Go to Page | Index | Contents 275     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Republic of the Río Grande and Texas

give security to the authorities for good behavior.[21]  Thus we see that the policy of the Mexican government continued to be one of conciliation backed by a stern hand.

Arista's manner of settling the difficulties in the northern states of Mexico, wrote Van Ness from San Antonio,

. . . is prudent and politic, and unquestionably will be most successful in the accomplishment of his views. Instead of arresting or persecuting in any way such as have aided the Federalists, he is forgiving and forgetting. In his march he does not insult or offend, nor does he touch an article for his men without paying for it. Different from their usual practice of sacrificing lives and property, he says he has come to relieve and to save, and not to finish the ruin of an already suffering and impoverished people and country.[22]

In Texas it was reported that the Centralists were "settling down along the Río Grande, and taking civil, military, and domestic possession of the whole country."[23]  All Río Grande trade with Victoria and San Antonio was cut off, and at the former place, where large stocks of merchandise had been accumulating for some time for a lucrative traffic with the Mexicans, business was "dull even to stagnation and the hope of better times . . . [was] faint and faltering."[24]  At Victoria the businessmen saw little hope of improvement until Arista's roving troops, especially Córdova's party, they said, could be expelled from the trans-Nueces country, even from the banks of the Río Grande. Their apprehensions were further stimulated by a Mexican cavalry unit of six hundred men, accompanied by a number of Cherokee and Caddo Indians, which penetrated within the asserted boundary of Texas as far as the Nueces in an effort to capture the Federalist government. Arista and Canalizo were expected to cross from Guerrero and Matamoros with several thousand troops.[25]  The cavalry unit, however, did not cross the Nueces; but its appearance on the frontier caused the Texans in the vicinity of Victoria to organize a small spy com-

21. Notice issued by General Arista at Saltillo, April 30, 1840, reprinted in English translation in the Telegraph and Texas Register, July 29, 1840.

22. Extract of a letter of C. Van Ness to the Adjutant and Inspector General [Hugh] McLeod, San Antonio, April 7, 1840, in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 22, 1840.

23. Telegraph and Texas Register, April 29, 1840.

24. Ibid.

25. Letter to W. D. Wallach, Victoria, March 14, 1840, in Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda), March 28, 1840.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 275     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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