Unit 6, Section Four Notes Living in Texas after the Revolution was challenging in many ways. Many Texans abandoned their homes during the Runaway Scrape, and many of those who returned found their homes destroyed. Some entire towns were burned, including San Felipe and Refugio. People were forced to build new communities. Though the Constitution of 1836 granted land to people who had lived in Texas before the Revolution, the population of Texas was low, with only 52,700 Texans in all, including American Indians, African Americans, and Tejanos. In order to get more people to come to Texas, the government set up a land grant policy like the Spanish empressario system. Agents received land grants in return for bringing people to Texas and establishing new settlements. It worked! From 1836 to 1847, over 100,000 people moved to Texas. The largest group of immigrants in Texas came from the United States. They came looking for land and new economic opportunities, especially after the financial depression caused by the Panic of 1837. Though they came from every state, most settlers came from the Mississippi Valley area south of the Ohio River. People from the southern U.S. tended to settle in East Texas, while people from the northern U.S. settled in Northeast Texas, along the Red River. Many U.S. settlers from the South were slaveholders, and so they were comfortable moving to Texas since the Republic allowed slavery. The number of slaves in Texas quickly rose from 5,000 slaves 1836 to 30,000 in 1845. The life of a slave was hard in Texas, just as it was in the United States. Many worked in the cotton fields or on farms. They had no legal rights to private property, to marriage, or to have a family. And almost every slave knew that if they did not obey, they would be punished physically. After Texas gained its independence, the life of a free African American changed drastically. In February of 1840, Congress passed a new law that outlawed the immigration of free African Americans to Texas. The law also stated that those already living in the Republic would have to leave within two years or be sold into slavery! Many Texans were angry and tried to petition for their friends. Many petitions were written for free slaves that fought for Texas during the Revolution, like Greenbury Logan. He fought at the Battle of San Antonio. In November 1840, three petitions were presented to the Texas Congress of behalf of a family, the Ashworth’s. In response, Congress passed the Ashworth Act, which allowed all free African Americans who were in Texas at the time of the Texas Declaration of Independence to stay. But over the next several years, Texas passed laws that strictly controlled the lives of free African Americans. If they broke the laws, they could be whipped, branded, and punished in other harsh ways. By 1850, fewer than 400 free African Americans were left in Texas. The Republic was also home to several thousand Tejanos, who often lived in San Antonio or in Rio Grande Valley, an area that was claimed by both Texas and Mexico. New immigrants from the United States were often hostile to Tejanos, seeing them as Mexican enemies. Even those who fought on the Texas side experienced discrimination. Tejanos often had their land or livestock stolen. In 1839, repeated attacks forced 100 Tejano families from their homes in Nacogdoches. Despite being treated badly, many Tejanos remained in Texas and prospered. Juan Seguin, a hero of the Texas Revolution, was mayor of San Antonio from 1840 to 1842. José Antonio Navarro, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, served in Congress. These Tejanos maintained their culture; they ate traditional Mexican foods, practiced their Catholic faith, and celebrated Mexican holidays. That has helped to shape the Texas that we live in today! Many Texans were farmers and ranchers. Though there were some large plantations, most farms were small. Most of these small farmers did the work on their own without the help of slaves. The most popular crops were corn, cotton, wheat, rye, and oats. Most ranchers raised cattle for their own use and to sell to others. A few of them would drive their cattle to other towns, such as New Orleans, in order to sell them for a higher profit. It was not easy to travel from town to town in Texas. You could travel by horseback or stagecoach, but both were dangerous and uncomfortable. The government tried to build new roads and fix bad ones, but it was a slow process. Bad weather made it even more difficult to travel. Some rivers were soon used for transportation. The first steamboat, the Ariel, operated on the lower Rio Grande River in 1829. Roman Catholicism was no longer the official religion in Texas after the Revolution ended, so many Protestant denominations - organized religious groups with similar beliefs - soon built churches. The Methodist Church was the largest denomination, followed by the Baptist, though there were many others. Catholicism was still popular among Tejanos, and Czech and Polish immigrants. There were also several Jewish synagogues in Texas. Many preachers traveled throughout Texas, and they were known as circuit riders. Because Mexico refused to recognize Texas independence, Texas was eager to have other nations recognize, or officially accept, its status as an independent nation. Texans felt that it might force Mexico to change their position! The Texas government also needed money, and foreign recognition could open up trade with other countries. Texas officials really wanted U.S. recognition, which they hoped would lead to annexation. But many U.S. politicians were hesitant to recognize Texas. They felt that it could anger Mexico and lead to war. Also, many antislavery states did not want to recognize Texas because the Republic allowed slavery. Even though Texas was small, had a lot of debt, and could have been easily taken over by Mexico, the United States decided to recognize Texas in 1837. U.S. officials felt that they could do this because Mexico was having problems with their own government at the time and the U.S. realized that Mexico would probably not be strong enough to retaliate. Still, annexation of Texas to the United States did not happen at this time. Though Texas officials put in a request for annexation, it was later withdrawn in 1838 because nothing had been done. In 1837, Houston sent James Pinckney Henderson to Europe to try and persuade European countries to recognize Texas. Because they did not want the United States to expand further, many nations in Europe wanted Texas to stay independent. France was the first European country to recognize Texas in 1839, followed by Great Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Mexico still refused to recognize Texas. Even after the Treaties of Velasco were signed, Mexico and Texas continued to disagree about the independence and boundaries of the Republic. Texas claimed all the land to the east of the Rio Grande, which included half of New Mexico. Mexican officials did not agree, and neither did most of the people in New Mexico. Unlike San Houston, President Lamar felt that it was important to enforce Texas’ claim on the land and take advantage of the trade moving along the Santa Fe Trail. In June of 1841, President Lamar sent out an expedition of 320 people to Santa Fe to take control of the region. Five companies of soldiers, under the leadership of Hugh McLeod, marched with several well known Texans, including José Antonio Navarro. But on their way, they quickly encountered hardships. They were attacked by American Indians as the passed on their land. They also ran out of food and water. The wagons finally got stuck on the Caprock, outside of present-day Lubbock. McLeod decided to divide the soldiers. He sent half to Santa Fe, while he and the other half stayed with the wagons. As the Texas soldiers reached New Mexico in October 1841, they were quickly captured by Mexican soldiers. McLeod’s group was captured not long after. They Texans were then marched the 1,200 miles to Mexico City and put in prison. Eventually they were released, but the expedition was considered a failure, with over 60 soldiers dead. Even though the Santa Fe Expedition failed, President Lamar was still determined to pressure Mexico into negotiations with Texas. In September of 1841, he sent the Texas navy to the Yucatán coast to fight the Mexican government. When Sam Houston began his second term as president, he ordered the navy home and attempted to sell the ships for profit. He obviously disagreed with Lamar’s tactics. Edwin Moore was the commodore of the Texas Navy. Like many of the men in the Texas Navy, he was originally from the United States. During Lamar’s administration, he was assigned to fight the Mexican government off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, but when Houston became president again, he called the navy back, and Moore refused to follow orders. For that, he was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged by President Houston. The Mexican government, in response to Lamar, began sending troops into Texas in 1842. 700 Mexican soldiers attacked San Antonio, Goliad, Refugio, and Victoria, but then returned to Texas. Houston feared that the Mexicans would attack Austin, so he ordered that all the government archives, or records, be taken out of the capital city. Residents in Austin were angry with this, not wanting the archives to be moved. They thought that it was an attempt to move the capital of Texas back to Houston. Led by a woman named Angelina Eberly, a group fired at officials who were loading documents onto wagons. This conflict, known as the Archives War, ended with the documents staying in Austin. In September of 1842, Mexican soldiers invaded Texas again! General Adrián Woll and 1,400 soldiers captured San Antonio. Hundreds of Texas militia and Texas Rangers made their way to San Antonio and attacked Woll’s force at Salado Creek, outside of the city. The Mexican troops retreated, but took captives with them. The Mexican attack on San Antonio angered many Texans, and they called for war! Sam Houston sent 750 soldiers to the Rio Grande under the command of Alexander Somervell to recapture the prisoners taken by Woll. Once they reached the Rio Grande, Somervell realized that they did not have enough supplies or troops. He ordered his soldiers to go home, but 300 disobeyed orders and invaded Mier, Mexico, under the command of Colonel William S. Fisher. When they arrived in Mier in December, the Texas soldiers demanded for the townspeople to bring them supplies. When they refused, the Texans stormed the town, but were met by 900 Mexican soldiers. After a day of fighting, there were 100 dead on the Mexican side and 30 Texans killed. Though they were winning, the Texans surrendered because they ran out of supplies. The captured soldiers were then marched to Mexico City. 200 tried to escape during the march, but because they had no food or water, most died or were quickly recaptured. Santa Anna, who was again the ruler of Mexico, ordered that every 10 soldier be shot. The 176 prisoners drew beans to see who would live and who would die. White ones meant freedom, while black ones meant that you would be blindfolded and shot. Of the ones left, 18 escaped. At least 20 died in prison, and many were eventually released. Both Great Britain and France tried to pressure Mexico into recognizing Texas independence and ending further conflict. These countries wanted Texas to stay independent in order to keep the U.S. from expanding. Great Britain and France tried to get Texas and Mexico to sign a peace treaty, but Texas would have to promise not to be annexed to the United States – Mexico didn’t want the U.S. to expand either. What would Texas do: accept the peace treaty and reject annexation, or forget the treaty and join the United States? This election divided the Republic of Texas. Much like elections today, negative things were said and printed about both candidates – Anson Jones and Vice President Edward Burleson. Even though Burleson had been Sam Houston’s vice president, Houston supported Jones in the election. Mirabeau Lamar decided to support Burleson. It pretty much came down to who you liked more – Lamar or Houston, again! Jones defeated Burleson easily. He was a doctor and veteran of San Jacinto. He had also served in Congress and as Secretary of State. Kenneth Anderson was chosen as the vice president. Lamar’s support of Burleson probably hurt him – most people in Texas thought that Lamar had caused many problems. It could also be said that Jones might not have won without the support of popular Sam Houston. Just like Sam Houston, Jones worked to shrink the Texas’ growing debt by limiting government spending. He also continued to work for peace with the American Indians. Under President Jones, the Texas economy began to improve. People began to believe that Texas would soon be annexed to the United States, and it made the value of Texas currency rise. In 1843, a poll was taken by a Texas newspaper. They found that most Texans still supported annexation to the U.S. Many people quickly became frustrated with Jones because he did not push for annexation as much as they wanted him to. He, and some other Texans, believed that it was important for Texas to try and have peaceful relations with Mexico before giving up and joining the United States. If they could achieve peace, maybe Texas could stay a nation! A debate over what to do was being fought all over the Republic.