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Anson Jones: Secretary of State

Houston and Jones agreed on the importance of getting two proposals:

  • An offer of annexation from the United States
  • An acknowledgment of Texas independence from Mexico

This way, Texas could make the permanent choice between annexation and independence.

The threatening war with Mexico was the first crisis that Jones had to handle. A victory over Mexico could mean secure independence for Texas, but Jones believed that Texas lacked the money, men, and leadership to win a war.

Jones's European negotiations were successful and took up most of his time as secretary of state. He worked with European diplomats to prepare groups of immigrants to Texas. He also began negotiations with the United States, Britain, France, and Mexico, sometimes directly, and sometimes through third parties. Jones made it appear that Mexico was about to recognize an independent Texas, which might become a British satellite. The one thing that might get the United States to offer annexation of Texas was the threat of losing Texas forever. If the British controlled Texas, it would block U.S. westward expansion.

Jones lost his respect for Sam Houston. He disliked Houston's emotional nature and his political games. Yet he and Houston agreed on their goals for Texas. By 1844, as a result of their diplomacy, Britain negotiated a ceasefire between Texas and Mexico, and the Texas prisoners of war were released. More trade deals were underway.

At the same time, the United States negotiated with Texas on annexation. Despite their differences, Houston wanted Jones to succeed him as the next President of Texas.


Source: Anson Jones: Secretary of State
© 2020 Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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