between the Nueces and the Río Grande, the Mexican authorities began in the late spring and early summer of 1841 to show an increasing interest in reopening the frontier trade, indicated by the readiness of the military commanders to grant passports to all who wished to trade with the citizens of western Texas.
Some time later, the sheriff of Refugio County, Jeremiah Findley, ordered the raising of a company of volunteers from Victoria, Refugio, and San Patricio for the purpose of tracking down and arresting the marauders infesting the frontier and of giving protection to the Mexican traders. While the troops were being raised, the citizens of San Patricio commenced the erection of a fort at that place to give protection to the trade, for San Patricio, being closer to the settlements on the Río Grande than any other Texas community and being within fifteen miles of steam navigation at all seasons, could easily become a flourishing trade center.
While there seemed to be no peace on the frontier, the Texan government still had hopes of arriving at an amicable settlement with Mexico. Shortly after the adjournment of the Fifth Congress, while formulating his plans for the occupation of New Mexico, Lamar made a third attempt to effect a peaceful adjustment with Mexico with Great Britain acting in the role of mediator, according to the promises in the recent Anglo-Texan treaty. Why he should think that with one hand he could make peace with Mexico while with the other he extended the jurisdiction of Texas over an area that by the greatest stretch of the imagination had never been considered a part of historic Texas has never been explained by his most impassioned supporters.
Judge James Webb, former Attorney General and Secretary of State in Lamar's cabinet, was named minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary to Mexico on March 20, 1841. His instructions concerning boundaries were the same as those given to Bee, but if Mexico objected to giving up the harbor of Brazos Santiago, lying just north of the mouth of the Río Grande, she was to be offered free use of the port, as well as the right of deposit. The general tone of his instructions indicated that this was the final effort of Texas to negotiate. They also contained a specific plan for aggressive action should his mission fail.
30. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 23, 1841.
31. John T. Price to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War, July 2, 1841, Army Papers (Texas), ms.; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 424-425; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 7, 1841.