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Mexican Commander Requests Armistice

to Independence, will be settled at some better time, either by the force of reason and judgement, or if that fail, upon the field of battle.[3]

Arista's letter was carried to Texas by two commissioners who passed through San Antonio on their way to the seat of government at Austin. The principal commissioner, Don Rafael Uribe, requested Juan N. Seguin to accompany him to Austin. The Mexican emissaries, accompanied by Seguin, arrived in Austin on June 22[4]  and sought to discuss with Lamar the advisability of sending Mexican troops across the Río Grande for the purpose of subduing the Indians. Seguin attended several of the interviews between Uribe and Lamar. The letter that the commissioners bore to Texas was rejected because it had not been addressed to Lamar as "President of the Republic of Texas,"[5]  but the President at once availed himself of this opportunity to dispatch two secret commissioners, Cornelius Van Ness and John D. Morris, to Arista's headquarters for "the purpose of coming to some understanding . . . upon the subject of the irregular and brigand border warfare which has unhappily for so long a period desolated our western frontier," said Roberts, Acting Secretary of State, "stripping our citizens of their hard earned property, depriving them of their liberty, and even in many instances of their lives."[6]  Another objective of the mission was to make an effort to "establish on a firm and . . . lasting footing a safe and friendly commerce with that portion of the Mexican territory bordering on and to the westward of the Río Grande," although the Texan authorities surely must have known of Arista's

3. Mariano Arista to Mr. Mirabeau Lamar, Lampazos [Mexico], April 21, 1841 (Confidential), in Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, VII (1903-1904), 173-174.

4. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 30, 1841, says the commissioners arrived at Austin on June 22. See also Juan N. Seguin, Personal Memoirs of Juan N. Seguin, from the year 1834 to the Retreat of General Woll from the City of San Antonio in 1842, p. 20.

5. Samuel A. Roberts, Acting Secretary of State, to Don Rafael Uribe, Department of State, City of Austin, June 23, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 747. The complete correspondence between Lamar, Van Ness, Morris, and Roberts, on the one hand, and the Mexican officials (Col. José María Carrasco, General Mariano Arista, and Dr. Rafael Uribe), on the other, may be found in Harriet Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 251-264.

6. Samuel A. Roberts to C. Van Ness and John D. Morris, Department of State, Austin City, June 24, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 748-749.

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