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Lamar's Efforts to Protect the Frontier

when compared with the musket then in use.[34]  However, because of an unfortunate accident at Austin resulting in a death from one of the new rifles, the people called it in ridicule, "Colt's patent wheel of misfortune."[35]  Mr. Jenks' rifles were also experimented with, and after some alterations agreed to by the manufacturer, 250 were ordered at a cost of $23.80 each. By the end of 1840 none of these had been received although they had all been at New Orleans in storage since August, awaiting payment by the government, which had been unable to meet its obligation.[36] 

On February 18, 1840, the artillery, small arms, ammunition, and other military stores were ordered by President Lamar to be moved from Houston, the former seat of government, to Austin. They were to be shipped to Linn's Landing on Lavaca Bay and from there transported by land to the capital, but because of bad weather and the difficulty of transportation they did not reach Austin until the latter part of May.[37]  Storehouses and a workshop were built at Austin to take care of the military stores, and plans were developed for the construction of a national armory, either at Austin or at some other place. A two-pound brass cannon was found near Texana, but its bore was in such bad condition from misuse that it was rebored with Brigg's horse-power machine and made into a useful four-pounder. Another Spanish brass piece, in like condition, was at the armory in Austin in September 1840, waiting to be rebored as soon as the War Department authorized the work. It was believed that this piece could be converted into a useful sixteen-pounder. The "Twin Sisters" and other cannon were in battery at the Austin garrison. By September 1840, there was only one military supply depot on the frontier, and the Ordnance Department found it impossible to keep the various posts supplied. It was urged that suitable arrangements be made at once with manufacturers in the United States for monthly, or periodic, delivery of

34. Telegraph and Texas Register, Nov. 18, 1840.

35. Ibid., Dec. 9, 1840.

36. George W. Hockley to David G. Burnet, Ordnance Department, Jan. 4, 1841, in Texas Congress, Journal of the House of Representatives, Fifth Congress, Appendix, pp. 400-402.

37. George W. Hockley, Colonel of Ordnance, to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War, Ordnance Department, September 1840, in ibid., pp. 169-174; Mirabeau B. Lamar to George W. Hockley, Executive Department, Austin, Feb. 18, 1840, in Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., p. 166.

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