Executive Department Valesco 10th June 1836.
To His Excellency The President, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Your Communication of the 9th inst purporting to be a protest to be published to the civilized world has been presented to me.
The Government of Texas cheerfully recognize to your Excellency the right to make known to the world every grievance and injustice that you may have experienced at their hands.
I admit that this government has been constrained, by the influence of a highly excited popular indignation, to deviate for a season, from the terms of that Article of the treaty, made between this Govern ment and your Excellency which relates to your transportation to Vera Cruz And in making this admission I profess a profound mortification, for it does not belong to the spirit of the Government, to make even a slight devia tion from it's solemn engagements. But the causes that have produced the constraint under which this Government have acted, are not unknown to you and I should regret to believe that you were incapable of giving to them a just appreciation. The Citizens and the Citizen Soldiers of Texas, have felt and do feel, a deep, intense and righteous indignation at the many atrocities which have been perpetrated by the troops lately under your Excellencys command, and especially at the barbarous massacre
of the brave Colonel Fannin and his gallant companions. How far your Excellency participated in that abominable and inglorious slaughter, I am not disposed to conjecture, but it is both natural and true, that the people of Texas impute it to your Excellency's special command.
When the Government of Texas solemnized the treaty of the 14th alto, with your Excellency, they did
not it in good faith and they intended religeously to observe every stipulation of that treaty. Your embarkation on board the armed schooner Invincible, was an effect of that intention, but your Excellence has had too much experience in the way wardness of popular excitement, not to feel the necessity which prompted your subsequent debarkation and the postponement of your stipulated departure.
Your Excellency protests 1stly For having been "treated more like an ordinary criminal, than as a prisoner of war, the head of a respectable nation even after the agreements had been commenced"
I do not precisely comprehend the character of the treatment objected to and would have been pleased to have had specifications. If your Excellency alludes to the accommodations in our power. That we are at present des titute of the ordinary comforts of life, is mainly attributable to your Excellencys recent visit to our new country and on this account, we feel less regret that you should partake of your privation.
Your second protest, relating to the treatment exper enced by the Mexican General Adrian Woll, involves some facts which I do cincerely deplore, but for which this
Government is not strictly responsible.
Your Excellency is sensible that we have done all in our power to guarantee the safe return of Gen. Woll to the Mexican Camp, but our orders have been con travened by the Commander of the Texian Army at a remote distance from the seat of Government. The reasons that have activated that officer have not been fully detailed to us; but we are informed that they are predicated on some alledged impruden cies of Gen. Woll, whose good discretion we know has not been very conspicuously manifested during his stay amongst us.
The Third Article of your protest is "against the nonfulfillment of the exchange of Prisoners stipulated in the 9th Article, in as much as up to the present time not one Mexican prisoner of war has been set at liberty, notwithstanding the liberty given to all the Texians in possession of the Army under my com mand."
Your Excellency seems to have a more minute intelligence on this subject than has come to my knowledge, for I have no official information of a single Texian Prisoner having been given up under the Treaty_ some of the intended victims, the compan ions of the Murdered Fannin, have happily effected their escape and safely arrived amongst us. But these cannot be considered as liberated, in the sense of the Treaty; whereas this Government has gratuitously dis= charged several Mexican captives and defrayed their expences to New Orleans, the distinction which they solicited.
The 4th clause of your Excellencys Protest has been antecedently answered in part_ Your Excel= lencys recollection has betrayed you into an error when you
say "the President himself and Cabinet of Texas, being con= vinced that I had punctually fulfilled all my engagements &e."
This Government were convinced that your Excellency had complied with some of your stipulations, and this convic= tion aggravates the Mortification which the late events have inflicted upon them. But they were not informed that "all the property had been given up" or that any of the Prisoners had been restored, as your Excellency erroniously emagines. On the contrary, we were advised that large herds of cattle had been driven in advance of the retreating Army and that a few only of the slaves that had been abducted, were returned. It is due to your Excellency to say that the Government confidently believed these restorations would be effected as early as a proper convenience would admit._______ But I am induced to advert to another fact in relation to which it would be difficult to extend the same chari table exculpation to the officers of the Mexican Army.
It has been reported that the walls of the Alamo at Bexar, have been prostrated and that the valuable brass artilery attached to that fortress, have been melted down and destroyed. There were many painful and pleasing and glorious reminicences connected with that Alamo, which render its wanton dilapidation, peculiarly odious to every Texian spirit; and your Excellency needs not to be informed that the destruction of it, was an infraction of the Armistice & a violation of the Treaty.
In reply to your Excellencys fifth Protes= tation I remark that the painful circumstances which induced the Government to direct your debarkation on the 4th instant have already been adverted to, in a spirit of frankness and of self humiliation which a consciousness of error alone could extort. It were superfluous to repeat the causes which induced this Government to vary its discretion in
regard to the time they should deem the departure of your Excellency to be proper. I am not sensible of any "act of violence and abuse" to which you were exposed that was not necessarily concomitant on your return to shore.
_______Your Excellency has acquired too great a celebrity in Texas not to be an object of curiosity with the multitude but I believe you will bear testimony to the magnanimity which restrained a tumultuous and highly exasperated crowd, from offering any indignity to your person. If such outrage had been committed, it would have been promptly chastised.__________________________________ ____________________"The President & Cabinet" entertained no intention of "making a show" of your Excellency whose condition as a prisoner, has invariably commanded their highest veneration and towards whom they have exhibit= itid every attention that was compattible with their official duties and within their power to bestow.
Your Excellency's final denunciation is probably the result of [excited?] feeling. While you are determined as a prisoner, it is inevitable that the ordi= nary precautions be observed. I am not apprised that more than this has been done. Your Excellency is not ignorant that the members of this Government are remote from their own homes and are very indiffer= ently accommodated. That the seat of Government is not permanently located and therefore no public buildings have been erected. To these facts you will find no difficulty in attributing your being placed in "a narrow prison" and your Excellency knows that the room you occupy is more commodious than that which constitutes both my office and my only family habitation.
It is vividly fresh in my recollection that