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Texan Participation
in the Federalist Wars: Second Phase

THE ROLE OF TEXAS in the Federal War was thoroughly and vehemently discussed by many a veteran of the Texas revolution who frequented the City of Houston seeking pay in military scrip and bounty lands because the Republic possessed no cash. These veterans often made up for the long-sustained privations by patronizing Henry Kessler's Arcade on the west side of Travis Street, between Preston and Prairie, where they pawned their land certificates with this native Silesian and Kentucky volunteer of the Texas revolution, for brandy cocktails, gin toddies, claret punches, and cherry-brandy de la foret noire,[1]  while discussing the whimiscalness of Mexican politics and the advantages to Texas and themselves of taking sides in the Mexican civil war. Another famous meeting place was the City Hall. Houston was full of restless men eager for lucrative employment and adventure. The weather in May was discouraging and business was slow. The editor of one of the local papers described the climate as "dry, hot and oppressive. Streets dusty and disagreeable," and money was "scarce, and getting scarcer. Business dull, and growing duller, Loafers have increased, are increasing, and ought to be diminished. District Court in session -- crimes and criminals are undergoing its scrutiny -- hope it will have some effect upon the loafers."[2]  When fall came and the northers set in, there were only three stoves in the whole of Houston, and fires were lighted in front of the saloon in the evenings and the inhabitants stood around them and enjoyed -- "not excepting the President -- hot

1. Max Freund (trans. and ed.), Gustav Dresel's Houston Journal: Adventures in North America and Texas, 1837-1841, p. 32.

2. Morning Star (Houston), May 11, 1839.

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