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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

protection against invasion by Mexicans and Indians. It had been hoped that a change in administrations would have brought more adequate protection to the frontier, but so far by March 1839, little had been done by Lamar to improve the situation; consequently, public opinion west of the Colorado was turning against the President. "Our miserable gov[ernment]t becomes more and more contemptible every year, month, day and hour," wrote Henry Austin. "Lamar is sinking like a plummet -- could not be elected a constable."[55]  Wrote an individual from the southwestern frontier,

We are getting into the belief that the present administration is governed by pure selfishness -- that favoritism to its friends and uncompromising hostility to its enemies is the present order of the day. Let me assure you I speak the honest belief of nine-tenths of the citizens of Texas, from the Colorado westwardly and so far as I know, of every individual claiming residence in this section of the country with the rare exception of now and then of an officer of the Government. It is an almost miraculous revulsion in public sentiment, but nevertheless true.[56] 

San Antonio, wrote Mrs. Mary A. Maverick, was a healthy and beautiful place, "as far as the gifts of nature go . . . but oh! how condemned it is by the thieves and mean wretches who inhabit it."[57]  Also from San Antonio, John D. Morris wrote, "there is not a night in the year when each man here does not sleep upon his arms and when he is not subject to be[ing] roused by the allarm gun of the advance of the enemy" -- be he Mexican, Indian, or bandit. "Such is the state of my country and unless some speedy assistance is afforded by the Gov[ernmen]t we will all be compelled to retire across the Guadaloupe and most probably [to] the other side of the Colorado."[58]  The same was true at Victoria and at Gonzales, declared Judge Robinson from Gonzales,[59]  where families were leaving for the Brazos and points eastward.

55. Capt. H. Austin to J. F. Perry, Houston, March 24, 1839, in James F. Perry Papers, transcripts, ms.

56. ________ to the Editor of the Telegraph, Nueces River, March 6, 1839, in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 10, 1839.

57. Mary A. Maverick to Agatha S. Adams, San Antonio de Béxar, Sept. 8, 1839, in Rena Maverick Green (ed.), Samuel Maverick: Texan, 1803-1870; A Collection of Letters, Journals, and Memoirs, pp. 88-91.

58. John D. Morris to R. A. Irion, Secretary of State, San Antonio de Béxar, Oct. 15, 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

59. James W. Robinson to Mirabeau B. Lamar, Gonzales, Oct. 27,1838, in Lamar Papers, II, 272.

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