Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

tution, the people of Texas owed In the midst of these important allegiance.

and exciting events, however, they Emigrants from foreign coun did not omit to place their libertries, including the United States, ties upon a secure and permanent were invited by the colonization foundation. They elected members laws of the State and of the to a convention, who, in the month Federal Government to settle in of March, 1836, issued a formal Texas. Advantageous terms were declaration that their political offered to induce them to leave connection with the Mexican natheir own country, and become tion has for ever ended, and that Mexican citizens. This invitation the people of Texas do now constiwas accepted by many of our citi- tute a free, sovereign, and indezens, in the full faith that in their pendent republic, and are fully innew home they would be governed vested with all the rights and atby laws enacted by representatives tributes which properly belong to elected by themselves, and that independent nations. They also their lives, liberty and property adopted for their government would be protected by constitu a liberal republican constitution. tional guarantees similar to those About the same time Santa Anna, which existed in the republic they then the Dictator of Mexico, invaded had left. Under a Government Texas with a numerous army, for thus organized they continued until the purpose of subduing her people, the year 1835, when a military re and enforcing obedience to his arvolution broke out in the city of bitrary and despotic government. Mexico, which entirely subverted On the 21st of April, 1836, he the Federal and State constitu was met by the Texan citizen soltions, and placed a military dic- diers, and on that day was achieved tator at the head of the govern- by them the memorable victory of ment.

San Jacinta, by which they con“ By a sweeping decree of a quered their independence. ConCongress subservient to the will of sidering the numbers engaged on the dictator, the several state con the respective sides, history does stitutions were abolished, and the not record a more brilliant achievestates themselves converted into ment, Santa Anna himself was mere departments of the Central among the captives. Government. The people of Texas “ In the month of May, 1836, were unwilling to submit to this Santa Anna acknowledged, by a usurpation. Resistance to such ty- treaty with the Texan authorities, ranny became a high duty. Texas in the most solemn form, “the full, was fully absolved from all alle- entire, and perfect independence of giance to the Central Government the republic of Texas.' It is true, of Mexico from the moment that he was then a prisoner of war; but Government had abolished her state it is equally true, that he had constitution, and in its place sub- failed to reconquer Texas, and had stituted an arbitrary and despotic met with signal defeat ; that his Central Government.

authority had not been revoked, “ Such were the principal causes and that by virtue of this treaty he of the Texan revolution. The peo- obtained his personal release. By ple of Texas at once determined it hostilities were suspended, and upon resistance, and flew to arms. the army which had invaded Texas

under his command returned, in nies, in rebellion against her, this pursuance of this arrangement, un would not have made her so, or molested to Mexico.

changed the fact of her independent “From the day that the battle of existence. Texas, at the period San Jacinta was fought until the of her annexation to the United present hour, Mexico has never States, bore the same relation to possessed the power to reconquer Mexico that Mexico had borne to Texas. Texas had been an inde. Spain for many years before Spain pendent state, with an organized acknowledged her independence, Government, defying the power of with this important difference, that Mexico to overthrow or reconquer before the annexation of Texas to her, for more than ten years before the United States was consumMexico commenced the present war mated, Mexico herself, by a formal against the United States. Texas act of her Government, had achad given such evidence to the knowledged the independence of world of her ability to maintain Texas as a nation. It is true that her separate existence as an inde- in the act of recognition she prependent nation, that she had been scribed a condition, which she had formally recognised as such, not no power or authority to impose, only by the United States, but by that Texas should not annex herseveral of the principal Powers of self to any other Power ; but this Europe. These Powers had en could not detract in any degree tered into treaties of amity, com from the recognition which Mexico merce, and navigation with her. then made of her actual independThey had received and accredited Upon this plain statement her Ministers and other diplomatic of facts, it is absurd for Mexico to agents at their respective courts, allege, a3 a pretext for comand they had commissioned Minis- mencing hostilities against the ters and diplomatic agents on their United States, that Texas is still part to the Government of Texas. a part of her territory. If Mexico, notwithstanding all this, " But there are those who, conand her utter inability to subdue ,ceding all this to be true, assume or reconquer Texas, still stub- the ground that the true western bornly refused to recognise her as boundary of Texas is the Nueces, an independent nation, she was instead of the Rio Grande ; and none the less so on that account. that, therefore, in marching our Mexico herself has been recognised army to the east bank of the latter as an independent nation by the river, we passed the Texan line United States and by other Powers, and invaded the territory of Mexico. many years before Spain, of which, A simple statement of facts, known before her revolution, she had been to exist, will conclusively refute a colony, would agree to recognise such an assumption. her as such ; and yet Mexico was The President then minutely exat that time, in the estimation of amines the validity of this plea, the civilized world, and in fact, and, after elaborately refuting it, none the less an independent power proceeds : because Spain still claimed her as a “ But Mexico herself has never colony. If Spain had continued placed the war which she has until the present period to assert waged upon the ground that our that Mexico was one of her colo. army occupied the intermediate


territory between the Nueces and and our army to take a position the Rio Grande. Her refuted pre- between the Nueces and the Del tension that Texas was not in fact Norte,' or the Rio Grande, and to an independent state, but a rebel- repel any invasion of the Texan lious province, was obstinately per- territory which might be attempted severed in ; and her avowed pur- by the Mexican forces.' pose in commencing a war with “ It was deemed proper to issue the United States was to reconquer this order, because soon after the Texas, and to restore Mexican au President of Texas, in April 1845, thority over the whole territory, had issued his proclamation connot to the Nueces only, but to the vening the Congress of that reSabine. In view of the proclaimed public, for the purpose of submenaces of Mexico to this effect, I mitting to that body the terms of deemed it my duty, as a measure annexation proposed by the United of precaution and defence, to order States, the Government of Mexico our army to occupy a position on made serious threats of invading our frontier as a military post, from the Texan territory. which our troops could best resist “ These threats became more and repel any attempted invasion imposing as it became more apwhich Mexico might make. parent, in the progress of the ques

“ Our army had occupied a posi- tion, that the people of Texas tion at Corpus Christi, west of the would decide in favour of acceptNueces, as early as August 1845, ing the terms of annexation; and, without complaint from any quarter. finally, they had assumed such a Had the Nueces been regarded as formidable character as induced the true western boundary of Texas, both the Congress and Convention that boundary had been passed by of Texas to request that a military our army many months before it force should be sent by the United advanced to the eastern bank of States into her territory, for the the Rio Grande. In my annual purpose of protecting and defendMessage of December last, I in- ing her against the threatened informed Congress that, upon the in- vasion. It would have been a viovitation of both the Congress and lation of good faith towards the Convention of Texas, I had deemed people of Texas to have refused to it

proper to order a strong squadron afford the aid which they desired to the coasts of Mexico, and to against a threatened invasion, to concentrate an efficient military which they had been exposed by force on the western frontier of their free determination to annex Texas, to protect and defend the themselves to our Union, in cominhabitants against the menaced pliance with the overture made to invasion of Mexico. In that Mes- them by the joint resolution of our sage I informed Congress, that the Congress. moment the terms of annexation Accordingly, a portion of the offered by the United States were army was ordered to advance into accepted by Texas, the latter be- Texas. Corpus Christi was the

so far a part of our own position selected by General Taylor. country as to make it our duty to lle encamped at that place in Auafford such protection and defence; gust 1845, and the army remained and that for that purpose our squad- in that position until the 11th of fon had been ordered to the Gulf, March, 1846, when it moved west



ward, and on the 28th day of that States at the city of Mexico was, month reached the east bank of therefore, instructed by the Secrethe Rio Grande, opposite to Mata- tary of State, on the 15th of Sep

tember, 1845, to make the inquiry After the joint resolution for of the Mexican Government. The the annexation of Texas to the inquiry was made, and on the 15th United States had been passed by of October, 1845, the Minister of our Congress, the Mexican Minis- Foreign Affairs of the Mexican ter at Washington addressed a note Government, in a note addressed to the Secretary of State, bearing to our Consul, gave a favourable date on the 6th of March, 1845, response, requesting, at the same protesting against it as ' an act of time, that our naval force might aggression, the most unjust which be withdrawn from Vera Cruz can be found recorded in the annals while negotiations should be pendof modern history ; namely, that of ing. Upon the receipt of this despoiling a friendly nation, like note, our naval force was promptMexico, of a considerable portion ly withdrawn from Vera Cruz. of her territory ;' and protesting A Minister was immediately apagainst the resolution of annexa- pointed, and departed to Mexico. tion, as being an act whereby the Every thing bore a promising asprovince of Texas, an integral por- pect for a speedy and peaceful adtion of the Mexican territory, is justment of all our difficulties. To agreed and admitted into the Ame- my surprise and regret, the Mexirican Union ;' and he announced can Government, though solemnly that, as a consequence, his mission pledged to do so, upon the arrival to the United States had termi of our Minister in Mexico, refused nated, and demanded his passports, to receive and accredit him. When which were granted. It was upon he reached Vera Cruz, on the 30th the absurd pretext made by Mexico of November, 1845, he found that (herself indebted for her independ- the aspect of affairs had undergone ence to a successful revolution), an unhappy change. The Governthat the republic of Texas still con ment of General Herrera, who was tinued to be, notwithstanding all at that time President of the rethat had passed, a province of public, was tottering to its fall. Mexico, that this step was taken General Paredes (a military leader) by the Mexican Minister.

had manifested his determination to “ Texas, by the enthusiastic and overthrow the Government of Heralmost unanimous will of her peo rera by a military revolution ; and ple, had pronounced in favour of one of the principal means which annexation. Mexico herself had he employed to effect his purpose, agreed to acknowledge the inde and render the Governinent of pendence of Texas, subject to a Herrera odious to the army and condition, it is true, which she had people of Mexico, was by loudly no right to impose, and no power condemning its determination to to enforce. The last lingering hope receive a Minister of peace from of Mexico, if she still could have the United States, alleging that it retained any, that Texas would was the intention of Herrera, by a ever again become one of her pro treaty with the United States, to vinces, must have been abandoned. dismember the territory of Mexico,

“ The Consul of the United by ceding away the department of Vol. LXXXVIII.


Texas. On the 30th of December, my last annual Message. In any 1845, General Herrera resigned event, it was certain that no change the Presidency, and yielded up the whatever in the Government of Government to General Paredes Mexico which would deprive Pawithout a struggle. Thus a revo- redes of power could be for the lution was accomplished solely by worse, so far as the United States the army commanded by Paredes, were concerned, while it was highand the supreme power in Mexico ly probable that any change must passed into the hands of a military be for the better. This was the usurper, who was known to be bit- state of affairs existing when Conterly hostile to the United States. gress, on the 13th of May last,

Although the prospect of a recognised the existence of the pacific adjustment with the new war which had been commenced Government was unpromising, from by the Government of Paredes, the known hostility of its head to and it became an object of much the United States, yet, determined importance, with a view to a speedy that nothing should be left undone settlement of our difficulties and on our part to restore friendly re the restoration of an honourable lations between the two countries, peace, that Paredes should not reour Minister was instructed to pre- tain power in Mexico. sent his credentials to the new Upon the commencement of Government, and ask to be accre- hostilities by Mexico against the dited by it in the diplomatie cha- United States, the indignant spirit racter in which he had been com of the nation was at once aroused. missioned. These instructions he Congress promptly responded to executed by his note of the 1st of the expectations of the country, March, 1846, addressed to the and, by the act of the 13th of Mexican Minister of Foreign Af- May last, recognised the fact that fairs, but his request was insult war existed, by the act of Mexico, ingly refused by that Minister, in between the United States and his answer of the 12th of the same that republic, and granted the month. No alternative remained means necessary for its vigorous for our Minister but to demand his prosecution. Being involved in a passports and return to the United war thus commenced by Mexico, States.

and for the justice of which, on “ Under all these circumstanoes, our part, we may confidently apit was believed that any revolution peal to the whole world, I resolved in Mexico, founded upon opposition to prosecute it with the utmost to the ambitious projects of Pa- vigour. Accordingly, the ports of redes, would tend to promote the Mexico on the Gulf and on the cause of peace, as well as prevent Pacific have been placed under any attempted European inter- blockade, and her territory invaded ference in the affairs of the North at several important points. The American Continent, both objects reports from the Departments of of deep interest to the United War and the Navy will inform you States. Any such foreign inter more in detail of the measures ference, if attempted, must have adopted in the emergency in which been resisted by the United States. our country was placed, and of My views upon that subject were the gratifying results which have fully communicated to Congress in been accomplished.

« AnteriorContinuar »