William H Wharton to Branch T Archer, 12-02-1835
Summary: Declining mission to United States because he believes nothing short of a declaration of independence by the Texans will get aid from the United States
To the Editors of the Telegraph.
I herewith transmit to you, for publication, a copy of an official letter which I addressed to Wm. H. Wharton, together with his answer. Inasmuch as the latter contains matter worthy of general consideration, I hope you will lay it before the public, without delay.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Sir,—By a resolution of the Consultation of the chosen Delegates of all
Texas, in General Convention assembled, it was made the duty of its
president to inform you that you are elected by that body, a commissioner to
the United States of the North, to act under the advice and instruction of
the Provisional Government; and that you be requested, as speedily as is
Your obedient servant,
Sir,—In answer to your letter announcing my election by the
Convention, as commissioner to the United States, I have to say, that, under
existing circumstances, I decline the appointment. The declaration of the
Convention, and the attitude assumed by that body, appear to me to be too
indefinite to induce foreign governments or capitalists to lend us their aid,
either of a pecuniary or other nature. Understand me; I do not blame the
Convention for their declaration. They were not empowered, as I
conceive, to make any other. A declaration of independence was not in the
contemplation of those who elected them. It was thought, and I, among
others thought, that a declaration in favor of the federal Constitution of
Again, many honestly differ in regard to the power of the late Convention. Some believe them to have been purely recommendatory Others say that not one fifth of the people voted for representatives, not anticipating the present crisis; and various others find various other objections. We know mankind well enough to know that every cavil, objection, or cause of excitement will be greedily embraced, magnified, and circulated, for the purpose of poisoning and prejudicing the public mind, which would be a result that could not be too much avoided and deprecated, in our present infant and unorganized condition.
Those, of course, acting with authority from a body of dubious powers,
would necessarily have a delicate and difficult task to perform We truly,
Allow me to assure you that the course herein recommended would meet the views of a great majority of the army, and also of those citizens with whom I have met since my return from camp. A conscientious conviction of the importance, correctness, and indeed indispensability of it, induces me to decline acting as commissioner, under present circumstances. I understand that arrangements have been made to borrow one hundred thousand dollars, which, with the other aid in the power of the Governor and Council to bestow, will be amply sufficient to sustain the army, and provide for all other emergencies, until a new Convention can meet. In conclusion, allow me to say, that I believe the sustaining of the present army is more important than every thing else put together; and that I hope and recommend that no pains be spared to give them all the comfort and support within the powers of the provisional government. A belief of the importance of sustaining the army, will induce me to return to it immediately, with all the recruits I can possibly muster.
Very respecfully yours,
P. S. The army is much in want of coffee, sugar, flour, tobacco, clothing, etc., and if not furnished as soon as possible, great and just dissatisfaction will ensue.