Sunday, June 16, 2013

"those trusty rifles which the settlers had brought with them from the United States"

"...Now, in Europe, the regular armies only were armed, while the body of the people went unarmed. Our people should be well armed, and not suffered to muster in time of peace with cornstalks, and carry arms in time of war that they are afraid of. The secret of the great success of the western people in battle was in their being accustomed from their childhood to the handling of arms."--June 28, 1836 [Pgs. 1882-83]

   "...Still the Texians did not take up arms: they did not acquiesce, but they did not revolt. They retained their State Government in operation, and looked to the other States older and more powerful than Texas, to vindicate the general cause, and to re-establish the federal constitution of 1824. In September 1835, this was still her position. In that month a Mexican armed vessel appeared off the coast of Texas, and declared her ports blockaded. At the same time General Cos appeared in the west with an army of fifteen hundred men, with orders to arrest the State authorities, to disarm the inhabitants, leaving one gun to every five hundred souls, and to reduce the State to unconditional submission. Gonzales was the selected point for the commencement of the execution of these orders; and the first thing was the arms, those trusty rifles which the settlers had brought with them from the United States, which were their defence against savages, their resource for game, and the guard which converted their houses into castles stronger than those "which the King cannot enter." A detachment of General Cos's army appeared at the village of Gonzales on the 28th of September, and demanded the arms of the inhabitants; it was the same demand, and for the same purpose, which the British detachment under Major Pitcairn had made at Lexington, on the 19th of April, 1775. It was the same demand! and the same answer was given--resistance--battle--victory! for the American blood was at Gonzales as it had been at Lexington; and between using their arms and surrendering their arms, that blood can never hesitate. Then followed the rapid succession of brilliant events, which, in two months, left Texas without an armed enemy in her borders, and the strong forts of Goliad and the Alamo, with their garrisons and cannon, the almost bloodless prizes of a few hundred Texian rifles. This was the origin of the revolt; and a calumny more heartless can never be imagined than that which would convert this just and holy defence of life, liberty, and property, into an aggression for the extension of slavery.

   "Just in its origin, valiant and humane in its conduct, sacred in its object, the Texian revolt has illustrated the Anglo-Saxon character, and given it new titles to the respect and admiration of the world.

   "It shows that liberty, justice, valor--moral, physical, and intellectual power--discriminate that race wherever it goes."

- Senator Thomas Benton, July 1, 1836. [REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS, COMPRISING THE LEADING DEBATES AND INCIDENTS OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH CONGRESS TOGETHER WITH AN APPENDIX CONTAINING IMPORTANT STATE PAPERS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS, AND THE LAWS, OF A PUBLIC NATURE, ENACTED DURING THE SESSION: WITH A COPIOUS INDEX TO THE WHOLE. VOLUME XII. WASHINGTON: PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES AND SEATON. 1836. Pg. Pg. 1926-27] (Thomas Hart Benton, March 14, 1782 – April 10, 1858, nicknamed "Old Bullion", was a U.S. Senator from Missouri. Serving in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms. Benton was an architect and champion of westward expansion by the United States, later becoming known as "Manifest Destiny". One of his more famous quotations was; "I never quarrel, sir, but I do fight, sir, and when I fight, sir, a funeral follows, sir.").

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