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Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade

frontier] or if I was a commissioner sent to enquire into the state of the frontier. To this I said that I did not belong to Ross nor was I a Commissioner, but that I was on my way to San Antonio at the same time acquainting myself with the frontier and then [would] report to the Government. He said that he was one of the band of Brothers, and wished me to understand that they could defend themselves against any force the Government could send to oppose them. To this I said I would acquaint the Government of their independence and save him the trouble of setting the Nation at defiance publicly.

The Government can have no idea of the deplorable condition of the citizens of the San Antonio River. The constant dread of being murdered obliges them to receive the Rober as a friend; they dare not say a word in their defence. While I was in Goliad about twenty of this band assembled in front of a public house and declared that in three days they would visit Carlos Rancho, burn it down, kill all the Mexicans belonging to it and, as they said make a clean turn of every kind of cattle on the perairie. . . . I am convinced that there is not less than three or four hundred men engaged in this [cow stealing] business directly and indirectly -- there are several persons of standing engaged in it silently and now about two hundred actively engaged scattered west of the San Antonio River. One of them told me they had their expresses better regulated than any Regular Army that has ever been in that country. There is some ten or a dozen now on the Atuscosa gathering up a drove of cattle belonging to citizens [of San Antonio].[34] 

Lieutenant Browne also reported that Major Richard Roman of Victoria intended to make a descent upon the Río Grande and capture Matamoros. "His object is plunder," he reported. "He intends the cow drivers shall be his Troops, but [he] has no idea that his intentions are yet known." Contrary to the Telegraph and Texas Register's report in its issue of September 4, Major Ross had not yet reached San Antonio. He was reported still at Gonzales, and half of his horses were said to be lost.[35] 

Two days later, September 15, Henry Stuart Foote, a member of the Mississippi legislature on a tour of Texas, wrote President Lamar from New La Bahía (Goliad) concerning conditions on the Texas frontier. A short while before in New Orleans on his way to Texas,

34. John Browne to A. Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, San Antonio, Sept. 13, 1839, in Lamar Papers, III, 106-107. Carlos' Rancho was located in Refugio County, twenty miles below Goliad.

35. Ibid.

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