Go to Page | Index | Contents 453     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Capture and Death of Dimitt

The people of Austin, [declared editor Dr. Francis Moore of Houston, making a dig at the new capital] are so cut off from the rest of the republic, that they imagine the little effervesance of public opinion in that little city is the will of the people of Texas. Thus the recent capture of Dimitt and his party on Corpus Christi has created so much excitement that the people of Austin are anxious to have war renewed at once; and the editor of the Austin City Gazette declares that it is his "firm conviction that it is the will of the people of Texas to sustain Mr. Dimitt." Now if by this he means that it is the will of the people of Texas that Mr. Dimitt should be sustained in his settlement on Corpus Christi Bay, in order that he may sell goods to the Mexicans, at an expense of several thousand dollars to the government in keeping up a military post there, or that it is necessary to raise an army of volunteers to hold possession of the country west of the Nueces at this time, he is mistaken. The people of Texas wish to remain quiet and wait until the meeting of the next Congress.[30]

In the meantime, before the news of the seizure of Dimitt reached Austin, Webb's report of his efforts to reopen discussions with Mexico concerning the major issues between the two countries, had been received at the Texan capital and a different line of approach to Mexico was in the making. Lamar hastily left Austin on July 8 for Galveston to confer with Webb.[31]  Disheartened at the failure of his several efforts at negotiation with Mexico, Lamar determined to become more aggressive, at least to the point of annoying the Mexican government. But how was this to be done? Already an expedition had departed for Santa Fé on what was considered to be a peaceful mission, and General Arista had recently sent an emissary to Austin proposing a cessation of hostilities, resulting in the dispatch of Van Ness and Morris to the Río Grande. If, however, some arrangement for peace on the southwestern frontier could be concluded with the Mexican commander in the north, it would be far better than attempting to take possession of northern Mexico by a military force and thereby incur an expense that Texas was in no condition to meet. Abner S. Lipscomb and James Love had both written Lamar earlier from Galveston upon the arrival of Webb proposing the use of the navy in sweeping Mexican commerce from the Gulf, the blockading of Mexican ports, and the fitting out of privateers "with letters of Marque and reprisal under such restrictions and limitations as may comport with the honor of

30. Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 4, 1841.

31. Samuel A. Roberts to James Webb, Department of State, Austin, July 7, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 766.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 453     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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