Go to Page | Index | Contents 104     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade

lished town of Lamar.[17]  Lavaca was created a port of entry on January 23, 1839,[18]  and thereafter vessels going through the Pass Cavallo were to be sent to Lavaca Bay "in the same manner as if they were bound for Matagorda." A year later, the frontier towns of Victoria, Gonzales, and Goliad, which had not had enough people the year before to fill all the county offices,[19]  were reincorporated.[20] 

The development of Texas, generally, was proceeding rapidly in 1838 and 1839, and the opening of the trade along the western and southern frontiers was only one phase of that growth. "The emigration to your Republic," wrote a friend of Karnes from Alabama, "is immense; therefore, hold on to your lands and you will realize a fortune."[21]  "The prejudices which have hitherto existed against Texas, are fast wearing away," wrote the Texan consul at Philadelphia, "and a spirit of migrating to that country is being awakened, particularly among the German population."[22]  It was believed that an extension of the head-right law, then about to expire, would keep the tide of immigration flowing into Texas. Although the Texan consuls generally operated under the same instructions as those that governed United States consuls,[23]  as an inducement to immigration they were "prohibited from charging persons emigrating to Texas for passports or certificates of character or intentions." The policy of the government, declared the Secretary of State, was to encourage emigration from other countries; and hence, "the passport system was abolished in order to enable emigrants to avoid the inconveniences and expense which frequently attended the procurement of passports."[24] 

17. Sam[uel] Hewes to Genl. M. B. Lamar, City of Aransas, May 1, 1839, in ibid., II, 555; Proceedings and Resolutions of Citizens' Meeting, Aransas, Condemning the Removal of the Custom House to Lamar, June 15 and 17, 1839, in ibid., III, 21-23; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 3, 1839; James Webb to Editor of the Telegraph, [July 1839], ibid., July 10, 1839.

18. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 77.

19. William Hunter, Chief Justice of Goliad County, to James Webb, Goliad, March 27, 1839, in State Department Letterbook, no. 2, ms., p. 221.

20. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 450-453.

21. William O. Winston to Henry W. Karnes, Daniel Prairie, Greene, Ala., April 22, 1838, in Henry W. Karnes Papers, ms.

22. Cyrus Joy to David G. Burnet, Acting Secretary of State [dated:] Texian Consulate Office, Philadelphia, Nov. 28, 1839, Consular Correspondence (Texas), VI, ms.

23. Ibid.

24. "Instructions to the Consuls of the Republic of Texas," issued by R. A. Irion, Secretary of State, Department of State, City of Houston, Oct. 15, 1838, in ibid.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 104     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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