previous next
[186] this action was ratified by a Convention of the People of Texas on the ensuing 4th of July.

The XXIXth Congress met at Washington December 1, 1845, with a strong Democratic majority in either branch. John W. Davis, of Indiana, was chosen Speaker of the House by 120 votes to 72 for Samuel F. Vinton (Whig), of Ohio, and 18 scattering. On the 16th, a joint resolve, reported on the 10th from the Committee on Territories by Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, formally admitting Texas as a State into our Union, was carried by the decisive vote of 141 to 56. The Senate concurred, on the 22d, by 31 Yeas to 13 Nays.

Thus far, the confident predictions of War with Mexico, as a necessary consequence of our annexing Texas, had not been realized. Technically and legally, we might, perhaps, be said to have been at war ever since we had determined on Annexation; practically and in fact, we were not. No belligerent action on the part of Mexico directly followed the decisive step, or its official promulgation. Our commerce and our flag were still welcomed in the Mexican ports. The disposable portion of our little army, some 1,500 strong, under Gen. Zachary Taylor, commander of the Southwestern department, in obedience to orders from Washington, embarked (July, 1845) at New Orleans, and landed, early in August, at Corpus Christi, on Aransas Bay, near the mouth of the Nueces, which was the extreme western limit of Texan occupation.1 The correspondence between the Secretary of War (Gov. Marcy) and Gen. Taylor, which preceded and inspired this movement, clearly indicates that Mr. Polk and his Cabinet desired Gen. Taylor to debark at, occupy, and hold, the east bank of the Rio Grande, though they shrank from the responsibility of giving an order to that effect, hoping that Gen. Taylor would take a hint, as Gen. Jackson was accustomed to do in his Florida operations, and do what was desired in such manner as would enable the Government to disavow him, and evade the responsibility of his course. Gen. Taylor, however, demanded explicit instructions, and, being thereupon directed to take position so as to be prepared to defend the soil of our new acquisition “to the extent that it had been occupied by the people of Texas,” he stopped at the Nueces, as aforesaid. Here, though no hostilities were offered or threatened, 2,500 more troops were sent him in November. Official hints and innuendoes that lie was expected to advance to the Rio Grande continued to reach him, but he disregarded them; and at length, about the 1st of March, he received positive orders from the President to advance.

1 Hon. Charles J. Ingersoll, a leading Democratic representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, and a zealous annexationist, in a speech in the house, January 3, 1845, said:

The territorial limits are marked in the configuration of this continent by an almighty hand. The platte, the Arkansas, the red, and the Mississippi Rivers * * * these are naturally our waters, with their estuaries in the Bay of Mexico. The stupendous deserts between the Nueces and the Bravo rivers, are the natural boundaries between the Anglo-Saxon and the Mauritanian races. there ends the valley of the West. There Mexico begins. * * * We ought to stop there, because interminable conflicts must ensue, either on our going South or their coming North of that gigantic boundary. While peace is cherished, that boundary will be kept sacred. Not till the spirit of conquest rages, will the people on either side molest or mix with each other.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Zachary Taylor (5)
George Washington (1)
Samuel F. Vinton (1)
Saxon (1)
James K. Polk (1)
Marcy (1)
Andrew Jackson (1)
Charles J. Ingersoll (1)
Stephen A. Douglas (1)
John W. Davis (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 1st, 1845 AD (1)
July, 1845 AD (1)
January 3rd, 1845 AD (1)
November (1)
August (1)
July 4th (1)
March 1st (1)
22nd (1)
16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: