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Capture and Death of Dimitt

the 5th. Dimitt protested his arrest, declaring that he was engaged in legitimate trade and did not deal in stolen cattle; but Sánchez informed him that he had been ordered arrested as a spy, presumably on the basis of a letter he had written on Mexican affairs which had appeared in the Austin City Gazette, October 14, 1840. His captors told him that he, along with the others, would be taken to Matamoros, some sixty leagues away, "but that he should not blame the Mexicans as he had been denounced by his own countrymen."[16]  Later, William Thompson testified that a Mexican trader, who had joined the group, claimed that he had seen a letter from a certain Texan, whom the Mexican said he need not name, informing General Ampudia that Dimitt, who had been very active in the Texas revolutionary movement around Goliad, was stationed on the frontier by the Texan government to watch the movements of the Mexicans.[17]

Dimitt, Boyd, Farrow, Graham, Juan Gómez, a man stained by many horrible crimes, and another Texan were carried off as prisoners. The last two were among those taken from the salt lake. William Thompson, whom the Mexicans believed to be too sick to travel, and the other four taken at El Sal de la Nación were released at the time the Mexicans began their withdrawal, because, so the Mexicans said, they had an insufficient number of men to guard them, and because they were good men and laborers. Thompson, however, testified on the 10th, that when the salt workers were interrogated by Captain Sánchez, they declared that they worked for Colonel Kinney; whereupon, the Captain said, "'Ah, very well, if they belong to Col. Kinney don't disturb them.'"[18]

Just as Sánchez was about to commence his march, José María Cabazos came up with a group of vecinos. Cabazos reported he had been commissioned by the sub-prefect of Reinosa to intercept illicit traders. The newcomers assisted Sánchez's men as much as they could and the tobacco was distributed among them, which seemed better than dumping it into the bay or burning it. All of the prisoners, except Dimitt and Boyd, were sent on the two vessels with the plunder and a guard of twelve men from Sánchez's partida. Dimitt and Boyd were

16. Catherine George, "The Life of Philip Dimmitt," pp. 73-74.

17. William Thompson's affidavit, Republic of Texas, Victoria County, July 10, 1841, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 11, 1841; see also James Gourlay, Jr., to Branch T. Archer, Lamar, July 8, 1841, copy in Army Papers (Texas), ms.

18. Deposition of William Thompson of Corpus Christi Bay, July 10, 1841, Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 11, 1841.

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