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Federalists Seek Support in Texas

and arms were also captured and distributed among the rancheros, and "those horses which had been stolen by their Texan riders were released to their rightful owners."[36]

On August 23 a Mexican force of approximately one hundred men left Matamoros upon the receipt of information that at the junction of the Arroyo Santa Rosa with the Bahía Road, fifty to one hundred Texans were rendezvousing to make a foray upon the northern frontier. The intention of the Mexican expedition, it was said, was defensive and for the protection of the settlements on the east side of the Río Grande from depredations by marauding companies. It could not be imagined how Mexico in her present disorganized and crippled situation could possibly seriously entertain the idea of carrying on an offensive war. "It is with great regularity," reported Prefect José Antonio Chapa, "that the Colonists are coming to ruin our frontier notwithstanding the defeats that they have received, for many of them are criminal adventurers . . . who not having anything to live on, launch themselves unhesitatingly into some enterprise to rob the fruits of labor of some poor Mexican as may be in misery from their depredations."[37]

While continued publicity was being given to the Federalist cause in Texas, and some Texas newspapers speculated upon the concentration of Centralist troops upon the frontier of the Republic for the purpose of resuming hostilities against the undefended western frontier,[38]  the revolutionists in northern Mexico sought to contact the Texas government for assistance. One of their agents, Francisco Vidaurri y Villaseñor, a former governor of Coahuila y Texas,[39]  appeared in San Antonio in July 1839, where it was reported he advertised for support for the liberal cause. Representing that all of the north Mexican states adhered to the Federal party, he proposed that Texas form with Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Nuevo México, Durango, and the Californias an alliance and that they separate from the rest of Mexico. He contended that the people in the northern states were more intelligent and desirous of liberty than those of the south, who were ignorant and factious and could be governed only by a despotism.

36. José Antonio Chapa á el Secretario del Gobierno de este Departamento, Prefectura del Norte del Departamento de Tamaulipas, Matamoros, Agosto 23 de 1839, in Gaceta de Tampico, Sept. 7, 1839.

37. Ibid.; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Aug. 1, 1839.

38. Matagorda Bulletin, June 28, 1839.

39. Vito Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas, desde la consumación de la independencia hasta el tratado de paz de Guadalupe Hidalgo, II, 438.

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