Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

This declaration was followed up by Santa Anna, by issuing, in the same month, (June, 1844,) a requisition for thirty thousand men, and $4,000,000, to“ carry on the war against Texas.” Generals Canalizo and Woll were placed in command of the force raised upon this requisition, and, having advanced to Mier, on the Texan frontier, Woll, at the head of his invading army, put forth a general order, under date of June 20, 1844, menacing“ every individual within one league of the left bank of the Rio del Norte with the traitor's doom."

Mr. Bocanegra, then the Mexican minister of foreign relations, styled the act of Congress providing for annexation, in his circular letter to the various European ministers then resident in Mexico, under date of May 31, 1844,“ a declaration of war between the two nations."

In his message of December, 1845, the president of the United States says,

66 On the 6th day of March last, the Mexican envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States made a formal protest, &c. Our envoy extraordinary to Mexico was refused all official intercourse with that government, and, after remaining several months, by the permission of his own government he returned to the United States. Thus, by the acts of Mexico, all diplomatic intercourse between the two countries was suspended.

6 Since that time Mexico has, until recently, occupied an attitude of hostility towards the United States - has been marshalling and organizing armies, issuing proclamations, and avowing the intention to make war on the United States, either by an open declaration, or by invading Texas.”

In a letter from Mr. Donelson to Mr. Buchanan, dated June 2, 1845, it is stated, “ It is believed that Mexico is concentrating troops on the Rio Grande.”

Again, on the 4th of June, 1845, he says, “ I look upon war with Mexico as inevitable a war dictated by the British minister here, for the purpose of defeating annexation.”

Mr. Donelson to Mr. Allen, June 11, 1845. “ The minister of the foreign affairs of Mexico, when asking for the authorization of the charnbers to negotiate with Texas on the basis of her independence, at the same time declared that the army on the Rio Grande would be rëinforced, and the

agency that obtained and brought back to this government the declaration that the door is open for negotiation of a definitive treaty between the two nations, brought also the formal notification that this door will be closed again if Texas consents in any manner to the resolution passed by the Congress of the United States on the subject of annexation. Thus is it made difficult for Texas, even had her judgment led her to reject the overture for her admission into the Federal Union, to accept the propositions of Mexico, without incurring the imputation of being awed by an armed force, kept avowedly upon her frontier to commence hostilities, if her decision should be different from that prescribed for her.”

Mr. Donelson to Mr. Buchanan, June 23, 1845. “ Mexico, however, has threatened a renewal of the war for THE WHOLE OF Texas, if she accepts the proposals for annexation to the Union."

CHAGRIN OF MEXICO

HER MODE OF WARFARE.

Mr. Allen to Mr. Donelson, June 26, 1845. “ But the very preference manifested by the government and people of Texas for annexation to the great republican confederacy, and for a participation in the benefits and efficacy of her free institutions, when contrasted with the alternative of separate and acknowledged independence, and when the latter alternative was commended to the acceptance of the nation by the partiality of mighty powers, must be mortifying to the pride of Mexico, and may very probably induce her to commence against this country sudden and active hostilities.

For

the last six or eight years her warfare has consisted of irregu lar incursions across our western frontier, her forces entering and retiring from our territory at wide and uncertain intervals of time, and occasioning ruin and distress along the immediate line of their marches. A new irruption of this kind may now be reasonably expected."

66 If

Mr. Donelson to General Taylor, June 28, 1845. any

reliance is to be placed upon the threats of Mexico, and upon the advice which we may presume will be given by the French and British governments, an invasion of Texas may be confidently anticipated."

On the 12th and 16th of July, the Mexican secretary of war issued circulars, requiring the officers of the army to raise the requisite number of troops to wage war against the United States. We have placed copies of these circulars in our Appendix.

On the 12th of August, 1845, General Arista addressed his troops in the following language :

“ Comrades : The supreme executive has sent to me, by express, the news that the United States, in pursuance of their ambitious views, having taken possession of the department of Texas, he had demanded a declaration of war from Congress against that unjust nation.

16. The time to fight is come. We must prepare with the ardor inspired by duty and patriotism, when an attack is made upon the soil, the honor, and the pride of the nation.

“ Arms are the only arguments to use AGAINST BANDITTI and men without good faith. Let us hope for that justice which is invoked by all society, and the decision of the civilized world. Our lot will be envied by the rest of the army ; we are nearest to the theatre of war; we are the first to avenge the outrages on our country, and to ravish from the usurpers the object of their rapines. Large bodies of troops are on their march ; they will soon be here, to share our dangers and repulse the enemy."

* See Appendix K.

On the 27th of August, 1845, General Paredes thus addressed the soldiers of the Mexican army :

“ Soldiers : A rapacious and grasping race have thrown themselves upon our territory, and dare to fatter themselves that we will not defend the patrimony which our forefathers conquered with their blood. They deceive themselves ; we will fly to snatch from them the spoils, the possession of which they are impudently enjoying ; and they shall learn, by dearlybought experience, that they are not contending with the undisciplined tribes of Indians whom they robbed of their land, their heaven, and their country; and that the Mexicans will ardently combat the soldiers of a nation which has sanctioned by its laws the most degrading slavery."

In a letter addressed by Mr. Donelson to Mr. Buchanan, dated July 24, 1845, he says, “ The common opinion of the citizens best acquainted with the Mexican population is, that the government will be obliged to declare war, in order to have the power to compromise with after events."

General Taylor to Adjutant-General Jones.

“ CORPUS CHRISTI, Aug. 15, 1845. “ I have the honor to report that, by New Orleans papers of the 7th instant, I have received intelligence of the preparatory steps taken by Mexico towards a declaration of war against the United States.

“I am enabled to say, upon information which is regarded as authentic, that General Arista was to leave Monterey on the 4th of this month for Matamoras, with 1500 men, -500 being cavalry. I learn by the same source, that there are 500 regular troops at Matamoras.”

Adjutant-General Jones to General Taylor, Aug. 26, 1845. “ Official information, at short intervals, is now the more necessary, as the country is filled with rumors of the movement of Mexican troops in direction of your head-quarters, as also of matters in relation to our own service."

גי

COMMUNICATION ACROSS THE FRONTIER PROHIBITED. 81

COMMUNICATION ACROSS THE FRONTIER PROHIBITED UNDER

PENALTY OF DEATH.

General Taylor to Adjutant-General Jones.

“ CORPUS CHRISTI, Sept. 6, 1845. “ A decree has been issued, prohibiting, under the penalty of death, any communication, by writing, across the frontier a precaution which has been adopted on former occasions, and caused, no doubt, by our presence here."

We think that no one will be disposed to doubt the fact, that Mexico was uniform in her spirit and acts of hostility towards the United States, if in nothing else. To use the language of Mr. Madison, she was in “a state of war against the United States.” It is the notoriety of these hostile manifestations which we would have the reader notice, as an important element of the subject.

During every period of the discussion upon the subject of annexation, from the first to the last, these manifestations of hostility on the part of Mexico have been known to Congress, and to all the political parties of the country.

By those who claimed that nothing could be generous that was not just, they were lamented ; and by others, who claimed that party was above principle, we have too much evidence to believe that they were encouraged. Still, the vote for annexation in Congress was a very

decided It has been assumed by some that we had but little evidence that Mexico intended hostilities. If hostilities were not intended, how could Peña y Peña say to Mr. Black, as he did, October 31, 1845, “ The government of Mexico has given its orders, for the purpose of suspending, for the present, any act of hostility against the United States, and limits itself to the defensive, awaiting the issue of the negotiation proposed by the government of the United States, through the consul ? " How could acts of hostility be suspended, if they had not been ordered ? and of course the inference is plain, to be renewed if negotiation failed.

one.

« PreviousContinue »