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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

"We must give way," he informed Lamar, "if not immediately supported by a military force. You my friend are our hope and in you we have confidence. If your administration opens with an ample plan of defence for the frontier, and for a vigorous prosecution of the war with Mexico, I will predict, that it will not only be one of the most popular, but one of the most useful." "There is much depending here in the West as to the course which is to be pursued as to protection," wrote Andrew Neill, district attorney of the Fourth Judicial District, "but I conceive the great difficulty is the want of means . . . This country or a great portion of it will be vacated unless something is done to keep it up."[60] 

Under this state of affairs, without much expectation of help from the national government, the local authorities at San Antonio took steps to ensure protection to its inhabitants from strange, irresponsible, or lawless persons who might be in the area. The city council, upon the recommendation of one of its members, Juan A. Zambrano, adopted on July 30, 1838, a resolution declaring that "all persons brought into the country by a Mexican officer and who had no visible means of support," if found either within the city or surrounding area should be obliged to depart as speedily as possible for the Republic of Mexico.[61]  Two months later, October 8, at the suggestion of Zambrano, the Council unanimously agreed to order a . . . general list" made out of all individuals able to bear arms, "as also of the horses and mules which each may possess, in order," said the Council, "should circumstances require . . . [that] they shall be in readiness to repel any attempt which might be made by . . . marauders to rob this City."[62]  On the 11th the Council ordered the keepers of each tavern in the city to furnish the mayor daily a list of all persons staying in their houses.[63] 

The law-abiding citizens of Victoria County found considerable opposition in January 1838, to their efforts to organize the county administration and to establish county and justice of the peace courts. "I must say as a man of honour," wrote John J. Linn, "that some of those who may perhaps petition for a new election do not want the laws of our country to go into effect as it would put a stop to their

60. A. Neill to James Kerr, San Antonio de Béxar, Nov. 11, 1838, in Lamar Papers, II, 289-290.

61. San Antonio, City of, "Journal A, Records of the City of San Antonio," ms., p. 29.

62. Ibid., p. 32.

63. Ibid.

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