APPENDIX NO. VI.
Though the Eighth Congress of the Republic of Texas, in December, 1843, voted an appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars to our countrymen in the Mexican prisons; and again, in February, 1844, fifteen thousand dollars in addition to the first appropriation (see Journals of the House of Representatives, Eighth Congress, page 450), yet eight months thereafter, when public opinion in Texas forced him (President Houston) to pay some  little regard to these most peremptory laws of the land, he condescended to place to their use two thousand dollars, two hundred of which was, by special provision of the law, paid over to our unfortunate countryman, Antonio Navarro. This was done by sending a special agent with the paltry sum, whose pay and expenses must have come to fifty per cent. of the amount which our one hundred and twenty surviving countrymen received, when a bank deposite in New-Orleans, against which they could have drawn, would have been worth from six to eight per cent. premium. It will be recollected, that when this insulting show of regard for our prisoners was made by President Houston, both himself and newspapers in Texas were boasting of "the par circulation," "surplus in the treasury," "great receipts in the custom-house," &c., &c.
What we have said, and the abundant proof heretofore furnished, cannot fail to satisfy every impartial reader that President Houston's first object was to have the whole of the Mier men shot in Mexico, when he wrote to that government, through the British minister, that "they had entered that country without authority," and consequently were "robbers and marauders;" and failing in this, to have any but the brave Captain Cameron and each tenth man shot, his second plan was to starve the remainder to death in Mexican dungeons. This he wellnigh effected by a usurpation of the laws of the land which voted them bread, and which the remnant of their muster-roll will show.
He who deals in falsehood is ever in danger of self-conviction, and such has been President Houston's misfortune. From the Battle of Mier up to the fall of 1843, both the President and his partisans in Texas were busy in denying that he ever wrote such a letter to the British minister as was charged and proven upon him, and that the Mier commander had had his orders to invade Mexico. But on the 27th of January, 1844, when that excitement had measurably subsided, and to subserve his vindictiveness towards a gallant soldier, Colonel William G. Cooke, he forgets his former denials, and in his veto message of this date (see Journals of House of Representatives, Eighth Congress, page 375) he writes as follows:
|Executive Department, Washington, Jan. 27th, 1844TR>|
To the Honourable the House of Representatives:
The Executive regrets to find himself under the necessity of withholding his assent from the bill for the relief of William G. Cooke, late acting quartermaster general. The reasons which impel him to do so are, as he conceives, of the most forcible character.
In the first place, the government never promised those who should participate in the late campaign to the Rio Grande anything more than authority to march, such ammunition and arms as could be furnished, and  the spoils acquired from the enemy, according to the laws of civilized warfare. This fact is shown by the accompanying note from the secretary of war and marine, which is intended to form a part of this message, and the published declarations of the Executive himself. In an address to the people of Texas, dated July, 1842, and published in the newspapers of the day, the Executive remarked, in reference to the contemplated expedition, that "the government will promise nothing but authority to march, and such supplies of ammunition as may be needful for the campaign. They must look to the Valley of the Rio Grande for remuneration.