Description[Sam Houston] Letter of General Sam Houston to General Santa Anna. Washington: Printed at the Congressional Globe Office, 1852. 8vo. 8pp. Two printed leaves, folded and unbound. Foxed and chipped along the edges, otherwise a near fine copy of this scarce document.
Though the title page indicates an 1852 printing date, Houston's letter as printed is actually dated March 21, 1842. Houston was prompted to write this defiant letter to President Santa Anna after a raid on San Antonio by Mexican troops under Brigadier General Rafael Vasquez earlier that month. Houston writes, in part: "Your communications...would have met with a more ready attention had it not been for a marauding incursion made by a Mexican force on the defenceless [sic] town of San Antonio...Apprehending that the force had some other character more important than that of bandits and plunderers, commanded, as it was by regular officers, it produced a momentary excitement and claimed the attention of the Executive. But, as the bandits have withdrawn, characterizing their retreat by pillage and plunder, as has been usual with Mexicans, I am left at leisure to resume in tranquility the duties of my station." Houston goes on to list a history of abuses suffered by the citizens of Texas, including a reference to the Alamo massacre: "You besieged the Alamo; but under what circumstances? Not those, surely, which should characterize a general of the nineteenth century." Houston reminds Santa Anna of his humane treatment when captured after the battle of San Jacinto and reminds the Mexican President that no such humanity was afforded the captured members of the Santa Fe expedition. Houston closes: "In the war which will be conducted by Texas against Mexico, our incentive will not be a love of conquest; it will be to disarm tyranny of its power. We will make no war upon Mexicans or their religion. Our efforts shall be made in behalf of the liberties of the people...With these principles we shall march across the Rio Grande; and believe me, sir, ere the banner of Mexico shall triumphantly float on the banks of the Sabine, the Texan standard of the single star, borne by the Anglo-Saxon race, shall display its bright folds in liberty's triumph on the Isthmus of Darien."
Reference: Sabin 95032.
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