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Mexican Commander Requests Armistice

Arista informed the Texan commissioners that the regular troops ranging on the frontier had always received specific orders from him not to cross the Nueces, which he implied was the boundary; and, he asserted that they had been instructed not to molest any unoffending citizens of Texas. These orders, he said, would still be enforced, but

. . . that for his own protection he should be compeled to use every means in his power to put a stop to the trade, on the grounds that such trade was illegal, since it was being carried on by belligerents.[26]  He informed us, [continued Morris] that at present, and for a long time to come, no hope need be entertained by Texas of a recognition of her independence by Mexico, not only on account of the inveterate animosity entertained towards us, but because a Texas Campaign was always a sure means of raising money, when required by the Government. But that we might be well assured that no hostile operations would or could be made against Texas for the present,"

and Morris believed that Mexico had not "the most remote idea of ever invading Texas yet she has no stronger inclination," he said, "to recognize our independence than when Santa Anna first marched against us with his invading army."[27]  Arista declared that he was un-

26. This attitude on the part of Arista was in line with his proclamation of April 13, 1841, "To the troops under my command and to the Inhabitants of the Frontier of the Department of the East," prohibiting trade with the Texans. He announced that any citizen caught trading with the Texans would be arrested and made to serve ten years in a permanent frontier company of the army, and that all his effects and beasts engaged in the trade would be confiscated. He declared "booty of war all effects coming from Texas apprehended from the left bank of the Río Bravo toward the interior of the territory usurped by the Texians: those apprehended on the right side [of the river] would be considered as contraband." Those who assisted the Texans in conducting the contraband trade would likewise be punished. Mariano Arista, El C[iudadano] Mariano Arista, general de brigada del egército, mégicano y en gefe del cuerpo de Egército del Norte. [Proclamation defining and imposing penalties for engaging in contraband trade with Texas and providing for the division of captured contraband.]" Á los tropes de mi mando y á los habitantes de la frontera de los Departamentos de Oriente . . ." [Dated and signed at the end:] Dado en el cuartel general de Sabinas de dia 13 de Abril de 1841. Broadside.

27. John D. Morris to Samuel A. Roberts, San Antonio, Sept. 13, 1841; Mariano Arista to Cornelius Van Ness and John D. Morris, Aug. 8, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 767-768, 776-777. Henry M. Morfit, President Andrew Jackson's secret agent to Texas, reported an interview he had near Orozimbo in September 1836, with Santa Anna, a prisoner in Texas, in which Santa Anna said, in substance, "he would avow frankly though with much mortification, that there were many men in Office in Mexico who did not

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