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Federalists Seek Support in Texas

success and prosperity has made us haughty and unmindful of others in their adversity."

On the other hand, men like George Fisher, a Serbian by birth and former citizen of Mexico before his expulsion with José Antonio Mejía in 1835 for their liberal political views,[70]  which he disseminated through his newspaper, El Mercurio del Puerto de Matamoros, worked actively in behalf of the Federalist cause in Texas. Having recently received a divorce from his first wife[71]  and remarried, he was anxious to escape the harassment of three suits for debt in the October 1840 term of court by finding some sort of employment, perhaps filling the vacancy in the chief justiceship of Harris County, or serving as an agent to either the Mexican government or to the Federalists on the Río Grande, or going on a diplomatic mission to Spain or on a trip to California or Santa Fé in behalf of the Texas government. "I need an excitement under my present oppressed state of mind," he wrote a member of Congress, "which can only be had by travelling and I wish to do so, with honor to myself and profit to my country. The compensation is no object to me. I must have a diversion."[72]  In the Federalist cause he saw the opportunity for that diversion.

Although Fisher saw many reasons why Texas should remain aloof from the civil war in Mexico, he saw in the efforts to re-establish the constitution of 1824 in Mexico a chance for Texas to win the blessing of the Federal party in case that party were successful. Texas' cooperation in the Federalist cause could scarcely make the Centralists any more the enemy of Texas than they already claimed to be. Later, when the Federalists sponsored the idea of an independent republic of the Río Grande, Fisher pointed out the great commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural advantages to Texas that might accrue from friendly relations with the new nation, which would possess only one seaport of significance, Matamoros, situated thirty miles from the mouth of the Río Grande. The Federalists, he said, have no

. . . shipping for their imports and exports, nor have they any machinery, factories, breweries, distilleries, foundries, glassworks, saw mills, tanneries,

70. Eugene C. Barker, "The Tampico Expedition," in Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, VI (1902-1903), 170. For a biographical sketch of George Fisher, see Handbook of Texas, I, 600-601; Mary Fisher Parmenter, The Life of George Fisher, 1795-1873, and the History of the Fisher Family in Mississippi.

71. H. P. N. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 72.

72. G[eorge] F[isher] to Gov. Henry Smith, Houston, Oct. 29, 1840, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

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