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Republic of the Río Grande and Texas

Americans of Credibility were sworn as witnesses. From their testimony it appeared that about four weeks since a company of traders were attacked on this side of the Nueces not far from San Patricio by a company of Americans who severely wounded one of their number. The Mexicans were scarcely quit of the Company who first attacked them than another company of Americans overhauled them and pressed their horses for the use of the Federal Mexicans (alias cow driving) Service. The matter is still before the examining court but we are fully satisfied the law will avail nothing; they are able at all times to exculpate themselves by means of pliant witnesses.[77]

The situation was no better at Goliad. At that place there was "a great stir about stolen horses," and upon his arrival there, one evening in the spring of 1840, narrated Rev. W. L. McCalla,

. . . while I was telling my hospitable, pious and intelligent host that I apprehended danger of horse-thieves, and therefore felt anxious to secure my pony in a good inclosure, the animal and its beautiful lariat disappeared and we saw them no more. At the same time my [Mexican] companion was missing, and several other horses disappeared. I concluded that on the Guadalupe and the San Antonio the name of Camanchees was a very convenient cloak for Mexican murderers and horse-thieves.[78]

By the time the petition from Victoria reached Austin, the administration had a more pressing and immediate problem to contend with. The efforts to sign a peace treaty with the Comanches had blown up in the Council House fight at San Antonio on March 19,[79]  and the

77. James D. Owen and Others to M. B. Lamar, Victoria, March 13, 1840, in Lamar Papers, III, 350-351.

78. W. L. McCalla, Adventures in Texas, Chiefly in the Spring and Summer of 1840: with a Discussion of Comparative Character, Religious and Moral, pp. 42-43.

79. The various Comanche tribes had been invited to send representatives to a council in San Antonio on March 19 to discuss peace terms with agents of the Texas government. The Indians had been told to bring in all of their white prisoners, but only one girl, Matilda Lockhart, who had been held captive some two years, was brought in. The Texan delegation, supported by three companies of troops under Colonel William S. Fisher, determined to hold the twelve chiefs, the Indian women, and children prisoners until the other white captives were brought in. Texan troops guarded the doors to the Council House and were posted inside. The chiefs were informed that it was known they had other captives and that until these were surrendered they could consider themselves prisoners. A bloody fight ensued in which thirty-five Indians were killed and eight wounded, and twenty-seven Indian women and children and two old men were captured. [Ed: continued next page]

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