Texans were divided on the issue of statehood. Pioneers wanted all
the border protection they could get but generally were against surrendering
control to any government, much less one as distant as Washington on
the Potomac.Many Texans believed if there was to be an alliance with
a distant power, it should be Britian, who coveted San Francisco and
offered expansion of Texas territory to the Pacific.
Acquiring Texas had long been one of Andrew Jackson's dreams. He sent
his protege, Sam Houston, there in 1832 to cool the Indians in the name
of the United States. The hero of the Battle of New Orleans could hardly
sit still for a British Texas. He spurred another protege, James Polk,
into the presidency on the platform of immediate Texas annexation. Liberal
conditions included the U. S. delivery of cash, soldiers and forts while
Texas retained all it's public land, the right to fly it's flag at the
same height as the stars and stripes and divide itself into six states.
That is, assuming of course, there could ever be an agreement on which
state would get the Alamo.
It was the public land issue that caused the United States trouble
in its negotiations with the Indians. It promised but couldn't deliver
Texas soil to the Comanches nor could anything do much to curb western
expansion. A decade before when Houston was confronted with a Comanche
request for a permanent border, he sadly shook his head and said, "If
I could build a wall from the Red River to the Rio Grande, so high that
no Indian could scale it, the white people would go crazy trying to
devise a means to get beyond it."