When President Anson …show more content…
This conflict arose from the Lone Star State's determination to make the most of the Rio Grande as its western boundary by claiming an area reaching to Santa Fe and encompassing the eastern half of what is now New Mexico. In March 1848 the Texas legislature decreed the existence of Santa Fe County, and Governor George T. Woodqv sent Spruce M. Bairdqv to organize the local government and serve as its first judge. The people of Santa Fe, however, proved unwilling to accept Texas authority, and United States troops in the area supported them. In July 1849, after failing to organize the county, Baird left. At the same time a bitter controversy was developing in Congress between representatives of the North and the South concerning the expansion of slavery into the territory taken from Mexico. The Texans' western boundary claims became involved in this larger dispute, and the Lone Star State was drawn into the crisis of 1850 on the side of the South.
President Zachary Taylor, who took office in March 1849, proposed to handle the Mexican Cession by omitting the territorial stage and admitting California and New Mexico directly into the Union. His policy angered southerners in general and Texans in particular. First, both California and New Mexico were expected to prohibit slavery, a development that would give the free states numerical superiority in