Letter’s to the Editor
With regard to “The Last King of Mexico,” written by Dr. Lorin Swinehart (March 2013 edition), I have just one point to clarify. As a native Texan, somewhat familiar with that state’s history, I question the statement, “There followed [after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821] the Mexican War with the United States, during which Mexico lost vast territories in the north, including Texas and California.”
That Mexican War (1846 – 1848) won for the United States: California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Texas had already won its independence and had become the Republic of Texas in 1836, 10 years previously. Texas, already an independent republic, voluntarily joined the Union on December 29, 1845, but not as a direct result of the victory of the United States over Mexico as suggested in the article.
Our Columnist Responds:
Dear Mr. Williams,
You are, of course, correct. My sister, her husband, my niece and two nephews are unrepentant Texans, and I am surprised they didn’t catch it.
As I remember, Texas was independent for about 13 years. Interesting time in so many ways. I know that there was a dispute over the border with Mexico, the U.S. claiming it was at the Rio Grande, and Mexico arguing that it was the Nueces River. President Polk used the dispute as a pretext for war, depending upon one’s viewpoint, not the most edifying chapter in our history.
I admire good scholarship. If you have not already done so, I recommend Hampton Sides’ book Blood and Thunder; A Saga of the West.
For me, it is an honor to be a part of the El Ojo staff. Wonderful group of people, and some have become good friends.
Many thanks for your input.