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Capture and Death of Dimitt

the government determined that the property should be restored to [the] Traders and they released, . . . some assurance from you would be necessary that the captors should be properly compensated."[48]

A few days after Creaner's return to Victoria, Captain Richard Roman led a group of Texans to Corpus Christi and effected the capture of some nine or ten Mexican traders, whom they carried a part of the way in the direction of Victoria; finally they stopped, divided their effects among the captors, and set the poor souls at liberty on foot.[49]

When Lamar returned to the capital and was fully apprised of what had happened to innocent traders, who apparently had no connection whatsoever with the capture of Dimitt and others, or were even suspected of having any, he countermanded as much of the order of the Secretary of War as related to peaceable traders and their property and ordered those in custody to be released forthwith and their property restored to them,

. . . because I believed [he later told Congress] it was essential to the end of private justice, and to the preservation of our national honor. These men wer[e] invited into our country for the purpose of lawful commerce, by an Executive Proclamation, based upon an act of Congress, authorizing the trade to be opened, by which faith the nation and the Government was solemnly pledged for their protection and security so long as they demeaned themselves as peaceful traders. I could not feel disposed to visit upon them any portion of that resentment which was due to the real offenders; neither could I perceive how I could, under the circumstances, hold them and their property in anywise responsible for the conduct of their Government, or its officers, without violating the plighted faith of the nation. Under these circumstances, I ordered that they should be set at liberty, and their property restored to them.[50]

48. Col. A. S. McDonald to B. T. Archer, Victoria, July 28, 1841, in Army Papers (Texas), ms.; _______ to Secretary of State, Victoria, Sept. 21, 1841, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms. July 12, 1841, A. S. McDonald was appointed Chief Justice of Victoria County by President Lamar. State Department Letterbook, no. 1, ms., pp. 250-251.

49. Goodman, "A Statement of Facts, Washington, Feby 10, 1843," in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms.

50. Message of President Lamar to Congress, Austin, Nov. 3, 1841, in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 7-25; Mirabeau B. Lamar, The Annual Message of Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic of Texas, Communicated to Both Houses of Congress, Nov. 3d, 1841.

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