Go to Page | Index | Contents 207     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Federalist Wars: Second Phase

on the Texan side of the Río Grande in order to recoup his fortune; and he inquired of Lamar in January 1840, if he could "expect any protection to the enterprise from the Gov[ernmen]t troops." "If the Cavalry is organized, will not a part of the Corps be appropriated to the protection of western population and trade?"[21]  he asked. The Federalist war brought increased trade activity at other Texas ports, like Copano, Lamar, Aransas City, Live Oak Point, Black Point[22]  at the place where the Aransas River emptied into Copano Bay, and at other places, even as far away as Houston and Galveston.

The impetuous Texans who joined the Mexican Federalists were venturesome spirits discontented with the dull monotony of peaceful every day life. They were as fearless as they were reckless. They saw in the Federalist cause opportunities for service, a chance for adventure, or for gain, and, as one recent writer so aptly expressed it, there were some who "simply went for the ride; to match wits with the weather, and one kind of brutality with another, and power with guile."[23]  "We have noticed a number of genteel vagrants lounging about the different boarding houses of this city," reported the editor of the Telegraph (Houston), "who have no ostensible means of gaining a livelihood and have for some time past neglected to pay their board bill and wash women."[24]  These individuals the Federalists sought to attract to their cause. "We would say to those not engaged in business at home," reported two Texans from the Federal army, "Mexico presents a fair field on which with your services you may reap both honor and profit."[25]  "Texas," wrote an astute observer at Brazoria in August 1839, "is overwhelmed with Army & Navy officers -- there are enough for Russia -- & poor Texas is without means to support them on many weeks longer."[26]  Thus it is likely that many of these men looked upon the Federalist movement in Mexico as an oppor-

21. Memucan Hunt to M. B. Lamar, Galveston City, Jan. 4, 1840, in Lamar Papers, III, 299-300.

22. The community of Bayside now occupies this old site. Hobart Huson, "Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to the End of World War II," vol. II, chap. 21, p. 2; Handbook of Texas, I, 169-170. Philip Dimitt had his trading post here in 1839.

23. Paul Horgan, Great River: The Río Grande in North American History, II, 561.

24. Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 15, 1839.

25. John F. C. Henderson and Thomas Jamison to [the Editor of the Colorado Gazette and Advertiser], Jan. 8, 1840, in Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda), Jan. 18, 1840.

26. Anson Jones, Memorandum Book, no. 2, Thursday, Aug. 15, 1839, ms.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 207     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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