The Final Showdown: Texas Makes Its Choice

As far as most Texans were concerned, annexation was good. It would mean that their land was more valuable, that their rivers, harbors, and public facilities (like forts and shipyards) might finally be improved, and that the United States Army would protect them from Mexico. Those who had slaves could keep them. But the main reason that most Texans wanted annexation was love of country: they had never stopped being Americans.

American diplomat Andrew Jackson Donelson raced to Austin with news of the passage of the annexation resolution. When he arrived, he found that the British minister to Texas, Charles Elliot, and the French minister, Dubois de Saligny, had arrived four days earlier. Elliot and Saligny had proposed to President Jones that they would make another attempt to negotiate a settlement with Mexico to allow Texas to remain independent.

Jones wanted to accept the Europeans’ offer. However, upon receiving word of the annexation resolution, Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the U.S. and declared the country at war. Mexico did show a desire to negotiate by not restating its own claim to Texas. Jones worked to delay the meeting of the Texas Congress by 90 days so that Elliot could travel south and try again to get peace and independence from Mexico.

When the news got out, public opinion in both Texas and the United States was in an uproar. U.S. newspapers expressed anger at British interference in U.S. affairs. The British actions united the American people in favor of the annexation of Texas.

Source: The Final Showdown: Texas Makes Its Choice
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