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Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade

of the aforesaid bays may at all times be plainly indicated, together with such instructions, bearing with land marks, courses and distances as may aid the entrance of marines with all possible facility into our ports." The same was to be done for the inside bars and channels of Sabine, Galveston, Matagorda, Lavaca, Aransas, and Corpus Christi bays.[4] 

Lamar had great ambitions for the future of Texas as an independent nation, not the least of which included developing and controlling her incalculable resources, and he envisioned Texas as "stretching from the Sabine to the Pacific and away to the South West as far as the enemy may render it necessary for the sword to mark the boundary."[5]  The attainment of security from Indian and Mexican attacks, the promotion of internal order, the development of trade, and the stimulation of settlement of the country where [Ed: "were"] important features of his policy.

On the Southwestern frontier there was a gradual revival of trade between the Texans and the inhabitants of northern Mexico, although the chief justices of Goliad, Refugio, and Victoria counties at times hindered it by charging (contrary to law) a passport fee of one dollar for each member of a Mexican trading company.[6]  The traders brought into San Antonio, Matagorda, Kinney's Ranch and Trading Post, and other points farther east, beans, flour, leather, piloncillas, shoes, saddles, and specie, which they exchanged for calico, bleached and unbleached cloth, tobacco, American hardware, and other commodities.[7] 

The resumption of trade and the influx of population into the so-called "depopulated counties" caused the western frontier to be pictured as assuming the appearance of an inhabited country. A visitor to the Nueces area below San Patricio described the country as

. . . unequalled by any that my eyes ever rested upon, either in its salubrity of climate, its general features and exuberance of soil -- the beautiful bottom lands that skirt the river on one side or the other, about two miles in width . . . the fine rolling pastures that swell up beyond them, with frequent hammocks of mesquite wood, all abounding with the finest and most luxuriant

4. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 113.

5. Inaugural Address of Mirabeau B. Lamar to Both Houses of Congress, Houston, Dec. 10, 1838, in Lamar Papers, II, 320.

6. John J. Linn to the President of the Republic of Texas, Victoria, Sept. 21, 1839, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas) 1836-1846, ms.

7. Matagorda Bulletin, Dec. 6, 1838; April 4, 1839.

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