|Baker's San Felipe flag|
During the 1820’s six Englishmen were given empresario contracts by the Mexican government to establish colonies in Texas but none did so. Beale’s Rio Grande colony included a number of English families and after independence the Republic of Texas authorized a large grant to the Peters colony in 1841 that settled large areas of north Texas and was named for English immigrant William S. Peters. It is interesting that, due to strong trade ties between Great Britain and Mexico, the Republic of Texas was not immediately recognized by the British government. At least not officially. There was a Texan envoy in London but, while everything worked as though there was official diplomatic recognition, there never was officially because of British fear of offending Mexico. It can, in some ways, be compared with the way countries today deal with the Republic of China on Taiwan without officially recognizing it as such for fear of losing access to the lucrative markets of the People’s Republic of China on the mainland. It was diplomatic recognition in all but name. Also interesting is that, during the war and after, Britain was the primary supplier for the Mexican navy. Because of this, all of the ships the Republic of Texas Navy faced at sea were British ships, some even with British crews and British officers all in the pay of Mexico. What is surprising is that, given that, the Republic of Texas Navy heavily copied the Royal Navy of Great Britain when it came to everything from uniforms to regulations.
|An early Texas flag proposal|
When Britain did choose to get involved on the annexation, it was after America decided to put annexation up for a vote. Mexico, despite losing the War for Texas Independence and losing another campaign to re-take Texas, still claimed that the Republic of Texas was Mexican territory and threatened war if the U.S. annexed Texas. Britain did not want to see a war break out that would be bad for business and was also not pleased with the idea of America growing even stronger by annexing such a large and valuable country. So, the British tried to broker a deal by which Mexico would finally agree to recognize the independence of the Republic of Texas if the Texan and American governments would agree that Texas should stay out of the United States. For Britain, this would be a win-win scenario, avoiding a Mexican-American War that would disrupt trade and giving the United States some competition for dominance of the continent. Unfortunately for Britain, and Mexico as it turned out, the Mexicans refused to ever recognize the loss of Texas under any circumstances and the deal failed before it could even be proposed to Texas or America. The result, of course, was the Mexican-American War in which Mexico ended up losing New Mexico, Arizona, California and even more territory as well as Texas so, in retrospect, they would have been wiser to listen to Britain.
|HRH PoW at the San Jacinto Monument|
|The Queen at the Governor's mansion|
|The Queen at the Texas Legislature|
God Bless Texas and God Save the Queen!