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The Southwestern Frontier

projected Republic of the Río Grande and the cessation of the Federalist activities did not put an end to the gangs of desperadoes on the frontier, who continued "perfectly regardless of the rights of any one, robbing indiscriminately and not wishing to know or hear of any Orders to the contrary."[43]  "We find ourselves in a continuous hostility," reported El Ancla at Matamoros. Various parties of Texans and Indians, "seduced and commanded" by the Texans, have come to hostilize the frontier to divert the troops that protect it, while their expedition proceeds to Santa Fé.[44]  On a visit to Austin late in May 1841, Captain Hays reported "wandering parties of Mexicans and squads of Texian cow-thieves . . . materially interrupting the Mexican trade. They embody between the Río Grande and the Nueces and seize everything they can get hold of in the way of plunder." The editor of the Texas Sentinel of May 27, like the editor of the Austin City Gazette, wondered if some plan could not be devised "by which a dozen or two of these cow-boys could be caught and punished."

Representing Matagorda County in the Texas state constitutional convention at Austin in 1845, Albert C. Horton asked what protection, if any, had Texas ever given to the people residing between the Nueces and the Río Grande? "What is their peculiar situation?" he queried.

When the Americans have gone there they have preyed upon them; they have been necessarily compelled, by force or otherwise, to give up such property as they had. So vice versa, when the Mexicans have come in, they have been necessarily compelled to furnish them the means of support. . . . Since 1837 they have been preyed upon by our countrymen. I am ashamed to say it, but I speak the truth before high heaven, bands of robbers have driven off their cattle by hundreds and thousands, to this portion of the country, to the Brazos and further east. The cry is that they have taken up arms against this country. Against who have they taken up arms? Against a set of robbers, sir. . . . Not only have they been despoiled of their property, but, I am ashamed to repeat it, such violations as have been committed upon females there, fix a blot upon the American character.[45]

Traders, like Aubrey and Kinney, continued to request protection from interference by such lawless bands, alleging that if the present

43. Aubrey & Kinney to M. B. Lamar, Corpus Christi, Aug. 15, 1841 (Confidential), in Lamar Papers, III, 562-563.

44. El Ancla quoted in El Cosmopolita (Mexico City), Aug. 14, 1841. A small party of Indians attacked a man on July 31, 1841, near Mier. Ibid., Aug. 28, 1841.

45. William F. Weeks, Debates of the Texas Convention, pp. 408-410.

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