The rebels fighting for Texan independence chose Sam Houston, a military leader, to be their president. He is partially famed for being a giant man who wore leopard-skin vests. Houston then retreated east to pick up recruits to fight on their side. Once reinforced, Houston turned and surprised the Mexican army at San Jacinto, just east of what is presently known as the city of Houston. Shouting “Remember the Alamo,” Houston’s army of eight hundred demolished a great deal of that of the México and killed nearly half of Santa Anna’s men in fifteen minutes. They also took Santa Anna himself prisoner. Houston then forced Santa Anna to sign a treaty recognizing the independence of Texas. However, the treaty was never ratified by the Mexican government. John Tyler: Vice President John Tyler assumed the presidency of Harrison in 1840. He was formerly a Democrat, but had broken away from Andrew Jackson over the nullification issue. However, he agreed with the Democratic philosophy of states’ rights. As the president, he would repeatedly veto the Whigs’ proposals, including the bill to create a new national bank. Tyler altered Whig tariff policy, prohibiting reduction. Tyler’s mounting vetoes infuriated Whig leadership, and some began to speak of impeachment. Finally, in August, needing more money to run the government, Tyler signed a new bill that maintained some tariffs above 20 percent but abandoned distribution to the states. Tyler’s erratic course disrupted the members of his party. By keeping some tariffs above 20 percent, the tariff of 1842 satisfied northern manufacturers, but by abandoning distribution, it failed to please many southerners and westerners. Although he was disowned by his party, Tyler wanted to run for presidential re-election for another term. He realized that if he could arrange for the annexation of Texas, he would build a national following.John C. Calhoun: Calhoun, who became Tyler’s secretary of state early in 1844, had theories of British plans to use abolition as a way to destroy rice, sugar, and cotton production in the United States and gain for itself a monopoly on all three staples. In 1844, Calhoun and Tyler submitted a treaty that would annex Texas to the United States. Among the supporting documents accompanying the treaty was a letter from Calhoun to the British minister in Washington, defending slavery as beneficial to blacks, the only way to protect them from “vice and pauperism.” Abolitionists now had evidence that the annexation of Texas was linked to a conspiracy to extend slavery.Henry Clay: Henry Clay, the most powerful Whig, came out against immediate annexation of Texas because he believed that it would provoke sectional conflict, and the treaty went down to crushing defeat in the Senate. During the Presidential campaign of 1844, he had a secure grip on the Whig nomination. In contrast to the Democrats however, whose position was clear, Clay kept going back on his word. First he told his followers he had nothing against annexation as long as it would not disrupt sectional harmony. In September 1844, he came out against annexation. Clay’s shifts on annexation alienated his southern supporters and prompted a small but influential body of northern antislavery Whigs to desert to the Liberty party, which had been organized in 1840. Clay infuriated Catholic immigrant voters by having Theodore Frelinghuysen be his running mate. Frelinghuysen was a supporter of temperance and other Protestant causes, which confirmed the image of the Whigs as the orthodox Protestant party and roused the largely Catholic foreign-born voters to turn out in large numbers for the Democrats. The election of 1844 demonstrated that the annexation of Texas had more national support than Clay had realized. The popular sentiment for expansion that elected Polk rather than Clay as President reflected a growing passion for expansion.