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Federalists Seek Support in Texas

As the Federalist movement broke out in the northern departments in the winter of 1837 the Texas press carried the news of the successes and defeats of the Federalists, discussed their objectives, and speculated on the probable effects of the movement upon future Texas-Mexican relations. It was only natural that different views should be taken and expressed about the civil strife in Mexico, especially since it often involved a large section of the southern and western border of Texas and since the young nation was still technically at war with Mexico.

From the very beginning of the Mexican war, arch-Federalists sought to win support in Texas for their cause. From New Orleans, an ardent and devoted friend of Texas independence, O. de A. Santángelo,[1]  a former editor of the defunct Correo de Atlántico, a liberal Mexican paper, outlined to Francis Moore, Jr., editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register, a plan for the creation of a North Mexican Republic with the aid of Texas. Santángelo, a Neopolitan by birth, had been exiled from his native land in 1821 because of his political beliefs. He resided in Spain for a brief period, and from there went to New

1. A biographical sketch of O. de Santángelo will be found in Lamar Papers, VI, 270-271. A petition relative to a claim of Santángelo for losses sustained in behalf of the Texas Revolution was introduced in the Third Congress. "Among the ardent and devoted friends of Texas," declared the Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), Nov. 21, 1838, in supporting the petition, "there have been none more efficient and disinterested than this venerable man who was among the first of foreign journalists to espouse our cause, and labored fearlessly and unremittingly during the hour of our country's suffering." One of the editors of the Correo de Atlántico was George Fisher, who presented in 1838 copies of the newspaper to the various departments of government of Texas. The Correo de Atlántico, a semiweekly newspaper, was published at Mexico City through Number 16, when its editor, O. de A. Santángelo (head of a seminary in the city) was forced to flee from the country. He resumed publication of the paper at New Orleans on February 29, 1836, where it was continued until issue Number 41, dated August 15, 1836, "when in consequence of the want of patronage the Editors were compelled to suspend its publication." The "want of patronage" was due, as Santángelo explained in his petition, to his Mexican federalist friends withdrawing their financial support of the paper when he began to advocate the Texan cause of "absolute independence." "These gentlemen had taken it into their heads," declared Santángelo, "that the independence of Texas, although it was the inevitable result of unjust and ferocious aggression, and of the apathy of the other Mexican States in opposing the march of centralism, was neither more or less than a dismemberment of the Mexican territory." "Petition of O. de A. Santángelo to the Honorable Congress of the Republic of Texas, April 22, 1838," in Lamar Papers, II, 143-152; see also Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 23, 1836. [Ed: See "Santángelo, Orazio de Attellis", biographical sketch, Handbook of Texas Online]

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963