paign usually served as a good excuse to raise money and troops to bolster the administration and at the same time as a way to avoid any appearance of desiring seriously to negotiate a peaceful settlement which would in any way seem to approve what had happened in Texas.
In the meantime, while Arista was effecting a reorganization of the frontier forces, the suspicions of the Texans were once more aroused by the prospects of a Mexican invasion.
Captain William Thompson of the schooner Wasp left Corpus Christi on December 2, 1840, for San Luis, where he reported an attack was hourly expected upon Aubrey & Kinney's rancho by three hundred men under Rodríquez, who, it was said, were being sent to destroy the rancho. If such were the intentions of Rodríquez, declared Thompson, a party of twenty-five men at the rancho, with one twelve-pounder, plenty of small arms and ammunition, and some picketing for fortification was determined to defend the property and their homes.
About midnight, December 1, 1840, a party of some fifty Mexicans under the command of González, supposedly from Brazos de Santiago, entered Corpus Christi Bay in a large boat and attempted to capture or steal the sloop Phoenix belonging to the firm of Aubrey & Kinney. Boarding the vessel, they ordered her crew to remain below deck, while they shipped the anchor, hoisted sail, and sought to take the vessel out of the harbor. While attempting to tack, they ran the Phoenix ashore; whereupon, the Mexicans ordered the crew on deck and without allowing the men time to clothe themselves, took them prisoners aboard their own vessel, destroyed the sails of the sloop, and headed for the open gulf, presumably bound for home. The two Texans who were taken captive were John Allen of San Luis, Texas, and James Gibson of Galveston. The mate, Mr. Hurd, remained secreted below deck on the Phoenix, and thus avoided capture. Captain Litting, of the sloop, was on shore at the time and also avoided capture. When this incident came to the attention of General Arista, he declared that González was not in the government service, and upon the latter's return to Mexico, had him arrested by General Ampudia and held in close confinement at Matamoros, where he was reported
6. Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), Dec. 16, 1840.
7. Ibid., Jan. 20 and 27, 1841.
8. Ibid., Dec. 16, 1840. One of the Texans, I do not know which one, was reported to have been murdered by González. Ibid., Jan. 27, 1841.