1858 - Sam Houston was worried about Mexico once again and rose on the floor of the United States Senate to speak his mind:
"The State which I have enjoyed the honor of representing in this chamber, since the emblem of her national independence took its place among the galaxy of stars which is unfurled over our heads, has a paramount interest in the establishment of orderly government in Mexico."
Mexico was, as usual, in a state of internal disarray.
Indians raided both ways across the border, driving populations toward the safety of the interior. Bandits ruled the Mexican highways and attacked all but the most heavily armed American traders.
The political vacuum was a temptation for some European power to step in and reap the spoils. Even if that were prevented, filibusterers might partition the Mexican republic into personal fiefdoms.
All of this was bad for the United States and worse for Texas.
"Mexico can not prevent it, because she is never free from civil war or other intestine commotions… The notion, sir, that Mexico will ever help herself out of the extremities to which she has been so deplorably reduced, is too absurd to be entertained by a rational mind. The more she struggles, ostensibly for the bettering of her condition, the more anarchical she becomes.
We have, then, no alternative, if we put the slightest value upon our interests, and are not disposed to disregard our duty, but to arrange plans immediately for ruling her wisely, and, as far as possible, gently."
What exactly did Houston have in mind?
Sam argued that the Gulf and Pacific squadrons of the US Navy were already adequate to protect Mexico’s shores and trade without any further expense to the United States.
5000 troops, properly garrisoned would bring internal order and their upkeep paid for by customs receipts as foreign trade swelled with a stable Mexico.
"Hence it is clear that we have it in our power to improve the condition of Mexico immeasurably; to breathe the breath of new life into her nostrils; and without incurring the risk of a dollar. What a salutary change would this be, not only for both countries, but for the world at large!"
But Sam went on…
"Louisiana was a purchase; California, New Mexico, and Utah a conquest; but Texas was a voluntary annexation. If the condition of her admission is not complied with on the one part, it is not binding on the other."
What was this about?
"If I know Texas, she will not submit to the threatened degradation foreshadowed in the recent speech of the Senator from New York."
And there was what had Houston riled.
Senator William Henry Seward (the man who would purchase Alaska from Russia in 1867) had given a speech on the power of the Northern States, their close commercial ties with the Canadian provinces, and how much more powerful the North would be once Canada was partitioned into American states.
Sam saw a well governed (and potentially annexed) Canada as an unfair advantage to the North and a threat to Texas.
"Texas would prefer restoration to that independence which she once enjoyed, to the ignominy ensuing from sectional dictation. Sorrowing for the mistake which she had committed in sacrificing her independence at the altar of her patriotism, she would unfurl again the banner of the lone star to the breeze."
Houston submitted the following resolution:
"Resolved, That a select committee of seven be raised to inquire and report to the Senate whether or not it is expedient for the Government of the United States of America to declare and maintain a protectorate over the so-called Republic of Mexico, in such form and to such extent as shall be necessary to secure to this Union good neighborhood, and to the people of said country the benefits of orderly and well-regulated republican government."
Of course you already know that nothing came of this. The Civil War, that great interrupter of political designs, put an end to both Seward's and Houston's schemes, as attentions turned inward.