against both Indians and Mexicans. While the inhuman treatment of Mejía seems to have produced great indignation in the United States, Americans generally approved of Lamar's policy of not meddling in Mexican affairs. But, reported R. G. Dunlap from Philadelphia, where he had gone to hear a speech by Dr. Breckinridge "on the condition and prospects of Texas,"
if the Mexicans shall again put their bloody and poluted feet on our consecrated soil, Delenda est Carthago, is the motto that will bring to your standard thousands of gallant spirits, from the United States, with the good wishes of the whole country for your success. Such an event, will be but the birth days, of new spirits of chivalry, who will enter into the cause of a nation['s] liberty with as much devotion, as the soldiers of the cross, ever moved in the Crusades against the delusive power of the cressant.
As to whether the Mexicans really intended to invade Texas, one thing was sure: no one in Texas knew. "Conjecture is on stilts, and opinions stagger among us -- no three men agreeing on their thoughts. But happily," declared the Telegraph, "all agree in one thing -- that if they do come, our western prairies will receive a copious manuring."
While Mexican officialdom threatened war, enterprising and adventuresome Texans carried on their own private war along the Mexican frontier. Their reward was the loot they obtained or the satisfaction gained in the annihilation of a rival Mexican banditti party. The increased volume of trade, stimulated and abetted by the recent wars, and the gradual encroachment of settlers into the so-called no man's land, made their work all the more attractive. While officially the Mexican authorities attempted to prevent the trade, they often winked at the violation of the law and too many times were suspected of participating in the profits. In August 1839 several groups of Texans advanced to the Mexican settlements just north of the Río Grande, near Matamoros, and captured a number of horses and cattle, causing the prefect of the northern district of Tamaulipas to call upon the commandant general for additional protection for Matamoros. He claimed that the Texans were becoming progressively bolder and larger in
27. The question of the removal of the Cherokees came to a head after the discovery of the Mexican-Indian conspiracy from the papers taken from the body of Manuel Flores. In July the Cherokees were expelled from east Texas.
28. R. G. Dunlap to M. B. Lamar, Philadelphia, June 2, 1839, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1907, I, 401-403.
29. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 19, 1839.