The effect of the Federalist war was to allow Texas to not worry about an offensive from Mexico, but it also created problems in that the Mexican government did not understand the Texans participating in the conflict did so as individuals and not as representatives of the Republic. This, in the end, created more hard feelings between Mexico and Texas.


In Lamar's (second?) address he said, "Texas proper is bounded by the Rio Grande; Texas as defined by the sword, may comprehend the Sierra del Madre." The Sierra del Madre is a mountain chain made of two parts the Occidental and the Oriental which join about the central part of Mexico proper and extend north. The Oriental range passes just west of Monterey on up to become the southern extension of the Rocky Mountains. The Occidental Range extends to the eastern edge of California. Either way, or both, Lamar was claiming a lot of Mexican territory.

The United States had clearly shown they were in no hurry to annex Texas for all the political reasons discussed. Lamar decided to take it to the Mexicans on his own, and in doing so add territory to the republic. He ordered the Navy to make active attacks on Mexican targets. An alliance was made with Yucatán. Yucatán was controlled by Federalist forces. The Texas Navy would keep the Mexican Navy from making any landings in Yucatán, in return for which Yucatán would pay Texas $8,000.00 per month. The Texas Navy also assisted in building a Yucatán Navy. Its Admiral was Irishman James D. Boylan, formerly a Captain of the Texas Navy.

Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar

President Lamar asked the Texas Congress to fund a military expedition to enter New Mexico and take it for Texas. When the Congress voted down the expedition, Lamar went ahead with the plans anyway. On June 19, 1841, 321 men left on the Santa Fe Expedition personally sponsored by the President of the Republic, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar.

< General Hugh McLeod

Leading the expedition was General Hugh McLeod. Leading a civilian group that was to help in joining New Mexico to Texas was Irishman, Colonel William G. Cooke. The expedition was organized at, and left from Kenney's Fort, a stockade built by Doctor Thomas Kenney in what is now Williamson County.

Among the men of the expedition were Irishmen Peter Gallagher and Archibald Fitzgerald. Peter Gallagher later helped to found Fort Stockton, Texas. George Wilkins Kendall, another Celtic member (Scottish and Welsh) of the expedition founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837. He left his editorial desk to embark on recording the events of the expedition. Kendall wrote a book about the expedition. In the book, he described Fitzgerald; "Among the merchants of San Antonio was a wild, frolicking Irishman named Fitzgerald, one of the best fellows that ever the sun shown upon. Fitz, as he was universally called, was descended from one of the best families in Ireland." Fitzgerald's family sent him to a school in France when he was only eight to study to be a priest. He learned Greek, Latin, Hebrew and French. When he was eighteen, Fitzgerald returned to Ireland and let the family know the celibate life of a priest was not for him. His father made arrangements for him to take a job in Jamaica as a customs officer. He never made it to Jamaica, instead he joined the Irish Brigade in the Spanish Army. He won honors in that service and was made an officer and a Knight of the Order of St. Ferdinand. He next joined the Persian Army, after that he took trips to South Africa, Australia, and then Brazil before arriving in Texas.

In 1841, Archibald Fitzgerald was a member of the Santa Fe Expedition to make New Mexico a part of Texas. Their objective was to lay claim to the upper Rio Grande River as the boundary of Texas, and to open a trade route to Texas from New Mexico. Lamar believed the residents of New Mexico would welcome his expedition with open arms, and together with the Texans throw the Mexicans from New Mexico.

By the time the Texans finally crossed the rarely traveled, flat, desolate, prairie land of west Texas that was the domain of the Comanche, there numbers were less than when they started. The Indians killed many of them before they got to New Mexico. When those who survived the plains and the Indians arrived in New Mexico, they were dying of hunger and thirst. The expedition was met not with welcoming arms, but with armed New Mexicans ready to defend their territory from the invading Texans. The New Mexicans and Mexicans easily surrounded the ailing Texans and took them prisoner. The Texan prisoners of the Santa Fe Expedition began a long and ardous trip that ended in their being imprisoned in Perote Castle east of Mexico City. There is a listing of the Celts on the Santa Fe Expedition in Appendix V.


< James Pinckney Henderson

Irishman James Pinckney Henderson, Texas Minister to Britain and France, arrived in London in 1837. Henderson served the Republic of Texas earlier as Attorney General and then as Secretary of State. He was to negotiate trade treaties if he could not gain outright political recognition. The British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, was unwilling to negotiate with him. Henderson left for Paris where he obtained a treaty in 1839. Henderson was replaced by Celt James Hamilton who assisted Henderson in France. Hamilton was a former Governor of South Carolina who also once represented South Carolina in the United States House of Representatives.

James Hamilton >

Since the United States did not immediately act on the annexation of Texas, Hamilton found the Europeans more open to discussions. He completed a treaty with the Netherlands in September of 1840, and three treaties with England in 1841 - 1842. Britain seemed ready to extend recognition sooner than that, but the effort was blocked and delayed in parliament by Irishman Daniel O'Connell, who opposed slavery. Assisting both Henderson and Hamilton was Chistopher Hughes, a career diplomat for Texas, who assisted in all the treaties mentioned and a later one with Belgium. The signing of these trade treaties which implied recognition and were an important step in obtaining recognition for Texas as an independent republic.

There were many other Celtic events of interest during Lamar's administration.

Seguin was the home of several Texas Rangers including the McCulloch brothers; Ben and Henry, Andrew Neill, and JamesCallahan.

James W. Byrne and others laid out the town of Lamar, Texas. Byrne, in 1840, was elected to the Texas Senate. He introduced a bill that was made into law calling for means to protect South Texas cattlemen from Mexican bandits and rustlers.

Irishman Henry L Kinney, whose father helped to make Illinois a state, together with Welshman, William P. Aubrey started a trading post that quickly developed into the town and port of Corpus Christi. Helping Kinney at the trading post was a John P. Kelsey.

Philip Dimmitt also founded a trading post, on Laguna Madre. In July, 1841, Dimmitt and several of his people were taken prisoner by a Mexican calvary unit led by a Captain Sanchez, an aide de camp of General Ampudia. Seventeen others were captured with Dimmitt at the trading post on Laguna Madre fifteen miles south of Corpus Christi where they were raising a building. Dimmitt and the others were marched to Matamoros.

In September, the same unit, this time under Agaton Quiñones looted Refugio and took James Power and six others captive. They killed one man who resisted. Power and the others were taken to Monterey. In Monterey, James Hewetson was able to secure the release of Power.

William Bryan was appointed Texas Consul in New Orleans.

The McKinney and Williams Company, the chief creditors of the Texas Revolution, were unable to recover the monies loaned from the Republic of Texas. The Republic was financially unable to do it. As a result many of the people in William's extended family who pledged personal fortunes, went bankrupt. In order to repay the family and others as best it could, the Republic of Texas granted the mercantile firm of McKinney and Williams a favored status in business dealings with the new republic. The company was allowed to issue notes used as currency in Texas. During most of the years of the Republic these notes were worth more than those officially produced by the Republic of Texas. The company also built the first permanent wharf in Galveston.

John L. Darragh, who was born in Antrim, was the Magistrate in Galveston during this time. He became a wealthy man, and an important Galveston businessman.

Anson Jones married Mary McCrory.

The Reverend Joseph Bays preached in San Augustine. This is cited by some as the first Baptist service in Texas.

San Augustine in 1840 was also the site of a romance that ended in tragedy. John Conner was engaged to marry a young woman from San Augustine. Prior to the marriage, he left on a business trip to New York via a boat from New Orleans. Hershel Corzina, a rival for his intended's affections, and a son of the local judge was able to get an Alexandria, Louisiana newspaper to print an erroneous story saying Conner's ship was lost at sea with all crew and passengers presumed dead. Corzina brought the story to the young lady's attention and then consoled her in such a way, they were soon married. John Conner returned from New York with a wedding trousseau for his intended bride. When he found her married to Corzina and heard the story of how Corzina had lied to her about his own fate at sea, Conner went and challenged Corzina. They quarreled and when it was over, Corzina lay dead at the front gate of the newlywed's home.

In 1842, an Irish indentured servant came to Houston to begin his service. He was John Kennedy. In a relatively short time he was free of his contract, and operating his own trading post. In the span of less than twenty years, Kennedy rose to own two of Houston's more important buildings. Both carried his name for more than a hundred and twenty five years. One is still standing in Houston, it is Houston's oldest building, the Kennedy Bakery building. The other, a three story building known as the Kennedy Corner building, was torn down in 1991.

The Kelly Plow Company had its beginning in this period. Located near Marshall, Texas, it was the only full line plow factory in the Southwest. Production began in 1843.

Dublin born and Episcopal minister, Benjamin Eaton, came to Galveston in 1841. He held services in private rooms. He raised enough money so that the first Episcopal church built in Texas was opened in Galveton in June of 1842.

Ezekial Cullen authored the bill setting aside public lands for the support of schools and public education.

McKenzie College was founded by Methodist minister John Witherspoon Pettigrew McKenzie in Clarkesville, Texas. The college was highly respected as an institution of learning prior to the Civil War.

Galveston University was started by a Presbyterian minister, the Reverend W. L. McCalla. Houston, Burnett and Francis P. Moore were among the trustees of the school. The Texas Congress also chartered Guadulpe College in Gonzales and Trinity College in Alabama Settlement.

Another Presbyterian minister founded the University of San Augustine, and Nacogdoches University. He was a Scotsman named Marcus A. Montrose. Montrose later played a principal role in helping to found the Texas School System.

For a brief period, the Republic of Texas issued empresario grants until the people of Texas stopped the policy with their votes. One of the colonies established was the Peters Colony.

The Peters colony in North Texas had 87 people with Irish surnames. Five, we know, were born in Ireland. Of interest among the names is John Neely Bryan, the founder of Dallas. His cabin was rebuilt and is featured in a square in modern Dallas across from a cenotaph honoring a president whose name is the same as another original settler, John Kennedy. Another colonist in the Peters Colony was Collin McKinney. He was a notable Indian fighter. Collin County is named for him as is the county seat, McKinney, Texas. His daughter, Annie, was once engaged to Ben Milam. Milam did not marry Annie Collin. She married someone else after Milam was gone for three years on a business trip to England. During the entire three years, Milam did not send a word to Annie. Milam gave the gifts he brought back for his bride-to-be to Annie's sister, Elizabeth, who married his nephew, Jefferson Milam. A list of Irish names of the Peters Colony is in Appendix V.

John Coffee Hays was appointed by Lamar as the Captain of Texas Rangers based in San Antonio. Hays came from the same part of Tennessee that Andrew Jackson did. Jackson bought his renowned home, the Hermitage, from Hays' grandfather. Hay's grandfather fought with Andy Jackson in the Indian wars. Harmon Hays, father of John C. Hays also fought with General Jackson and named his son for General John Coffee, one of Jackson's Irish generals. When John Coffee Hays arrived in Texas just after San Jacinto, he had with him a letter of introduction from Andrew Jackson to Sam Houston. Hays distinguished himself at the Battle of Plum Creek, and at a dozen other Indian battles. The odds were always against the Rangers, but they won every engagement. One of the reasons, besides their skill and bravery, was the Colt six gun. "Jack" Hays was the first to use it against the Plains Indians. Jack Hays was considered one of the best Indian fighters and Rangers Texas has ever known. His bravery impressed even the Indians. One of his scouts, Chief Flacco of the Lipans said of him, "Me and Red Wing not afraid to go to hell together. Captain Jack heap brave; not afraid to go to hell by himself." Another Indian called Hays, "Brave Too Much". Hays County is named for Irishman John "Jack" Coffee Hays.

In the Fall of 1840, Hays led a charge of 20 men against 200 Indians who were waiting for them in a defensive position. Riding in with their colt's blazing, the Texans killed the chief and enough other Indians in the first pass to start a rout. Another episode was known as the Battle of Bandera Pass. Forty Texans were scouting seven miles west of San Antonio on Leon Creek. A band of Comanches waited in ambush at Bandera Pass. Bandera Pass was a gorge 500 yards long and about 125 inches wide. The walls of the gorge were not sheer, but they were 50 to 75 feet on each side with plenty of rocks and bushes to provide the Indians cover. The Rangers rode into Bandera Pass. At the first blast of gunfire and shower of arrows, several of the Rangers were hit, many of them knocked off their horses. These loose horses stampeded back through the Pass, making forward progress for those following impossible. Hays quickly told everyone to dismount and to send up a heavy volley of fire while rushing to the sides of the gorge. With Rangers on the opposite wall providing cover, the Rangers started to make their way up one side of the gorge. They stopped after a few yards to provide cover for those still in the gorge to start up their side. In this way the Rangers eventually worked themselves to a position where they could rush the Indians and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting. The Indians withdrew. Five of the Rangers died at Bandera Pass and five more were wounded. Among the dead were James "Red" Dunn, and a Ranger named Jackson. Other Rangers with Celtic names in the fight were: Sam Walker, Ad Gillispie, Ben McCulloch, George Neill (son of Colonel James Neil of the Alamo and San Jacinto), future Governor Peter H. Bell, and several others.

In 1841, Hays was with a surveying party of about fifteen men near "Enchanted Rock" in what is now Gillespie County. Enchanted Rock got its name from the Indians who would hear the sounds made when the massive granite structure would contract and expand. The group was attacked by a band of Indians. Hays got separated from the others when he climbed the rock and took a position in a hollow spot. Knowing they had him trapped and who he was, the Indians were determined to have his scalp for bragging purposes. Hays was determined to keep his scalp or, at least, to take as many with him before he died. To get to him the Indians had to eventually show themselves. Hays, one of the best shots in the Rangers, was able to show the Indians how well he could shoot. Hays was running out of bullets and the Indians weren't running out of braves, when the main surveying party was able to ward off their attackers and come to his aid. They found Hays in his hole surrounded.... by dead Indians! The Mexicans respected the fighting might of Hays as well, they had a $500 price on his head.