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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

remuneration by the same system of stealing from their neighbors, thereby keeping the whole vicinity in trouble."[68] 

Both Mexico and Texas sought to suppress the gangs infesting the frontier, but with little success. Sometimes they tacitly encouraged, or tolerated, retaliatory raids upon one another. There was no peace on the frontier, and in 1840 the road from Goliad to San Antonio was still regarded as one of the most dangerous in the Republic.[69]  In all, the insecurity of the frontier was quite discouraging to the average settler.

Among the lawless frontiersmen, who operated from 1838 to 1841 under the name of "Cowboy," and made it their business to steal cattle to be driven eastward for sale[70]  were Captains A. T. Miles, J. C. Neill, ________ Merrell, William Wells, John T. Price, Jack (V. R.) Palmer ("worthless man"[71] ), ________ Hull, W. J. Cairns (Scotch), John H. Yerby, James P. Ownsby, Jacob ("Jake") Hendricks (Pennsylvania Dutch), Ewen Cameron (Scotch), Samuel W. Jordan, and such lesser persons as "Tonkaway" Jones, Richard Roman, Joseph Dolan from Nacogdoches, Captain Thomas Hagler[72]  of Houston, Pierre (Peter) Rouche (Frenchman), Thomas Lyons[73]  (Irish), John Smith[74]  (Tennessean), James Taylor, Josiah Creed, John Hefferon[75]  (Irish), Mabry

68. Morning Star (Houston), June 18, 1839.

69. W. L. McCalla, Adventures in Texas, Chiefly in the Spring and Summer of 1840; with a Discussion of Comparative Character, Political, Religious and Moral, p. 37.

70. "Information derived from Anson G. Neal, Laredo, May 30, 1847," in Lamar Papers, VI, 99, 101; see also Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas, p. 322.

71. Lamar Papers, VI, 100; Hobart Huson, "Iron Men: A History of the Republic of the Río Grande and the Federalist War in Northern Mexico," ms., p. 60.

72. Thomas Hagler, who served in the Mexican Federalist forces in 1840, was killed in a street fight at Goliad in 1846 by a man named Pool. Pool was subsequently killed on the Agua Dulce, between Corpus Christi and the Río Grande. Lamar Papers, VI, 127; Silvanus Hatch to Gen. M. B. Lamar, Jackson County, April 2, 1840, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

73. Thomas Lyons was killed at China, Mexico, during the Federalist War. Lamar Papers, VI, 116.

74. A man, presumed to be John Smith, was arrested early in October 1841, for stealing a horse near Rutersville, and was reported taken back to Fayette County for trial. Telegraph and Texas Register, Oct. 13, 1841.

75. The name "Hefferon" has been spelled many ways by various and sundry persons too numerous to cite. The usual variations that I have found are: Hefron; Heffron; Heffenn; Heferin; Hiffin; Heffernann; Heffernan. Where the man signed his name, for instance, on a receipt for pay as a "Minute Man," he wrote it "John Hefferon."

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