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Federalist Wars: First Phase

Tuxpan, which place surrendered on June 13.[94]  This time, however, Urrea made an arrangement with General Paredes, whereby he was to return to service in the Mexican army and be confirmed in his position and honors as a general. Santa Anna disapproved of the agreement, and ordered Urrea into exile for six years, but on his way to Vera Cruz under guard he succeeded in escaping, and disappeared for a time. He was again taken and imprisoned in the City of Mexico, where he plotted with other revolutionists and almost succeeded in overthrowing the government in July 1840. The next year Santa Anna rewarded him for his help in overthrowing the government of Bustamante by appointing him commandant general of Sonora.[95]

Shortly after the defeat of Mejía, the Federalists suffered another serious blow, this time in the disablement of the steam packet Pontchartrain (formerly the Mediterranean), of 300 tons and mounting three 12-pound cannon, "commanded" by Colonel F. J. Ribaud,[96]  a Frenchman, sea captain, and former member of the Centralist army who had sought from Lamar command of the new Texas navy being constructed at Baltimore.[97]  The Pontchartrain had been fitted out as a man-of-war, or transport, at New Orleans. Her papers showed that she was registered and owned by an American citizen named Francisco Cowejolles, and that her crew and captain (Arthur Hughes) were Americans, with few exceptions. The Pontchartrain left New Orleans under American registry on May 16, 1839, for Tampico for sale to the Federalists. Three of its six boilers exploded or burnt out -- one on May 22, a second on the 23rd, and the third on the 24th -- as a result of the accumulation of salt in them while on their way from New Orleans to Tampico. The captain, having learned of Mejía's defeat and other signal reverses of the Federalist party before leaving New Orleans, felt compelled to put into a Texas port. Ribaud ordered the vessel's captain to direct his course for Galveston, but the distance was too great and on May 27 the Pontchartrain entered the port of Paso Cavallo under a crudely constructed rigging and sail of blankets and sheets sewn together, after having drifted at the mercy of winds and current for four days.

94. Morning Star, July 12, 1839; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 19, 1839.

95. Bancroft, History of Mexico, V, 238.

96. This name was variously spelled in the press: Ribaud, Rebau, Rebec, Reibau, and Rebeau.

97. Hill, The Texas Navy, p. 110; Willis Roberts to M. B. Lamar, Galveston, June 20, 1839, in Lamar Papers, V, 296.

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