THE INTERNAL POLITICAL and economic difficulties in Mexico, coupled with the memories and rumors of the savage fighting qualities of los Tejanos diablos operated strongly after San Jacinto to help Texas maintain its independence. Although those who occupied responsible leadership in the Mexican government always felt compelled publicly, for political effect at home, to agitate periodically for a war against Texas, privately they often expressed the view that Texas was forever lost to Mexico. Texas, however, while existing in relative security during the early years of her independence, was prevented by her own economic problems from bringing her differences with Mexico to a satisfactory conclusion.
As long as Mexico talked of renewing the war to reconquer Texas and encouraged the Indians and disgruntled Mexicans in Texas to attack the Texas frontiersmen, it was no easy task for Texas leaders to maintain the defensive policy that even Lamar knew was correct in regard to Mexico. The adventurers from the United States, who were eager for a chance to fight the enemy, and the Texan frontiersmen, who had suffered much during the revolution, could see little advantage to a policy which did not provide adequate security to life and property from Mexican brigands, lawless Texan freebooters, and hostile Indians who roamed the frontier. In answer to the repeated threats of an invasion from Mexico, each successive Texas President at one time or other, for political effect at home and abroad, talked of administering a severe retribution to any hostile Mexican force that might be so bold as to cross to the Texan side of the Río Grande, and at times was even provoked into boasting of conducting vigorous offensive operations against the enemy's country.
In May 1837, however, President Sam Houston, who understood well the necessity of leaving Mexico alone, ordered most of the men