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Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade

General Foote had informed Samuel A. Plummer, a close friend of Lamar's then on recruiting duty for the Texas army, that he was anxious to have "a full and confidential conversation" with Lamar "about matters and things in general" concerning the frontier, Mexico, and of "making the boundary with the sword."[36]  A few weeks later Foote was on the Texas frontier from whence he reported to Lamar of finding a situation

. . . deeply mortifying to our feelings, and . . . [of] the most awful consequence to the Republic. It was the business of cattle stealing, the robbery of private property, which had become an extensive and crying evil not confined to the enemies of Texas, but going on, openly in the face of day, to the injury of many of the best citizens of the Republic; and going on under circumstances of violence and even bloodshed, which made it certain that if not staid in its progress, the whole Southwestern part of Texas must be utterly broken up and ruined.[37] 

The Comanches were blamed for their wanton destruction of life and property; but, reported Foote,

I am sorry to declare it; I am grieved to be constrained, upon unquestionable evidence to state the fact, that there is a strange combination of marauders along the whole western frontier, composed in part of Mexicans, in part of Comanches and in part of men, claiming to be Texian citizens, who are allied in order to plunder and devastate indiscriminently the private property of as good citizens as any in Texas, men who have served you in war and . . . peace, and who are heart and soul devoted to the best interest of the Republic, & who would willingly die for the true glory of the nation.

Alarm, confusion, misery, and distress prevailed throughout the southwestern frontier, whose inhabitants -- men, women, and children -- were seriously considering abandoning it forever. "The tide of emigration is checked completely," declared Foote, "and can never begin to flow again until something is done by the Government."[38] 

36. S. A. Plummer to M. B. Lamar, N[ew] O[rleans], July 20, 1839 (Private Confidential), in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

37. Lieutenant John Browne informed the Secretary of War on September 13, 1839, that he had received information "that sixty mule loads of Powder has been delivered to the Comanchee Indians by the Mexicans high up on the Río Grande." John Browne to A. Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, San Antonio, Sept. 13, 1839, in Lamar Papers, III, 106-107.

38. H. S. Foote to M. B. Lamar, New La Bahia, Sept. 15, 1839 (Private), in Lamar Papers, III, 108-109.

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