mldofferto Spain those which were between the Rio del Norle
and the Colorado. But as not only these lands, but all those which lie
n the Colorado an. I Can'' North, drawing a line by the river Mer-
mento, or Mermentao, towards the Presidio of Adias, and from thence, by
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 81
Unfortuuately that Territory was ceded to Spain
by the treaty of 1819, and subsequently to that pe-
riod was wrested from that Government with the
the Arryo Onda, towards Natchitoches, are a part of the province of Texas,
belonging to, and in the uninterrupted possession of, his Majesty, without
there having been, in relation thereto, any dispute between France and
Spain, (that dispute being solely as to Natchitoches, which fort the
French raised unjustly in the territory of his Catholic Majesty,) it results
that this proposition not only does not offer compensation to his Majesty
for West and East Florida, whose cession to the United States you inti-
mate would be very agreeable, but it involves the relinquishment of the
property and possession which his Majesty has of the territory in the pro-
vince of Texas, which lies between the Colorado and the vicinity of Natch-
itoches." (For Foreign Relations, 438.) There is no pretence that
Spain altered the boundaries of provinces, between 1821 and 1824. At
the latter date the Confederation of Mexico was established, taking the
provinces as they then stood. (SeeW kite's Recapitulation, 375, Title X.)
CONSTITUTIVE ACTS OF THE MEXICAN FEDERATION.
FOKM OF GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION.
Art. 1. The Mexican nation is composed of provinces formally
known as the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the Captain-generalship of Yu-
catan, and the internal provinces of the east and west.
Art. 6. The integral parts are free, sovereign, and independent
States, in as far as regards exclusively its internal administration, accord-
ing to the rules laid down in this Act, and in the General Constitution.
Art. 7. The States at present composing the federation are as
following, viz. : Guanajuato, the internal State of the west, composed of the
provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa ; the internal State of the east comprising
the provinces of New Leon, Coahuila, and Texas ; the internal State of
the north, containing the provinces of Chihuahua, Durango, and New Mex-
ico ; Mexico ; Michoacan, Oajaca, Puebla de los Angeles, Queretaro, San
Luis Potosi, New Santander, called also Tamaulipas, Tabasco, Lascala,
Vera Cruz, Jalisco, Yucatan, and Zacatecas. The Californias and the
district of Coluira, (except the town of Fomiela, which remains annexed
to Jalisco,) will for the present be territories of the federation, and direct-
ly subject to its supreme power.
Dated Mexico, January 31, 1824.
Page 380. The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States,
sanctioned the General Constituent Congress on the 4th of October, 1824.
â€”388, Title 11. Only section.
HISTORY OF THE
remainder of the Mexican provinces. After the
cession of Texas to Spain, it was well understood by
smen and intelligent men of every party, that
the western boundary of that country continued to
be the Rio Grande;* at all events, for a consider-
Ai.t. -1. The Mexican nation adopts for the form of its Govern-
ment a popular, representative, and federal republic.
. 5. The constituent parts of the federation are the following
and Territories, viz. : The States of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila,
and Texas. Durango, Guanajuato, Angeles, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi,
Sonora and Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Jalisco, Yucatan,
and Zacatecas ; the Territories of Upper California, Lower California,
Colima, and ! : de Nuevo Mexico. A constitutional law will fix
the character of Tlascula.
Dated 4th of October, 1824, fourth year of independence, third of li-
berty, and second of confederation.
Lorenzo De Zavala, President.
I , nrs and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas.
DECREE NO. I.
The Territory of the State shall be that recognized as both provinces,
until the present time. August 15, 1824.
429. DECREE NO. 13.
.1. In that pari of this State known as the Province of Texas,
apolitical authority shall be provisionally established, styled "Chief of
â– ', : i sas." February 1, 1825.
Mr. Madison says, January 31, 1804, to Mr. Livingston, "With re-
em extent of Louisiana, Mr. Laussat held a language
1 1 â– considered the Rio Bravo, or Del Norte, as far as
die thirtieth degree of north latitude, as its true boundary on that side." â€”
! R alions, page 57 I.
lunded southeast by the Gulf of Mexico ; west and south-
Rio del Norte." â€” Morse's Geographical Dictionary, edition
.province oi Mexico, b ided southwest by the Rio Grande
.'" â€” Brooks's Universal Gazetteer, edition 1823.
claimed by Spain as a part of the internal provinces, and
Del Norte," &câ€” Worcester Gazetteer, 1823.
"I Mexico, in the former provincios internos,
POLK ADMINISTRATION". 83
able distance up that stream.* It cannot be denied
then, that the Texas which became a party to the
compact of 1824, was the Texas which was acquired
from France in 1803, and which was ceded to Spain
in 1819. The Rio Grande was regarded as the
western boundary of Texas, not only by well-in-
formed persons in this country, but was not dis-
puted by the Mexican authorities.
No claim had been made by the Government of
Mexico, or by any of her military chieftains to the
Nueces as the eastern boundary of the Mexican
Republic previous to the battle of Palo Alto. In
their pronunciamentos they have demanded the
Sabine as the boundary of their possessions. They
have claimed " the whole or none." And whenever
they have given any evidence of being wearied of
the attempt to re-conquer Texas, they have indi-
cated the Rio Del Norte as the extent of their
sacrifice.f In 1821 a large party of American citi-
bounded southwest by the Rio Grande del Norte. â€” Darby's Gazetteer,
" Texas, province of Mexico in the former internal provinces, is bound-
ed southwest by the Rio Grande." â€” Davenport'' s Gazetteer, edition 1832.
In his letter to Aaron V. Brown, General Jackson says : " Remember
also, that if Texas be annexed to the United States, our western boundary
would be the Rio Grande, which is itself a fortification, on account of its
extensive barren and uncultivated plains."
"The real Texas which we acquired by the treaty of 1803, and
flung away by the treaty of 1819, never approached the Rio Grande, ex-
cept near its mouth," &c.
* Again : " I draw a broad line of distinction between the Province
of Texas and the Republic of Texas. The province laid between the
Sabine and the lower Rio del Norte, and between the Gulf of Mexico and
the Red River. The republic of Texas stretches to the whole extent of
the left bank of the Rio del Norte. Of the two Texases, I go for the reco-
very of the old one."
f Proclamation of General Adrian Woll, June 20th, 1844. Dispatch
& I S T O E T OF THE
zens formed the determination of settling upon a large
tract of land, granted by Mexico to Moses Austin.
They were not a lawless band of outlaws, deter-
mined i" plunder Mexico of her territory, but were
invite 1 to go thither. The Mexicans, finding it ex-
ceedingly inconvenient to contend against the wild
and desperate bands of Indians who were continu-
ally m airing incursions and carrying fire and slaugh-
ter among their defenceless hamlets, sought the
protection of the western rifle against their terrible
foes, and when they had formed a barrier between
the Indians and Mexicans, the latter sought to dis-
arm and render defenceless those who had gener-
ously proved their protectors. To submit to this
cowardly aggression was impossible. The reniorse-
lesa bands of savages, who hung like a dark and
threatening cloud around their settlements, were
only kept aloof lÂ»y the dreaded rifle; and if the
os had been disarmed, the tomahawk and
scalping-knife would have carried death and dis-
may into every dwelling in Texas. Resistance or
indiscriminate maâ€” acre was the only alternative.
That Santa Anna had resolved upon their destruc-
tion they had no reason to doubt. The members
of the Legislature of Coahuila were seized and im-
prisoned tor merely protesti/ng against the acts of
the Central (iovernment. In this state of excite-
ment. Burrounded bj dangers upon all sides, the
I in- elected delegates to meet in convention at
G 3lBt, 1836. Articles of agreement signed May
1 nli. i inta Anna, Gen. Filisola, Don Jose Urea, Don Antonio
and l>'.!i Joachin Etai i
POLK ADMINISTEATION. 85
San Felipe in October, 1835. About this time
General Cos, with, a considerable body of troops,
crossed the Rio Grande, and leaving a j)ortion of
his forces at Lipantitlan, on the west side of the
Nueces, and at Goliad, marched with his main force
to San Antonio. And while the delegates were
quietly assembling, General Cos sent a body of two
hundred cavalry to Gonzales, a small town in the
neighborhood of that place, and demanded of the
citizens the surrender of a small cannon which they
used as a defence against the Indians. Their reply
was grape and canister, and thus the Texas revo-
lution commenced. The news of this collision at
once aroused the people of Texas to the defence of
their homes. They shouldered their rifles and hur-
ried to the scene of contest. They rallied from
both sides of the Nueces, and from the banks of
the Rio Grande. In a few days Goliad and Lipan-
titlan had fallen into their possession. The conven-
tion which had assembled at San Felipe issued a
declaration against the Central Government, and
declared in favor of the Constitution of 1824. De-
termined that not a Mexican soldier should degrade
the soil of Texas, they concentrated their forces
around San Antonio and forced General Cos to
surrender. Among the number who left their fire-
sides to drive from the province the Mexican inva-
ders, as I have already stated, were persons who
resided between the Nueces and the Rio Grande.
In the moment of peril they gallantly shared the
dangers which threatened all ! In the hour of tri-
umph gratitude was not forgotten; they were not
J! [STOEY OF T fl E
the men basely to disregard the interests of that
ion of the people of Texas. Many of them fell
lie struggle. The rights of the widow and
orphan have sserted, and to the honor of the
nation be it said, that they would have haz-
arded their national existence in the defence of he]
citizens residing in every portion of her dominions.
V>y the terms of the capitulation of General Cos.
the rights of those citizens were guaranteed.
Thus ended the first conflict between the Mexi-
cans and the people of Texas. Not only did they
manifest a determination to resist all attempts to
subjugate them, but the result proved their ability
to do so. The terms of the capitulation of Gen.
blishes the first link in the revolutionary
chain of title of Texas to the Rio Grande, as her
General Cos, with his soldiers and convicts, re-
crossed the Rio Grande. To this date, then, al-
though assailed without any justification whatever,
by those who should have been actuated by feelings
of -latitude, the Texans exhibited a determination
* " Capitulation entered into by < r< ru ral Martin Prefccto De Cos, of the perma-
nent troops, and dim ml Edward Burleson, of the Colonial Troops of Texas.
1 the further /fusion of blood, and the ravages
tr, ice hare agreed on the 1 !':ons :
" 1st. Thai General Cos and his officers retire with their arms and
property into the interior of the republic, under parole of honor
thai they will not in any way oppose the establishment of the Federal
i of 182 1."
ha1 the General take the convicts lately brought in by Colonel
nd the river Rio Grand
"14th. General Burleson will furnish General Cos with such provi-
be obtained, necessary for his troops to the Rio Grande, at
tic- i price "I the country."
POLK ADMINISTEATION. 87
to adhere to the constitution of 1824. Reared un-
der the beneficent institutions of the United States,
they were attached to the liberal principles which
the constitution of 1824 guaranteed. They were
willing to shed their blood in its defence. But
Santa Anna as resolutely prepared to enforce their
obedience to his despotic will. He gathered a large
and well appointed army, resolved to subdue the
spirit of the Texans, or ravage their country with
fire and sword. All Mexico lay prostrate at his
feet. No voice was raised in the defence of consti-
tutional liberty ; and it was left for the gallant little
band of Texan heroes to battle alone with the for-
ces of the usurper. It was then that a convention
was called in haste, and a declaration of independ-
ence was issued* and appealing to the God of bat-
* " It has dissolved, by force of arms, the State Congress of Cohuila
and Texas, and obliged our representatives to fly for their lives from the
seat of Government ; thus depriving us of the fundamental political right
" It has demanded the surrender of a number of our citizens, and or-
dered military detachments to seize and carry them into the interior for
trial, in contempt of the civil authorities, and in defiance of the laws and
" It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the
dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a, national religion, cal-
culated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather
than the glory of the true and living God.
" It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our
defenceâ€” the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyran-
" It has invaded our country both by sea and by land, with the intent to
lay waste our territory and drive us from our homes ; and has now a large
mercenary army advancing to carry on against us a war of extermination.
" It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless savage, with the
tomahawk and scalping knife, to massacre the inhabitants of our defence-
less frontiers."â€” Texan Declaration of Independence, March 2d, 1836.
11 I STO B V OF THE
ties for the justice of their cause, they prepared for
the conflict. The first blood which was shed in this
struggle, watered the territory between the Nueces
and the Rio Grande. The Alamo was surrounded
by 9,000 Mexicans, and the fort was only taken
after a terrible struggle, in which everyone of its
defenders perished. This victory was won by the
Mexicans at a dreadful sacrifice of life. The Tex-
an- were armed with the much dreaded rifle, which
produced dreadful havoc in the ranks of their foes.
Colonel Fanning, unable to defend Goliad, accepted
terms of capitulation which guaranteed the lives of
his command. These stipulations were violated by
Santa Anna, who ordered about four hundred pri-
soners to be shot ; an act of cold-blooded barbarity
which f< >r all time will place the seal of infamy upon
The bands of Santa Anna swept like the besom
<>f destruction across that portion of Texas lying
wesl of the Nueces. Nearly allot' the; male inha-
bitants in that part of the country found bloody
but honorable graves. The Mexican army contin-
ued rapidly to advance, spreading fire and devasta-
tion in their terrible career, until Santa Anna was
encountered upon the battle field of San Jacinto by
780 Texans on the 21st of April, 1836, and after
a short I. ui desperate conflict, was defeated and ta-
ken prisoner. The punishment which he deserved
was death. lie had violently overturned the con-
stitution of Iih country, and sought at the point of
the bayonet, tosubjugatea people who had protected
'he Mexicans against the inroads of the savages.
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 89
He had conducted the contest as only a savage
could be capable. He had disregarded the rules
by which civilized nations are governed, and murder
and indiscriminate slaughter marked his progress.
But the Texans not only wielded their glittering
blades upon the field of battle with terrible effect,
but could treat with humanity a prostrate foe. A
treaty was entered into with Santa Anna, 12th of
May, 1836.* By the terms of this treaty Texas
* " Articles of agreement and solemn compact made and adopted by David G.
Burnett, President of the Republic of Texas, and the undersigned, members
of the cabinet thereof, on the one part, and Don Antonio Lopez De Santa
Anna, President of the Republic of Mexico, and Don Vincente FiUsola, gene-
ral of division, Don Jose Urea, Don Joachin Ramyres Y Sesma, and Don
Antonio Gaona, generals of brigades of the armies of Mexico.
" 1st. That the armies of Mexico shall, with all practical expedition,
evacuate the territory of Texas, and retire to Monterey, heyond the Rio
" 3d. That the army of Texas are to march westwardly, and to occupy
such posts as the commanding general may think proper on the east side
of the Rio Grande, or Rio Bravo del Norte."
" 5th. That the following be, and the same are hereby, established and
made the lines of demarkation between the two Republics of Mexico and
Texas, to wit : The line shall commence at the estuary or mouth of the
Rio Grande, on the western bank thereof, and shah pursue the same bank
up the said river, to the point where the river assumes the name of Rio
Bravo Del Norte ; from which point it shall proceed on the same western
bank to the head waters, or source of said river, it being understood that
the terms Rio Grande and Rio Bravo Del Norte apply to and designate
one and the same stream. From the source of said river, the principal
head branch being taken to ascertain that source, a due north line shall be
run until it shall intersect the boundary line established and described in
the treaty negotiated by and between the Government of Spain and the
Government of the United States of the north ; which line was subse-
quently transferred to and adopted in the treaty of the limits made be-
tween the Government of Mexico and that of the United States ; and
from this point of intersection the line shall be the same as was made and
established in and by the several treaties above mentioned, to continue to
the mouth or outlet of the Sabine river, and from thence to the Gulf of
90 II IS TOUT OF TJI.K
was to be evacuated, and the Rio Grande was to be
established as the boundary line between the two
republics. This is the second link in the revolu-
tionary chain of title which Texas won to that
river. I knowithas been asserted that Santa Anna
y at that time a prisoner, all stipulations which
lie might agree to, were void. This objection seems
more to be relied upon by certain American Mem-
i Â»f Congress than by the Mexicans themselves.
Santa Anna commenced the war, and it is a
principle of the law of nations that he had the right
to terminate it.'"' The tact that he was a usurper
does not affect the principle.*!
The only question to be inquired into is, did he
nluittdrii ij. There is abundant evidence to
prove that he did.J If the law of nations was
â€¢â– 9th. The release of the President Santa Anna shall be made imme-
ing the signatures of the Generals Don Viente Filisola,
I 'ii. Din Joachin llamyres Y Sesma, and Don Antonio Gaona,
in this agreement, and his conveyance to Vera Cruz as soon afterwards as
may be convenient."
â– â– The same power who has the right of making war, of determining
on it. of declaring it. and of directing its operations, has naturally that
likewise of making and concluding a treaty of peace." â€” Vatlel, p. 432.
states, as having no right to interfere with the domestic
is of that nation, or to interfere in her government, are bound to
abide by her decisions, and to look no further than the circumstances of
- Tiny may, therefore, broach and conclude a treaty of
with the usurper.'* â€” Valtel, p. 436.
"When I offered to treat with this Government (Texas), I was
:ed thai it was useless for Mexico to continue the war. I have
id information respecting the country which I did not possess
four m o. I have too much zeal for the interests of my country
i for any thing which i- nol compatible with them. Being always
' ; : -'â– and advantage, I never would have
' mj self to torments of death rather than consent to any
POLK ADMINISTEATION. 91
different it would lead to the most disastrous con-
sequences. In that event, exterminating war might
be the result. Suppose all the members composing
the Government at Washington, should be taken
prisoners by an invading foe. If they had no power
to make a binding treaty, peace would never be
made, and a perpetual war would be the conse-
quence. If General Scott had captured the Mexi-
can authorities when he took possession of the city
of Mexico, will any one assert that they would not
have had the power to make a peace \ If not, Mex-
ico must have remained a subjugated province of
this country. But again, to put a stronger case:
suppose an absolute monarch should fall into the
hands of his foes, unless he could make a treaty,
the contest would be protracted for years. Until
mankind become as remorseless and savage as
beasts of prey, no such sanguinary rules could be
adopted for the government of nations. The Tex-
ans complied faithfully with all the articles which
the treaty contained. The Mexicans availed them-
selves of all the advantages which resulted from it.
They not only in that way ratified the treaty, but
compromise, if Mexico could thereby obtain the slightest benefit. I am
firmly convinced that it is proper to terminate this question by political
negotiaton." â€” Letter of Santa Anna, July 4th, 1836.
" His Excellency, (Santa Anna,) in my humble opinion, in the treaties
agreed upon, and that I had the honor to send to your Excellency, acted
with entire liberty, and had nothing more in view than the interest of his
country." â€” Dispatch of General Filisola, June 10th, 1836.
" I do not mention other reasons, perhaps more convincing, and, in
fine, I think I have saved the whole army from a disaster, and the national
decorum from a positive disgrace." â€” Dispatch of General Filisola, May
92 HIS TO BY OF THE
tin' President 'pro tern, of the Mexican Republic,
during the absence of Santa Anna, expressly autho-
ri/.eil any act which would release the President
from captivity, and. relieve the .Mexican forces in
Texas from the imminent peri] which surrounded
them. This was done in a dispatch of the Secre-
tary of War and Marine on the 15th of May, L836,
addressed to General Filisola.* Not ouly was ex-
" Secretary's Office of War and Marine, )
Central Section, First Bureau. )
* " Excellent Sir : With the most profound sorrow, his Excellency,
the President pro tern., has learned, by the official letter of your Excel-
the 25th of last month, the defeat suffered on the 21st of the
same month, by the division commanded in person by the President Gen-
eral-in-chief of the army, (Santa Anna,) and the very lamentable misfor-
tune that his Excellency should be made prisoner with other chiefs and
"His Excellency, the President fro tern., is in some measure con-
ral so experienced as your Excellency should be the one
who obtains the command, the which he expressly confirms.
"The first desire thai his Excellency has, is that you address the
enemy's general, exacting from him, by decorous means, the liberty of the
mi General-in-chief, or at least during the time this point can be
ed, the consideration due to his high dignity, and to a person so
lished in the annals of American history, and for whose preserva-
tion the entire nation is interested by gratitude, and because he is chief
â€¢â– Hi- Excellency, the President fro tim., counts upon your Excel-
all your efforts to save the remainder of the army, by
concentrating it so as to render it more respectable, placing it in a con-
eiving provisions, for which the most efficacious
re adopted, The preservation of Bexar is of absolute neces-
sity, in order thai the Government, according to circumstances, may act
â€¢â€¢ The fate of all the prisoners is very interesting to the nation, and it
1 to your Excellency to endeavor to alleviate it, giving
authority from \\\\< moment to propi mges,and to preserve fortius
luse humanity exacts it, the lives of the prisoners made
and that from the enemy. Your Excellency knows the
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 93
press authority granted by the Government ad in- <
terim, in addition to the voluntary act of Santa