollars this summer was a I
year ago with instructions -not to hypothecate it
withm ninety days. He went to New Orleans.
with positive orders jo that effect. He hypothecar j
tea it : no he did not hypothecate it. But fifteen
hundred dollars were retumedjby the boat and the
latil necessary to hoist up a man who disregards
the orders of the government because he is opposed
4:o an individual who perchance has not the for
tune to please certain Janus-faced politicians ?
1 will say this : that the individual who has
doiw these things when it was announced to the
government that it was impossible for the vessels
to seave the port of New Orleans was ordered to
brfag them to Galveston. An express was sent
the- Commodore in February ; he stood off and
vojjilcLnot receive it. Another in March and ha
stoyd oil again and would not receive it. He
ca&c home in May and w.cnt to ew Orleans.
Congress at last session passed a secret act upon
the recommendation of the President for which
tl'.efo were good grounds as he had reason to be-
Itey.e. ' It was then thought we could never get
tlitl vessels home that we should lose them per-
haps by an act of piracy. The secret act passed
having for its object to get possession of the ves-
sels without it being known so that they might
be made available either to pay off the debt con-
tracted for them or to relieve the starving sailors;
and the balance to eo into the Treasurv Thrr
eence. would reach Matamoros in ten days from was nothing mysterious in this. It was not like
7i ?.. ...i ; e J ..i.i t.- u : . - c i : . j . -n
wore to be roused to participate in our common in-
terest. It became the duty of the Executive to do
all this wit1 so.t money without a currency. Is
this all? Your frfiutier was breeding with scalps
froln the iiio Grande to fled River." An onerous
tribute was paid to sustain forces that never met
the Indians ; though they marched very finely.
But they cost millions. What has the friendly
policy cost ? Is'ot exceeding $10000 instead oi
millions heretofore annually. And for the last
year not a scalp has been taken. We have been
'.shgwu that tlie country has nothing to hope.
Hope must be kept out of the way. All the blame
can be thrown on the Executive ; as if it would
ruin him without ruining the country. The In-
dians have all treated except the Wishitas and all
within our borders to the North. Not the tribes
that have come over from the United States as
has beeu asserted. They are Indians that have
lived between the Bed and Arkansas rivers from
time immemorial. The Indian policy that preced-
ed this was that of the splendid government which
nas gone before us and one of extermination.
It exhausted our resources and destroyed. ail con-
fidence. The public resources were profligately
squandered upon parasites creatures that must b
iedT Wc must have influence to support us was
the reason : and the influence was got to ruin the
country as'uearly as it lias been ruined ! All failed-!
Wt? have peace with the Indians now though
the treaties are not yet consummated. And what
h::s been the expense ? One-fourth less ; yes one-
hnlflpss than the expense of a single company.
Ten thousand dollars is the amount of the whole
appropriation. The- year before the present policy
was adopted what was it? Two hundred or
thiee hundred thousand dollars were appropriated
for frontier protection and no peace. For iix
years the sound of massacre spread alarm from
one Doruer ot me couuiry to uiu uuiei. aveu
here by their lire-sides people shuddered and
blessed "themselves they were not upon the frontier.
What is our condition with regard to Mexico?
We have an armistice If it does nothing bettor
it at least suspends the present evils of war. I
trust we shall have a prolonged truce that will
eventuate in a permanent peace. But if Mexico
is continually encouraged by acls.of insubordina-
tion among ourselves the result may be far other-
wise. These continued acts will encourage Santa
Anna. He will say : "These people aredividcd
among themselves: their newspapers say these
things and I will believe lhcm." Matters of this
kind go with the rapidity of lightning almost. 1
will give yon an instance : when Col. Hays carne
in to be fitted out after having been in sight of
Matamoros the announcement was made here thai
Col. Hays had returned ; that he had been out with
fifteen men and expected to return immediately.
What was that? It was in effect saying "Hays
is a confidential officer of the President : what are
your officers about? Crib him hang-him and
then Houston will be at the merpy of his enemies
and the country open to depredation." Using quo-
tations from publications i hone 1 shall not be en-
My political opponents would at one time have
been willing to torture thei victim if they nau
him in their power. And for what'.' For sayimi
to Santa Anna as was alleged m regard to the
prisoners lately laken : Ihese men have gone to
Mexico without my orders ; without the authority
of government. The accusation is absurd..
Would mercy to tticm have injured me? 1 asked
for no mercy (or them. No matter under what
circumstances they went their capitulation had
brought them within the pale of prisoners of war.
I demanded it as a right thut they should be treat-
ed as such. So did the government of Englmid
and Franco and the United States. This was the
position of affairs : and now behold- the Telegraph
(to call nobody's name) the Telegraph of the ISth
of January before it was known what their fate
was because it was uucertaiu and various con-
flicting reports were in circulation in regard to it
the'Telegraph I say of the ISth of January
contains the publication of General Hunt's letter
saying that Col. Fishpr 'and others had "refused
Aknmnii tr Ii-k r2iisar?Pc' AirlniC ' 'I'l-i? a iMfolll.
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this city : and in four da-s would reach Mexico ;
they had not then the flag of this country to cover
them. How. then would the nations of the world
regard them? On the ISth of January they are
denounced to the world as bandits and robbers
through the columns cf the Telegraph by having
refused obedience to the legitimate orders of their
proper officers. Yet L have come in for a large
share oi abuse in relation to this matter.
Fellow-Citizens I cannot think that very fair.
I think the course pursued was better calculated to
show indignity towards the individual .at the head
of the government than truth towards the world
or to" benefit our friends in captivity. They have
pnid the penalty and we may judge of the cause.
It was not Capt. Elliot's letter to Packenham my
friends. He rendered us the most hearty co-operation
It was the publication contained in Moore's
P!per of the 18th of January! to which he was ac-
cessary both before and after the fact.
These are some of the charges against mc But
Ihetfnll measure of the offeuce the "head and
froii" is to be found in chargesemanating from
higpi authority : l had receivctitbribei;rjl was to
selM.niy country to England-: taswvern-or-5eheral
of Texas." An'jdLtluorv'c.lhoa-'
saiVHV pounds sterling ! W!h'aVLsllsinv. 'country
voting for a loan commissioner to go to Europe to
get nnmons. rreopie mignc very well vote lor
that when they would not vote for some other
thiugs.. Let the individuals concerned thinlcas
they please : facts are indelible and independent
of all the tortuous malice of faction.
These are some of the circumstances to which
I would ask-your attention. 1 now call upon yon
to say whether I found the government when I
received it as it was when I left it in December
IS3S? Or 13 it now as it was when I received it
in 1S41? Certainly you have hopes and expecta-
tions now that you bad not then. I have hopes
to sec the country soon at peace with wisdom and
honesty to guide the politicians of Texas. I am
protui to feci that I have reason to hope-something
1 will indulge the hope that by a continued pro
gression we shall ere long arrive at a destiny nbtJ
less honorable than agreeable to ourselves; andfl
at last inspire those nations with respect who.'have
only looked upon us with pity. . '
But' whv this nassion. nmiins't Mncrl.nnr! 1 -:'
have combromittcd the ffovern miit: I nW kM
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Johnson, Thomas. The National Vindicator. (Washington, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 16, Ed. 1, Saturday, December 2, 1843, newspaper, December 2, 1843; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth80372/m1/1/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.