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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

tunity for profitable employment as well as a chance to add additional glory to their names. The Seminole War in Florida was ending,[27]  and no doubt some of the volunteer adventurers, now unemployed, made their way to Texas to participate in further military campaigns. Furthermore, the Cherokee war in east Texas had suddenly terminated during the last week in July, freeing several hundred restless men whose appetite for military glory had only been whetted by the late easy-going campaign.[28]

Considering the condition of the rest of the world in the fall of 1839, as a result of the Panic of 1837, Texas, according to Dr. Ashbel Smith, was "in a flourishing -- very flourishing state."[29]  The number of emigrants entering the country was great. In March the City of Houston was described as having over five hundred men, mostly new arrivals, seeking or eligible for jobs. Many immigrants were arriving from the United States, where the effects of the panic were first felt. During the first ten days of April three steam packets and several sailing vessels landed quite a number of immigrants in Texas.[30]  One can assume that most of the immigrants pouring in from the United States found employment in the commercial and agricultural life of the nation, but undoubtedly a few of these from time to time found employment in the Federalist enterprises or the ranger service of the Republic, or both. Even a smaller number joined the hell-raising, plundering cowboys on the southern frontier, where the economic outlook was not as rosy as Dr. Smith pictured conditions in Texas. In the west credit was gone and the collection of debts was at a stand-still with "little prospect of change for the better."[31]  "There is no kind of currency afloat among us," wrote W. Pinkney Hill from Bastrop in July 1839, "not even shinplasters, sufficient to meet the ordinary transactions of marketing, for table use even."[32]

At Houston, as early as May, it was rumored that General Felix Huston, long an advocate of a stern policy towards Mexico, was selling out his property in Mississippi preparatory to emigrating permanently

27. Telegraph and Texas Register, May 15, 1839.

28. Ibid., Aug. 14, 1839; "Cherokee War," Handbook of Texas, I, 334-335.

29. Ashbel Smith to [Westar] Pennock, City of Galveston, Texas, Oct. 21, 1839, in Ashbel Smith Papers, ms.

30. Same to Gen. [M. B.] Lamar, Houston, Dec. 31, 1839, in ibid., ms.

31. Bartlett Sims to Austin Bryant, San Felipe or Brazoria, Texas [dated:] Bastrop, Nov. 26, 1838, in James F. Perry Papers (transcripts), ms.

32. W. Pinkney Hill to J. F. Perry, Bastrop, July 8, 1839, in ibid., ms.

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