Congress did not act, however, and in March 1841 Lamar appointed James Webb, former attorney general, to replace Bee as secretary of state and sent him to Mexico. Houston's successor, Mirabeau B. Lamar, pursued aggressive policies toward Mexico and the Indians that added $4,855,000. These two men joined the three agents (Austin, Archer, and Wharton) already there. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, René-Robert Cavelier, sieur (lord) de La Salle. In what became known as the Council House Fight, thirty-five Indians and seven Texans were killed. On June 20, 1841, a large caravan, officially designated the Santa Fe Pioneers, left the Austin vicinity. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The next day, March 2, the delegates unanimously adopted Childress's suggestion for independence. France, Great Britain, and the United States were clamoring for the payment of claims of their citizens against Mexico. Great Britain and France became concerned. To protect the supply line to New Orleans, on November 25, 1835, the General Council of the provisional government authorized the purchase of four schooners and granted letters of marque and reprisal to privateers until the ships were armed. In the United States, there was great sympathy for the Texas cause. Texas authorities agreed to negotiate if the Indians brought in their white captives. Houston nominated James Collinsworth to be the first chief justice. In May Burnet recalled all the agents and appointed James Collinsworth, who had been Burnet's secretary of state from April 29 to May 23, and Peter W. Grayson, the attorney general, to replace them. Two days after the constitutional convention adjourned in March 1836, President Burnet had sent George Childress and Robert Hamilton, probably the wealthiest man in Texas to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence, to Washington to seek recognition of the new republic. Despite the cheap selling price, land acquisition could be costly, since applicants had to pay for locating, surveying, and obtaining title, services that amounted to about one-third the value of the land. The Houstonites then approached Chief Justice James Collinsworth, but in late July he fell overboard in Galveston Bay and drowned. While in Perote Prison, James W. Robinson, a former acting governor of Texas during the Consultation, sought an interview with Santa Anna. President Tyler, a Whig with Southern views on slavery, had indicated in October that he wanted to open discussions leading to the annexation of Texas by treaty. accessed January 18, 2021, To strengthen frontier defense, he signed a contract on June 7, 1842 with Alexandre Bourgeois d'Orvanne and Armand Ducos to settle 600 French families on the headwaters of the Medina and Frio rivers and 500 families along the lower Rio Grande. Unrest throughout Mexico, including the territory of Texas, resulted in a coup by Antonio López de Santa Anna, who assumed the presidency in 1833. The bank became the first political issue in the Houston administration. Judge John M. Hansford was killed by the Regulators. Communications were poor, roads were few, and there was no regular mail system. To establish a station halfway to the Fisher-Miller grant, he bought the so-called Comal Tract and founded the town of New Braunfels. Samuel P. Carson of Pecan Point and Robert Potter of Nacogdoches had served, respectively, in the North Carolina legislature and in the United States House of Representatives. Jones wanted annexation and thought that the threat of an alignment with England, connected with the cotton trade, was the key to achieving it. In 1839 Congress decreed that the seal should include "a white star of five points, on an azure ground, encircled by an olive and live oak branches, and the letters Republic of Texas.". Postal rates were 6¼ cents for the first twenty miles, and rose to 12½ cents for up to fifty miles. Republic of Texas DRAFT. This council passed a declaration of support for the 1824 Mexican constitution, and appointed a governor and other officials. Two escaped from the battlefield. Senators were to serve three-year overlapping terms, with one-third elected each year. They wanted the United States to join their efforts to end Texas-Mexican hostilities. Lamar picked Barnard E. Bee to be secretary of state, retained Robert Barr as postmaster general, asked Albert Sidney Johnston to be secretary of war, and made Memucan Hunt secretary of the navy. 0. Houston hoped, by keeping military units out of the Indian country and seeking treaties with various tribes, to avoid difficulties with the Indians. When Urrea failed to appear, Rusk vacated his command and the army chose Huston to replace him. She could divide herself into as many as four additional states. David G. Burnet was chosen ad interim president of the new Republic of Texas; Sam Houston was appointed its military commander; and Austin became commissioner to the United States with the mission of securing strategic aid and enlisting volunteers. Sporadic missionary incursions occurred into the area during the period from the 1690s–1710s, before … Vicente Córdova, a prominent citizen, organized a Mexican-Indian combination and disclaimed allegiance to Texas. He, Houston, and their supporters knew that proper timing was essential in securing annexation. They reported that Powhatan Ellis, United States minister to Mexico, had arrived in Washington and stated that Mexico was filled with anarchy, revolution, and bankruptcy. Army unrest continued as the officers openly defied the government and threatened to impose a military dictatorship. Houston supporters next endorsed Peter W. Grayson, the attorney general, who had worked in Washington, but on his way back to Texas Grayson committed suicide at Bean's Station in eastern Tennessee. By 1832 Austin’s several colonies had about 8,000 inhabitants. Mathew Caldwell, Col. Edward Burleson, and General Felix Huston combined their forces and scattered the marauders (see PLUM CREEK, BATTLE OF). The rates applied to one-page letters folded over and addressed on the front. An annexation treaty was completed on April 12, 1844, and signed by Secretary of State John C. Calhoun, Isaac Van Zandt, and Van Zandt's assistant, J. Pinckney Henderson. After gaining independence from Spain in the 1820s, Mexico welcomed foreign settlers to sparsely populated Texas, and a large group of Americans led by Stephen F. Austin settled along the Brazos River. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), Texas Railroad, Navigation, and Banking Company, DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS, Disgusted by the Texans' plundering, 187 men soon left for home. In early January of 1842, Gen. Mariano Arista, commanding the Army of the North, announced his intention of invading the "the Department of Texas." Bee also was to seek an agreement fixing the national boundary at the Rio Grande from its mouth to its source. Caldwell's forces and a small ranger party under Capt. esharp. The site was surveyed into city lots, and construction began on government buildings, hotels, business houses, and homes. Direct taxes and license fees could be paid in depreciated currency until February 1842. 0% average accuracy. In the more fertile areas of East Texas, some of the Native American tribes established permanent villages and well-managed farms and developed political and religious systems. Only ten of the delegates had been in Texas by 1836. It prided itself on its laboratory work in science. The first Protestant church-related school was Rutersville University, near La Grange, opened in January 1840 by Methodists. A year later, in September 1840, Treat proposed to the Mexican minister of foreign affairs an extended armistice but was ignored. The San Jacinto, mapping the Texas coast, was wrecked the same month. 0. Meeting in special session in May 1837 in Houston, the First Congress instituted a commission-at-large to locate a permanent capital. The Texas and Mexican commissioners agreed on a permanent armistice on February 18, 1844, but Houston filed the document away without taking action because it referred to Texas as a Mexican department. History Pre-Doomsday. In August 1844, President Houston called on both parties to lay down their arms and sent Travis G. Brooks and 600 militiamen to maintain order. In a special election on December 15, Texans had elected officers for the new state government. On November 14, the two houses agreed on a temporary location. The withdrawal of the annexation proposal in Washington helped facilitate his mission. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic (1836-1846) and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity, and values of early Texans. Tom Henderson Wells, Commodore Moore and the Texas Navy (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1960). David Burnet, the former ad interim president, was elected vice president. He would be the commander in chief of the army, navy, and militia, but could not "command in person" without the permission of Congress. On becoming president again, Houston canceled Lamar's arrangements and ordered the fleet to sail home. On September 6 Houston easily won a second term, and Burleson beat Hunt for vice president. Replica of Independence Hall, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Site, Texas. However, the U.S. government and several European countries recognized Texas' indepen… After crossing the vast plains of West Texas under great hardship, on September 17 the expedition reached the village of Anton Chico, east of Santa Fe. The Sixth Congress, meeting in special session, passed a "war bill," but Houston vetoed it as it appropriated no funds for the campaign. Soldiers also forced the Shawnees, Alabamas, and Coushattas to abandon their hunting grounds; the last two tribes were given lands in East Texas. When the general visited the president, Houston treated him cordially, but promptly ordered acting secretary of war William S. Fisher to furlough three of the four army regiments. The Democrats ran James K. Polk, of Tennessee, for president with the campaign slogan "the Re-Annexation of Texas and the Re-Occupation of Oregon," hoping to capture the expansionists' vote both North and South. Informed that the Bourgeois grant had been forfeited, Solms purchased the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, 3,878,000 acres that ran along the Colorado River and west to the Llano River. On April 21 Sam Houston led a surprise attack on the Mexican troops at the San Jacinto River, where he succeeded in capturing Santa Anna and in securing victory for the Texans. If one individual can be designated the "father of the Texas Constitution," it should be David Thomas, who chaired the committee, spoke for the group, and put the draft together. REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. In January 1839 under the Lamar administration, Congress authorized still a third commission, drawn from its membership. The three treaties with England were not ratified until December 1841, soon after Houston's election for a second term to the Texas presidency. Internal disturbances also flared during Houston's second term. Gen. Alexander Somervell to take charge of the force there. He urged Congress to authorize land grants to the veterans of the revolution and reminded his listeners that the national debt stood at $1,250,000. Earlier, in December 1836, Congress had voted to reopen the land offices closed by the Permanent Council and the Consultation. Toward the end of Houston's first term as president, which ended on December 10, 1838, Lamar announced his candidacy. Woll crossed the Rio Grande at Presidio del Río Grande (Eagle Pass), and made a surprise attack on San Antonio on the morning of September 11. The republic had a difficult 10-year life. The delegates then quickly abandoned Washington-on-the-Brazos. Lamar appointed James Hamilton, a banker and former governor of South Carolina, to negotiate the authorized $5 million loan in either Europe or the United States, but Hamilton's attempts proved fruitless. Tyler viewed Polk's election as a mandate for immediate annexation. The work stalled when the commissioners could not agree on whether Sabine Lake was the "Sabine river" named in the treaty. By 1948 Republic was the largest bank in Texas. Sam Houston, a former United States congressman and governor of Tennessee, was a close friend of United States president Andrew Jackson. Veterans of the battle of San Jacinto (including those wounded on April 20 before the battle and members of the baggage and camp guard), participants in the siege of Bexar, and the heirs and survivors of those who died at the Alamo or had served in the Matamoros and Goliad campaigns could receive additional land. Opposition to the company developed when Branch T. Archer, a sponsor, tried to pay into the Texas treasury in discounted paper money the $25,000 required in gold and silver to launch the bank. With the declaration of independence, the chairman appointed one person from each municipality to a committee to draft a constitution. When Congress later established the office of postmaster general, Houston named Robert Barr of Nacogdoches to that post, and at Barr's death chose John Rice Jones, who had held the office under the provisional government, as his successor. They elected few demagogues to office and were remarkably fortunate in their choice of leaders. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas was patterned after that of the United States and several Southern states. Lamar asked James Treat, a former resident of Mexico who knew Santa Anna and other Mexican leaders, to act as a confidential agent and attempt negotiations. Houston wanted the government returned to Houston, but the western counties protested and Congress balked. In the fall of 1840, Lord Aberdeen announced that Her Majesty's government would recognize Texas independence, and on November 13–16, three treaties were signed that dealt with independence, commerce and navigation, and suppression of the African slave trade. As his administration also tackled the issue of annexation, Jones earned the sobriquet "Architect of Annexation." After he was inaugurated on December 9, he launched a policy of economy, peaceful relations with the Indians, and a nonaggressive policy toward Mexico. Also, England had just settled the Maine boundary issue with the United States but faced hostilities over her claims in Oregon and the controversial Pacific Northwest boundary. Over the three following years more than fifty men were killed and numerous homes and other property were burnt or destroyed. A Mexican invasion of Texas was now rumored. In his message to the Texas Congress on December 21, President Lamar spoke against annexation. They organized under Col. William S. Fisher and marched down the east side of the Rio Grande, crossed the river opposite Mier, and demanded food and clothing from the inhabitants of Mier. By 1847 the white population, including Mexican immigrants, had risen to 102,961, and the number of slaves to 38,753. Houston was chosen commander in chief of the revolutionary army and left the convention early to take charge of the forces gathering at Gonzales. In January of 1839, the flag was redesigned to have a blue perpendicular stripe one-third the its length, a white star with five points in the center of the blue field, and two horizontal stripes of equal width, the upper being white and the lower red. Aware of the Cherokee expulsion, the Comanches sent a small delegation to San Antonio to talk peace. On March 19, 1840, sixty-five Comanches showed up with one white prisoner, a twelve-year old girl by the name of Matilda Lockhart. Jones agreed to do so on March 29. Charles Fenton Mercer, an agent of the Peters colony, contracted in January 1844 to settle 100 families within five years on any unappropriated lands in the republic. A replacement issue, called "engraved interest notes," declined in value from sixty-five cents on the dollar in May 1838 to forty cents by January 1839. It declared the Rio Grande to be the southern boundary, even though Mexico had refused to recognize Texas independence. Played 0 times. In February 1843, Moore learned that Yucatán would pay these bills and sailed for Campeche. He declared that neither the native nor the immigrant tribes had a cause of complaint and denied that the Cherokees or others had legal claims to land. The total face value of notes placed in circulation in 1837–38 was $1,165,139. The constitution also contained a bill of rights. The French also explored Texas. Congress chose Houston to be the temporary capital, and the government moved there in April 1837. 0% average accuracy. When President John Tyler reopened negotiations on annexation, Mexico became friendly to Texas. The 1st Congress of the Republic of Texas convened in October 1836 at Columbia (now West Columbia). On March 17 he approved the undertaking and sent agents to the United States to recruit volunteers and obtain arms, munitions, and provisions. They then proceeded to Washington and separated: Wharton remained in the capital, Archer went to Richmond, and Austin headed for New York City. Ultimately fifty-eight members signed the document. At Jackson's trial, in Harrison County, the judge failed to appear on the second day and Jackson went free. More to come Post-Doomsday. England, in spite of slavery in the young republic and her desire to see the abolition of slavery worldwide, could not stand idly by and see France gain influence and trade privileges in Texas. More to come Doomsday. These were to be located on the Red River, at the Three Forks of the Trinity, on the Brazos, on the Colorado River, on the Saint Marks (San Marcos) River, near the headwaters of Cibolo Creek, on the Frio River, and on the Nueces. Texas would be granted amnesty for past acts against Mexico, and Mexico would station no troops in Texas. Luis G. Cuevas, minister of foreign relations, placed their proposals before the Mexican Congress, and in late April Mexico recognized Texas independence. The explorations of René-Robert Cavelier, sieur (lord) de La Salle, and his colony at Matagorda Bay were the bases of French claims to East Texas. This design led Congress on December 10 to decree that the seal would be circular with a single star and the words "Republic of Texas" encircling it. Campaign issues included the Franco-Texian Bill, promoted by Houston; Houston and Burnet's questionable role in making land grants; frontier protection; making Houston the capital; instituting reforms to ensure land titles; retrenchment; and the redemption of the nation's honor, desecrated by Mexico. Houston was vitally concerned with the location of the capital. In November, with a large amount of military equipment on hand, the president urged Congress to authorize an expedition to Santa Fe. During these years Texas regarded its vast public domain as critical to attracting settlers and encouraging economic development. Texas met her expenses in various ways. He then dispatched Andrew Jackson Donelson, a nephew of Andrew Jackson, to Texas with instructions to press for its acceptance. Officers and Men of the Republic of Texas Old 300 Anglo Settlers in Texas. In May 1845, the United States dispatched a fleet of warships to protect the Texas coast. During the summer of 1836 President Jackson sent Henry M. Morfit, a State Department clerk, as a special agent to Texas to collect information on the republic's population, strength, and ability to maintain independence. Texas was threatened by "an immense disparity of physical force on the side of Mexico," which might recover its lost dominion. He sought peace treaties with the Indians, took a defensive stand against Mexico, and encouraged trade along the southern and western borders. The disputed area is in light green, while the Republic is in dark green. A year later, on September 18, 1841, Lamar agreed to participate in Yucatán's rebellion against Mexico and sent the navy to protect the Yucatán coast. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Texas' independence was not recognized by Mexico and Texas' boundary was not determined until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War, was signed in 1848. He stated that Texas needed a navy to protect its commerce on the high seas and urged legislation to reserve all minerals for government use as well as a program to turn them to the advantage of the nation. Under his proposals Texas would become an independent department (state) in the Mexican federation, be represented in the Mexican Congress, and be allowed to make its own laws. In the fall of 1838 Houston sent James Pinckney Henderson abroad to seek recognition of Texas by England and France. John Coffee "Jack" Hays harassed the Mexicans as far as the Nueces River. The issue lay dormant for several years. Original colour design sketch by Peter Krag for the Lone Star flag and seal for the Republic of Texas. In the fall of 1841 Houston and Burnet were candidates for president. Mexican troops intercepted Capt. He stated that if granted an audience, he could show how to arrange a lasting peace between Mexico and Texas. The First Legislature convened in Austin on February 19, 1846. At the time of the Texas Revolution, the Consultation, hoping to keep the Cherokees and their associated bands quiet, sent Sam Houston to make a treaty guaranteeing them title to their land, and they had remained quiet during the difficult days. If the enemy invaded, he reasoned, Texans would rush to defend their homes. With news that the Alamo had fallen and Mexican armies were marching eastward, the convention hastily adopted the constitution, signed it, and elected an ad interim government: David G. Burnet, president; Lorenzo de Zavala, vice president; Samuel P. Carson, secretary of state; Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war; Bailey Hardeman, secretary of the treasury; Robert Potter, secretary of the navy; and David Thomas, attorney general. Protection against raids from Mexico and occasional attacks by Native Americans required a mobile armed force. He hoped to see Texas annexed to the United States. Under the constitution, the heads of families (Blacks and American Indians excepted) living in Texas on March 2, 1836, could apply for a square league (4,428 acres) and a labor (177.1 acres) of land. Native Americans have lived in Texas for thousands of years, but it … Houston was pictured as representing eastern Texas (except Nacogdoches County, where the Cherokee land question made Burnet the favorite), while Burnet was the champion of the western counties. Each county was also to have a sheriff, a coroner, justices of the peace, and constables to serve two-year terms. The Mexican government was determined to keep the Texas frontier in turmoil. On September 29, 1843, Edward H. Tarrant and George W. Terrell concluded a treaty with nine Indian tribes at Bird's Fort near the site of present Arlington. Edit. Learning of the disorder, colonels Antonio Canales and Cayetano Montero camped on the Rio Grande near Mier and Camargo and launched a surprise attack on the Texan camp on July 7, but were beaten off. The British minister handed a copy of the document to Jones on June 4, and he immediately announced a preliminary peace with Mexico. When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, Austin’s son, Stephen Austin, received Mexican approval of the grant. Treat reached Veracruz on November 28, 1839, when the Federalists and their Texan allies were at the gates of Matamoros. For more information go to: The settler would received title to half his land, while the contractor would hold the rest to pay for surveying, securing titles, furnishing seed, powder and shot, and providing a cabin. Houston studied the proposals and reasoned that Santa Anna's Yucatán problem might lead the Mexican president to agree to peace terms. The dictatorship of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, supported by rich landowners, had seized control of the governments and subverted the constitution. He promised to prosecute the war against Mexico until Mexico recognized Texas independence. When Santa Anna received Robinson's letter, he agreed to a truce. He recommended the establishment of a national bank, owned and operated by the government, and urged the establishment of public free schools and the founding of a university. Two Germans, Henry F. Fisher and Burchard Miller, contracted to locate 1,000 families of Germans, Swiss, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, and Dutch immigrants between the Llano and Colorado rivers. In case of a Mexican invasion, Congress empowered Houston to accept 40,000 volunteers from the United States. After trial by a court-martial, he was restored to command. However, all immigrants arriving after March 2, 1836, had to live in Texas three years to receive clear title. The choice of a president caused concern. / The most pressing problem involved the Cherokees, who had settled on rich lands along the Sabine and elsewhere in East Texas. Lamar also urged attention to the upper part of the Rio Grande. A On October 9, 1841, Santa Anna reestablished himself as provisional president of Mexico and determined to renew hostilities against Texas. Lamar approved a number of colonization contracts, however. On the eighteenth Woll moved to Salado Creek, assaulted the Texans assembled on the creek east of San Antonio under Col. Mathew Caldwell, then withdrew to San Antonio. The commodore settled his accounts with Yucatán and returned home. As Congress refused to modify the land laws, Houston kept the General Land Office closed throughout his administration. Early in 1838 Texas bought the merchant brig Potomac, but was unable to convert it to a man-of-war, and instead used it at the Galveston Navy Yard as a receiving vessel. Ranger units on the frontier could handle the Indian situation. The United States, knowing the British wanted to mediate Texas-Mexican difficulties, saw a strong British influence looming in Texas affairs. Financing proved critical, and efforts to secure loans from foreign countries were unsuccessful. In 1836 the Republic of Texas had a public domain of 251,579,800 acres (minus 26,280,000 acres granted before the revolution). Read about Stephen F. Austin. The citizens of Texas also voted favorably in a referendum to request annexation by the United States government. He believed that Texas must extend its authority over its western claims, divert a part of the Santa Fe -St. Louis trade through its ports, and encourage the 80,000 inhabitants of New Mexico to sever their ties with Mexico and turn to Texas. Texans, hopeful for relief from restrictive governmental measures, supported Santa Anna. 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