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Federalist Wars: First Phase

this advantage . . . was the one commodity they could least afford to lose: their popularity."[50]  But France was not the only recognized enemy of the Mexican government from whom the Federalists sought assistance. There was Texas, proud and contemptuous of the Mexico which had steadily refused to acknowledge her independence.

Since the French blockade on April 16, 1838, had closed the Mexican ports, until some were later opened under agreements with the Federalists, the citizens of northern Mexico, whether Federalists or Centralists, welcomed the opportunity to get supplies through Texas, and a brisk trade began to develop between the two areas. The Mexican government, itself, opened the port of Matamoros to a trade in certain articles prohibited from introduction at that place under the tariff laws of the country. The old smuggling route through Corpus Christi Bay was put to extensive use. It seems that the American smuggling schooner Lodi, at first incorrectly reported as the Commanche, put into Aransas before proceeding to Corpus Christi late in August 1838, to deliver her supplies to a Mexican party from the Centralist stronghold of Matamoros. Knowing the intentions of the Lodi, a party of Texans (previously discussed in chapter three) set out by land to relieve the Mexicans of the goods turned over to them.[51]  Most of the supplies, however, were safely conveyed to a Mexican party of about twenty-five persons, who loaded a portion of the flour, along with other items, into a light craft and headed for Matamoros, where "flour and all imported articles were selling at exorbitant prices." General Edwin Morehouse, returning from the west early in September, reported that the party of Mexicans, recently at Corpus Christi, had retired precipitantly, possibly upon the approach of a Texan foraging party, leaving on the beach about one hundred barrels of flour (some good and a portion much damaged) and a new steam engine,[52]  probably intended for the mines in the interior of Mexico. This phase of the United States-Mexican trade, although involving the use of Texas soil, brought in no remuneration in the form of import duties, and neither benefited Texans nor bolstered the tottering financial structure of the young republic.

50. Cecil Alan Hutchinson, "Valentín Gómez Farías," Ph.D. dissertation, p. 455.

51. A gentleman from Aransas, reporting in the Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 25, 1838, declared that the supplies were "beyond the reach of any pursuing foe."

52. Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 8 and 22, 1838.

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