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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

stripped of their clothing and effects, and their bodies left hanging from a tree. The two servants, one of whom had been wounded with seven rifle balls, succeeded in making their way to the settlements on the Río Grande, where they were captured and taken as prisoners to Matamoros. In time, this whole incident was carefully reported abroad by the Texan diplomatic corps as evidence of the intention of the Texan government to avoid meddling in the internal affairs of Mexico,[150]  and care was taken to see that the Mexican government was made aware of the true conduct of the Texas government in relation to the Mexican Federalists.

As long as there was no peace on the frontier, the defenses of the country came under careful consideration. By November, Lamar was lamenting to Congress,

It is with much regret and mortification that I refer to the distracted condition of our Southwestern frontier. Believing that a friendly commercial intercourse between our citizens and the peaceful inhabitants on the West of the Río Grande would be eminently advantageous to us, I issued a proclamation inviting and authorizing such intercourse under restrictions which were deemed expedient. The trade for some time progressed with entire harmony and mutual advantage. Under its successful operations several thousand horses have been introduced into our country abundantly supplying its domestic and military wants. But I am informed, on good authority, that recently a number of persons of desperate character and fortunes have congregated on that frontier and have committed many atrocious depredations upon those who were participating in the trade. The Brigands, whether composed of our own citizens, or refugees from the justices of other countries, or of hostile Mexicans, ought to be promptly and effectually suppressed.[151]

Mexican living in the neighborhood exhibited a hat, bridle and holsters, which were recognized by the Anglo-Federalists as having belonged to Hawkins; he said that he found them by a mangled body. It was supposed that he had been murdered by the Cherokees.

150. B. E. Bee to John Forsyth, Legation of Texas, Washington, April 5, 1840; R. G. Dunlap to Abner S. Lipscomb, Legation of Texas, Washington, March 27, 1840; and Barnard E. Bee to Abner S. Lipscomb, Washington, April 21, 1840, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1907, I, 444-448, 451-452.

151. Mirabeau B. Lamar to Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, Executive Depart., City of Austin, Nov. 12, 1839, in Harriet Smither (ed.), Journals of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 6-31; Austin City Gazette, Nov. 20, 1839; Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1836 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., pp. 96-135.

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