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The Córdova-Flores Incident

bamas, and Coushattas were also removed, but without bloodshed, the last two tribes being given other land in Texas. Thus, more Indian land was made available to land-hungry speculators and settlers. About eighty Cherokee, Delaware, Kickapoo, and Caddo warriors made their way to Matamoros, where they were supplied with rations, arms, ammunition, clothing, and other necessities.[88] 

Although Córdova was forced to flee beyond the Río Grande and Flores was killed, the effects of their activities, supplemented by the work of other agents in Texas, were felt for several years. After the opening of the land offices under the land law of December 14, 1837, the Indians needed less encouragement from the Mexican agents; for seeing the surveyors, locators, and unprincipled land-grabbers at work beyond the settlements, they were not slow in believing that the white man was taking all their hunting grounds. Consequently, in 1838-1840, and to a less extent thereafter, the whole frontier from the Arroyo Seco and Río Frio to Red River was lighted with the flames of a savage war. Red men, egged on by Mexican agents, contended against Anglo-Texans for mastery. The Indian outrages were appalling, and the whole northern frontier bled from the savage fury.

On the Southwestern frontier a similar situation existed, flavored with Mexican and Texan banditry. En route to Austin with Colonel Jacob Snively, Secretary of the Treasury, James H. Starr, in the fall of 1839, "saw a band of fifteen Texas cowboys. They carry on a predatory warfare," he recorded, "against the inoffensive inhabitants of Chihauhua on the Río Grande, murdering them, burning their houses and driving off their cattle, mules and horses to this country in violation of a law of Congress and the Proclamation of the President inviting those Mexicans to trade on friendly terms with our people and offering them protection."[89]  He reported that the marauders were harboring hundreds of cattle in the vicinity [of La Grange?], and were boasting that no jury or court could be found to punish them. They "bragged that they even robbed neighbors' melon patches," he declared, confident that the blame would be put on the Tonkawa Indians.

John H. Reagan, "The Expulsion of the Cherokees from East Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association (1897-1898), 38-46.

88. D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, Jan. 1, 1840, Consular Dispatches (U. S.), Jan. 1, 1840-Dec. 29, 1848 (Matamoros), ms., microfilm; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Jan. 18, 1840. The Colorado Gazette reported Córdova and 90 Cherokees at Matamoros early in December 1839.

89. Private Memoranda, 1839-1840, in James H. Starr Papers, ms.

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