Republic of Texas

Negotiating for Peace With Mexico

So long as a state of war remained between the Republic of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, Texas could not enjoy the full benefits of independence, and diplomatic relations with other nations were hampered by Texas' equivocal status. As the hope for immediate annexation to the United States died, efforts to negotiate a lasting peace with the Republic of Mexico increased. President Mirabeau B. Lamar worked actively to achieve a viable treaty or to force a change in Mexican government policy.

Among the diplomats sent to negotiate this peace was General James Hamilton, who had already served as one of President Sam Houston's commissioners to raise a foreign loan for Texas. Hamilton's appointment on December 23, 1839, designated him "Commissioner on the part of said Republic to treat with any Commissioner Agent or Minister which may be duly appointed by the Republic of Mexico to negociate for Amity , peace, and boundaries with the Republic of Texas, aforesaid, and to open said negociation either at London or elsewhere, either through the intervention of Her Britanic Majestys Government or of any other power which he may select for that purpose" The commission was to remain in effect for "the term necessary to accomplish said object, or until he shall be recalled from said Mission."

Hamilton's career as diplomat under Lamar was a successful one. He negotiated a treaty of commerce with the Netherlands on September 15, 1840, and three treaties with Great Britain: one of commerce and navigation, one providing for British mediation in the Texas-Mexico peace negotiations, and one calling for the suppression of slave trade. Signed in November 1840, the actual ratifications were not put into effect until July 28, 1842. When Houston returned to office, he continued to implement British influence in treating with Mexico. In June 1843 he agreed to an armistice with Mexico.

In 1845, the governments of Great Britain and France again intervened to attempt to continue Texan independence by brokering a permanent peace. Their negotiations were successful: Mexico would recognize the independence of Texas on the condition that Texas remain independent. President Anson Jones presented both the United States' Joint Resolution to Annex Texas and the Mexican treaty terms to the Congress of the Republic and to the Annexation Convention, and through them to the people of Texas. Peace with Mexico would not be achieved until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War.

Link - Hamilton's AppointmentClick on image to see larger image and transcript.
James Hamilton's appointment as commissioner for the Republic of Texas.





Link - Hamilton's InstructionsClick on image to see larger image and transcript.
Hamilton's instructions from Acting Secretary of State David G. Burnet.





Link - Hamilton's credence letterClick on image to see larger image and transcript.
President Lamar's Letter of Credence (credentials) for James Hamilton to the United Kingdom.






Link - Victoria's Ratification between Texas and UKClick on image to see larger image and transcript.
Queen Victoria's Ratification of the Convention between the Republic of Texas and the United Kingdom.




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Page last modified: December 5, 2017