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The Córdova-Flores Incident

Knob[83]  on Brushy Creek, they were met by Colonel Burleson with another relief expedition. This party generously furnished Rice's men with provisions without even asking for a share of the booty. After dinner Burleson's and Rice's forces returned to Austin, where Colonel Burleson, Samuel Highsmith,[84]  and Logan Vadever[85]  were selected arbitrators to determine upon the division of the spoils. It did not take them long to decide that the horses and other paraphernalia belonged to Rice's men: "to the victors belong the spoils." Rice's men then proceeded to Hornsby's Bend, nine miles below Austin, where all the captured horses were placed in a corral and divided into seventeen lots by disinterested parties. Each man drew for choice. After the division of the horses, the men proceeded to open the captured leather bags. One of these contained several letters between Córdova, Flores, and the Mexican officials at Matamoros, together with several official communications directed by the latter to the Indians in East Texas. There happened to be at the place a Mexican named Francisco, who, possessing some education, was able to make a rough translation of the documents for the Texans. This valuable information was at once turned over to Colonel Burleson, who transmitted it to the Texan government at Houston.

The captured papers convinced Lamar and his cabinet that the Cherokees were in treasonable correspondence with the Mexicans,[86]  but there were no letters from Cherokee leaders to justify this conclusion. The Cherokees seem to have done little more than listen with Indian politeness to the warlike proposals of Mexican agents and conspirators in East Texas, until the inroads of land-hungry Anglo-Americans forced them to defend their homes. Whether justified or not, however, the Texans engaged in a campaign during the ensuing summer, which drove the Cherokees from Texas.[87]  The Shawnees, Ala-

83. Ibid. Pilot Knob evidently had reference to one of the elevations in the vicinity of present-day Round Rock, Texas.

84. "Samuel Highsmith," Handbook of Texas, I, 809. Highsmith had had a tintype picture made of himself in Santa Anna's uniform after the battle of San Jacinto.

85. Brown, "Annals of Travis County," chap. VI, p. 56, typed ms.

86. D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, Jan. 6, 1837, Consular Dispatches (U. S.), 1837-1839, (Matamoros), ms., microfilm.

87. More complete accounts of the expulsion of the Cherokee and allied tribes from East Texas may be found in the "Annual Report of the Secretary of War [A. Sidney Johnston], City of Austin, Nov. 1839," reprinted in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 73-116; and in

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