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ASSURANCE OF PROTECTION TO TEXAS.
Mr. Buchanan, Secretary of State, to Mr. Donelson, Chargé d'Affaires
of the U. S., in Texas, May 23, 1845. “I am instructed by the president to inform you that, as soon as the existing government and the convention of Texas shall have accepted the terms proposed in the two first sections of the joint resolution for annexing Texas to the United States,' he will then conceive it to be both his right and duty to employ the army in defending that state against the attacks of any foreign power. This shall be done promptly and efficiently, should any emergency render it necessary. In order to be prepared for such a contingency, a force of three thousand men shall immediately be placed upon the border, prepared to enter Texas and to act without a moment's delay. It would be the most crying injustice towards the people of Texas, for the United States to stand by and refuse to extend a helping hand to sustain them against an invasion brought upon them by their free determination to annex their own glorious Republic to the American Union, in compliance with a solemn resolution of Congress.”
In conformity with this obligation, orders were given to our army
navy. As these orders were among the first acts of the United States, in granting a military defence to Texas, we give them nearly entire.
Mr. Marcy, Secretary of War, to General Z. Taylor, at Fort Jesup, La.
“ WAR DEPARTMENT, May 28, 1845. “I am directed by the president to cause the forces now under your command, and those which may be assigned to it, to be put into a position where they may most promptly and efficiently aet in defence of Texas, in the event it shall become necessary or proper to employ them for that purpose. The information received by the executive of the United States warrants the belief that Texas will shortly accede to the terms of annexation. As soon as the Texan Congress shall have given its consent to annexation, and a convention shall assemble and accept the terms offered in the resolutions of Congress, Texas will then be regarded by the executive government so far a part of the United States as to be entitled from this government to defence and protection from foreign invasion and Indian incursions. The troops under your command will be placed and kept in readiness to perform this duty.
“ Should the territories of Texas be invaded by a foreign power, and you shall receive certain intelligence through her functionaries of that fact, after her convention shall have acceded to the terms of annexation contained in the resolutions of the Congress of the United States, you will at once employ, in the most effective manner your judgment may dictate, the forces under your command, for the defence of these territories, and to expel the invaders."
THE RIO GRANDE DEL NORTE TO BE OCCUPIED BY OUR
George Bancroft, acting Secretary of War, to General Taylor.
“WAR DEPARTMENT, June 15, 1845. “On the 4th day of July next, or very soon thereafter, the convention of the people of Texas will probably accept the proposition of annexation, under the joint resolutions of the late Congress of the United States. That acceptance will constitute Texas an integral portion of our country.
166 In anticipation of that 'event, you will forthwith make a forward movement of the troops under your command, and advance to the mouth of the Sabine, or to such other point on the Gulf of Mexico, or its navigable waters, as in your judg. ment may be most convenient for embarkation at the proper time for the western frontier of Texas,
“The point of your ultimate destination is the western frontier of Texas, where you will select and occupy, on or near the Rio Grande del Norte, such a site as will consist with the health of the troops, and will be best adapted to repel invasion, and to protect what, in the event of annexation, will be our western border. You will limit youself to the defence of the territory of Texas, unless Mexico should declare war against the United States.
66 Your movement to the Gulf of Mexico, and your preparations to embark for the western frontier of Texas, are to be made without any delay; but you will not effect a landing on that frontier until you have yourself ascertained the due acceptance of Texas of the proffered terms of annexation, or until you receive directions from Mr. Donelson.”
U. S. SQUADRON ORDERED TO COÖPERATE IN THE DEFENCE
Mr. Donelson to Captain Stockton, U. S. Navy, Commander U. S.
Squadron, near Galveston.
“ LEGATION OF THE U. S.,
} “Captain Waggaman arrived here last evening with despatches to the president of this Republic and myself, from General Taylor, who has been ordered, in case Texas is invaded by Mexico, to render the protection asked for by this government. Although these troops will be, as usual, under the command of the regular officers of the United States, they are yet not to act within the limits of Texas without consultation with this government.
“It is highly important, therefore, that your squadron should, in like manner, so act as not to alter the general character of the defence which the United States will interpose for Texas. The whole measure of annexation being dependent upon the consent of this government, the employment of our forces within the limits of Texas must be, of course, subordinate to the necessity which will exist for it.
“I have no idea that you would otherwise employ the squadron under your command; but, for greater caution, and to have certain evidence in our possession that the action of our force within the limits of Texas will be strictly defensive, I have thought it right to make these observations.
“ It is almost certain that our troops now on the border will be, in a few days, on the march to such stations as may be selected for them within the territory of Texas. Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and one other station farther north, will probably be selected.
“ The prospect of a Mexican war is so immediate as to justify your remaining on the lookout for the event. It is openly threatened by Mexico, and the British minister has left behind him a general impression that it will take place. If it does, your coöperation with our land troops I should think sufficient, without much aid from Texas herself, to drive the Mexican arms west of the Rio Grande. It is to be hoped, however, that Mexico, seeing the determination of the United States to maintain by force the right of Texas to annex herself to our Union, will yet prefer to settle, by treaty, the points in dispute."
TERMS OF ANNEXATION ACCEPTED BY THE GOVERNMENT
AND PEOPLE OF TEXAS.
Mr. Donelson to Mr. Buchanan, June 23, 1845. “ You will receive herewith enclosed the joint resolution and the letter of the secretary of state transmitting it, giving the consent of this government to the proposals for the admission of Texas as a State of the Federal Union. The vote upon it was unanimous.”
The measure remained to be acted upon by the people of Texas. They were notified by a proclamation of President Jones, on the 4th of June, 1845, to choose delegates to meet at the city of Austin on the 4th of July following. The result in convention is stated in despatch, dated July 6, 1845, from
Mr. Donelson to Mr. Buchanan. “ There was but one dissenting voice to the acceptance of our proposals by the convention, and that one afterwards affixed his signature to the resolution adopted on the subject; so that the ordinance now forwarded to you has the unanimous support of all the deputies. Thus are dissipated all the schemes of foreign powers to raise a party in Texas adverse to annexation; and thus has this gallant State vindicated her appreciation of the principles of liberty, and of the necessity of union with us in order to preserve those principles."
GENERAL TAYLOR ADVISED OF ANNEXATION.
On the 28th of June, Mr. Donelson advised General Taylor that the terms of annexation had been unanimously accepted by the government of Texas ; and, on the 7th of July, that the convention of the people had unanimously approved the same; " and that, therefore, the contingency has occurred on which the president of the United States placed the right and duty of defending this territory against the attacks of Mexicans and Indians.” On the 23d of August, the secretary of war says to General Taylor, “ Orders have been issued to the naval force on the Gulf of Mexico to coöperate with you.” In the same despatch, the secretary of war authorizes General Taylor to call upon the governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, for volunteers, “ should Mexico declare war, or commence hostilities by crossing the Rio Grande with a considerable force.”
THE CHOICE OF THE TEXANS.
Ebenezer Allen, Attorney-General of Texas and acting Secretary of State,
to Mr. Donelson, June 23, 1845. “Rejecting the idea of separate nationality, although commended to their choice by the proffered recognition of their independence by Mexico, and the countenance of powerful European sovereignties, the people of this country have thus evinced, by most decided manifestations, their strong but natural preference for the advantages of a voluntary incorporation into the American Union, and their strong attachment to the free institutions of that great and glorious Republic.”