Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview

chapter 4
"Buck" Travis at Anahuac

BEFORE NARRATING some of the early events of the Texas Revolution in which Travis participated, it is necessary to describe the situation that was causing so much friction between the Texans and the Mexican Government.

Increasing American emigration into Texas and a growing movement for its annexation by the United States naturally aroused resentment in Mexico. A Mexican law of April 6, 1830, had prohibited further immigration. In spite of this there were 20,000 Americans in Texas by 1831, and they continued to pour in. Our Government had already tried to purchase Texas twice by 1830. The first offer, amounting to $1,000,000, was made through our minister, Joel R. Poinsett, in 1827; the second, amounting to $4,000,000, was made in 1829. Both were rejected. President Jackson and his successor, Van Buren, were both enthusiastic supporters of annexation.

With the growing friction between the two countries and the awakened sympathies of Americans toward the Texan cause, the Mexicans also had good reason to fear an invasion. Nor could they fail to observe the aggressive, determined character of the American settlers, the majority of whom were of Anglo-Saxon stock, traditionally successful as pioneers and colonists.

The Mexicans, and indeed the Spaniards, on the other hand, have never been adept either at colonization or in dealing with colonists. Their treatment of primitive peoples was characterized by harshness, cruelty, and lack of understanding long before the conquistadores came to the Americas. But even a small amount of insight into the breed of men pouring into Texas would have told them that tyranny was the worst possible way to deal with

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