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Capture and Death of Dimitt

entered and held "forcibly without shadow of title."[23]  At the same term of court the Republic of Texas accused both Dimitt and Edward Fitzgerald of violating the postal laws; each pleaded guilty and was fined.[24]

The news of Dimitt's capture spread quickly. It required five days for William Thompson, who had feigned sickness so well that the Mexicans had left him, to carry the news from Flour Bluff to Austin, via Lamar, Victoria, and Gonzales. En route Thompson collected and conveyed to Austin the resolutions of a public meeting at Victoria, letters from Captain Byrne and Gourlay at Lamar, and from "several highly intelligent gentlemen at Gonzales and other places."[25]  At Victoria a public meeting was held on the 10th at the home of Charles Vincent, with Thomas Newcomb presiding, to protest the capture.[26]  A preamble and resolutions offered by Major Richard Roman were adopted[27]  declaring that

. . . it appears manifest to us, that the Mexican authorities are enforcing an open and avowed occupation of the Territory lying west of the Nueces River; and we would respectfully suggest, that the time has arrived when it is imperative upon this government to assert her claim to the said territory by a sufficient force, and occupation thereof; and that Government should adopt instant and energetic measures for the release of our patriotic and unfortunate fellow citizens.

23. "Memo[randum] for Refugio District Court, May Term, A. D. 1841," Andrew Neill Papers, 1824-1874, ms. Andrew Neill was District Attorney at this time.

24. Ibid.

25. Samuel A. Roberts to M. B. Lamar, Austin, July 14, 1841 (at night), in Lamar Papers, III, 546-547.

26. "Copy of Minutes of a Public Meeting of the Town of Victoria held July 10, 1841, in regard to the Capture of Captain Dimitt et al., Army Papers (Texas), ms.

27. "Copy of a Memorial of a Committee chosen and appointed by the Public Meeting of the Citizens of Victoria, July 10, 1841, addressed to the Hon. Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War and Navy," ibid. The memorial is signed by Richard Roman, John T. Price, A. S. McDonald, A. J. Cunningham, J. T. O'Reilly, and Thomas Newcomb. See also, Texas Centinel. . . . Extra. Austin, Thursday Morning, July 15, 1841. [At head of first column:] Important from the West -- Recommencement of Mexican Hostilities upon Our Inhabitants. [Editorial comment on the abduction of Captain Philip Dimitt and others by the Mexicans under General Arista, followed by a report of the proceedings of a "Public Meeting at Victoria," protesting the abduction, signed and dated at end:] Thomas Newcomb, Chairman. J. T. O'Reilly, Secretary. Victoria, July 10, 1841. [Austin: Printed at the Texas Centinel Office, 1841], broadside.

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