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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

these Indians as expressed in the treaty recently concluded with them.[39]  "It is a matter the adjustment of which devolves exclusively on the civil authorities," wrote Secretary of State R. A. Irion, as he requested Cornelius Van Ness, the district attorney for the district in which the acts had been committed, to see that justice was done in the case. At the same time, he admonished Van Ness to use "the prudence and caution which the peculiar circumstances of the affair seem to demand. The Indians, I suppose, would be satisfied with either the restitution of the horses, or the amount of money for which they were sold."[40] 

When the District Court for the county of Victoria met for its September term, Van Ness was absent, and Judge J. W. Robinson requested John D. Morris to act as the district attorney. Believing that it would be impossible to obtain a correct and impartial consideration of the case concerning the robbery of the Tonkawa Indians in Goliad County, "in as much as there were but a sufficient number of men to form a grand jury and petit jury and a large number of these were engaged in the robbery," the matter was taken, under that clause of the law in relation to depopulated counties, before the grand jury of Victoria County of which John J. Linn was the foreman. Upon investigation, the grand jury learned that after Colonel Pinckney Caldwell and the Tonkawa warriors had reached Corpus Christi Bay and found no Mexicans at the place, a party of Americans, principally from Goliad, with about twenty of the Indians separated from the main body and proceeded westward to drive off Savariego and his band who had been plundering on the frontier. Unable to locate the Mexican marauders, the Americans concluded to reap some reward for their efforts. On their way, they met a group of Mexican traders entering Texas with a large number of horses and other property. They fell upon the Mexicans, stripped them of their horses and other possessions, and claimed that they killed eight of the unfortunate traders. The Americans and Indians divided the spoils equally, and both parties separately drove their horses through the town of Goliad. It was alleged that as they passed through Goliad, four or five horses belonging



39. "Treaty with Toncoway Tribe of Indians, Texas. Post of Béxar, Novr. 22d, 1837," Proclamations of the Presidents (Texas). Sam Houston, Nov. 1836-Dec. 1838, pp. 13-14. See also Sam Houston, Documents on Indian Affairs, Submitted to Congress by the President, November 15, 1838.

40. R. A. Irion to C. Van Ness, City of Houston, Sept. 14, 1838, in State Department Letterbook, no. 1, ms., pp. 45-46.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963