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reload the pieces, they rushed on and used their pistols, and then, raising their rifles as war-clubs, sent them crashing through skull and bone. Many of these were broken at the breech, when, still pressing on like furious lions, and shouting that deathful cry, “ Remember the Alamo!" with their bowie-knives they hewed down those of the enemy that resisted, or stabbed them in retreat. The breastwork and artillery were soon in possession of the Texans, while the wings in the mean time had been put to slaughter or the rout.
The enemy's cavalry had been repulsed with great loss by that of the Texans under the brave Lamar, and it was now in full retreat. Hotly pursued by the Texans, it sought retreat by a bridge which General Houston had taken the precaution to cut down. On arriving here, a cry of horror announced the bridge was gone. Some urged their coursers down the steep bank, and horse and rider went down together. Others dismounted, and were struggling to swim over the stream. Horses and men were jammed and crushed together, upon the banks and in the waters, while a heavy fire from their pursuers assailed them, till the waters were red with blood, and the channel choked up with the dead and the dying. The victory was complete. The Mexican loss was six hundred and thirty killed, two hundred and eighty wounded, and seven hundred and thirty prisoners. Among the latter were General Santa Anna, and General Cos, who had treacherously broken his parole. Of the army scarcely a man escaped. The Texans lost but two in killed, and twenty-three wounded. The battle of San Jacinto sealed the independence of the country, and the new star of Texas rose in beauty among the constellations of republics. Santa Anna, who by his inhumanity to his prisoners had forfeited his life, was generously spared by the Texan commander. As President of Mexico he made a treaty with General Houston, in which he recognised the full independence of Texas, and engaged to order the withdrawal of the remaining troops, up
wards of four thousand in number. His generals immediately evacuated the country and returned to Mexico with their troops; but the Mexican Congress refused to acknowledge the treaty which he had made, and ordered a new invasion. This however was not attempted, and all warfare between the two countries was hereafter confined to desultory attacks and skirmishes.
Texas, which had been granted to the settlers as a part of Mexico, according to laws of naturalization—which had further become theirs by labours that redeemed it from the wilderness which had been pledged to them with state sovereignty by the federal compact of 1824—all rightful control of which reverted from Mexico to them upon the forcible dissolution of that compact by military despotism—had lastly become theirs by right of conquest, and the inhabitants of Texas had an unquestionable right to organize a government of their own, or form any alliance or union with any government whatever.
Able to maintain the independence she had declared, she was admitted into the family of nations. President Jackson, after sending a confidential agent to examine her condition, people, and resources, first recognised her political existence; and the last time he put his hand officially to paper, it was on this interesting occasion. The act of recognition by the United States was soon followed by that of England, France, and Belgium.
We have thus at some length shown the rise of Texas as a nation, with the view of relieving her from the obloquy too often thrown upon her, and of demonstrating the fact, that instead of plundering the Mexican nation of a part of her territory, as her people have been accused of doing, they acknowledged and upheld the great principles of the Mexican constitution with truth and fidelity, until there was no hope of constitutional freedom, and a war of extermination denounced against them as rebels, drove them into independence.
Political Existence of Texas-Proposals for Annexation to the United States
Attempt to effect the Recognition of the Independence of Texas by MexicoPresident Tyler's Treaty of Annexation-Its Rejection by the Senate-Mr. Bocanegra-Protest of Almonte-Letter of General Jackson-Joint Resolution for the Annexation of Texas-Protest and Departure of the Mexican MinisterAction of the Mexican Government–Measures for the Defence of Texas–General Taylor Commander of the Forces of the United States for its Defence-Letter of Instructions Acceptance of the Terms of Annexation by Texas—The Army of Occupation at Corpus Christi-Attempt to open Negotiations with MexicoMr. Slidell's Mission-Downfall of Herrera and Accession of Paredes-Refusal to receive Mr. Slidell except as a Special Envoy-Advance of the United States Army to the Rio Grande-The Texan Boundary considered-Arrival of the American Army at the Colorado-Crossing disputed-Point Isabel invested March resumed-Encampment on the Rio Grande-Correspondence.
Having achieved the independence of their country, the people of Texas now turned their attention to the future, and considered , whether they would best promote their security and happiness by a separate existence under the protection of some foreign state, or by merging their sovereignty in the great Northern Confederacy. The expenses of maintaining a government, and the distrust of foreign alliances, indisposed them to the former, while the circumstance of the majority of the inhabitants being emigrants from the United States, rendered a union with that country desirable. With this preference, and in the exercise of a legitimate act of sovereignty, the Executive of Texas, on the 4th of August, 1837, proposed to annex that country to the United States. An expression of opinion relative to this subject had been made in September 1836, at the first election held for choosing officers
RECOGNITION OF TEXAN INDEPENDENCE.
under the constitution, and the desire for the union was found to be nearly unanimous.
The proposition of annexation was made during the presidency of Mr. Van Buren ; but, as the United States and Mexico were bound by a treaty of amity and commerce, he conceived that annexation would be a breach of the comity existing between them; and, foreseeing that it involved the probability of a war with Mexico, he was unwilling to entertain the proposition with favour.
Having failed to secure incorporation with the republican family of the North, Texas opened negotiations with European powers, with the view of obtaining the acknowledgment of her independence by Mexico, through the intervention of France and England. England, especially, treated the young republic with great consideration, and exerted her influence to induce the recognition of her nationality on the part of Mexico. This was for no disinterested love of a republican state, but with the view of securing to herself by treaty the commercial advantages to be derived from the increasing importance of Texas. France, too, committed now to the intrigues of the Montpensier marriage, laboured to prevent the annexation of Texas to the United States, probably with the view of placing over Mexico and Texas, at no distant day, a French prince, through the Spanish union. Mexico herself, fearing that the annexation of Texas to the United States might lead to a further dismemberment of territory, would have consented to the recognition of Texas, on condition that she would preserve a distinct nationality ; and accordingly an armistice had been concluded between them, through the intervention of France and England. While annexation was becoming thus less necessary and desirable to Texas, the importance of the measure claimed the attention of the politicians of the United States.
Accordingly, during Mr. Tyler's administration, negotiations with a view to annexation were opened on the 6th of October, 1843, by Abel P. Upshur, Esq., Secretary of State. A treaty of annexation was signed by the Texan Ministers Plenipotentiary and by President Tyler, and on the 22d of April, 1844, submitted to the United States Senate, but was rejected by that body. While the subject of annexation was agitated, Mexico had steadily notified the government of the United States that it would consider the act a ground of war. The Mexican Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Bocanegra, on the 23d of August, 1843, in a letter to Waddy Thompson, our Minister in Mexico, had used the following explicit language:
« His Excellency, the Provisional President, resting on this deep conviction, is obliged to prevent an aggression unprecedented in the annals of the world from being consummated; and if it be indispensable for the Mexican nation to seek security for its rights at the expense of the disasters of war, it will call upon God, and rely on its own efforts for the defence of its just cause."
In November of the same year, General Almonte, the Mexican Minister at Washington, protested against the act of annexation in the following solemn manner :
“But if, contrary to the hopes and wishes entertained by the government of the undersigned for the preservation of the good understanding and harmony which should reign between the two neighbouring and friendly republics, the United States should, in defiance of good faith and the principles of justice which they have constantly proclaimed, commit the unheard-of act of violence of appropriating to themselves an integrant part of the Mexican territory, the undersigned, in the name of his nation, and now for them, protests in the most solemn manner against such an aggression; and he moreover declares, by express order of his government, that on sanction being given by the Executive of the Union to the incorporation of Texas into the United States, he will consider his mission ended, seeing that, as the Secretary