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Capture and Death of Dimitt

spared to conciliate those in power on the Río Grande, as we were determined to sustain ourselves, if possible, by all honorable means. We succeeded. The result was, that the entire trade from the lower section of Mexico, came to our Ranche, it being so much nearer than any other trading point in Texas. This is the main cause of hostility to us, the stopping of the trade, as there are so many other points that are (in the opinion of the proprietors) truly eligible, but cannot be brought into market until such time as our Ranche is destroyed; every falsehood has been busily circulated, that would have a tendency to rouse the people to the most desirable object; -- they cannot succeed.[59]

"There was no alternative left us," declared Aubrey and Kinney "but either to sacrifice our all which is invested in the Rancho, or change our policy, and make our common enemy our friends."[60]  Later, in the state constitutional convention of 1845, Kinney revealed further his method of operation. He declared that the Nueces frontiersmen had occasionally been "placed in a situation where they were obliged to give assistance to the enemy for their own security and safety, when they did not feel any disposition to do so." He readily admitted having been in such a situation himself, and "when Mr. Mexican came," Kinney said, "I treated him with a great deal of politeness, particularly if he had me in his power; when Mr. American came, I did the same with him; and when Mr. Indian came, I was also very frequently disposed to make a compromise with him."[61]  Thus, for lack of adequate protection of life and property by the government, the frontiersmen often found it necessary to sacrifice political ideals and principles of well established moral conduct in order to ensure survival. He was confronted with realistic conditions, and found it necessary to solve each new problem concerning his security in the light of facts or actualities confronting him at the time.

Although Kinney and Aubrey were acquitted by the court, a public meeting later in Goliad petitioned the government to remove from

59. Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 11, 1841; Lamar Papers, IV, pt. I, 213-214; Austin City Gazette, Aug. 11, 1841. Evidently Colonel Kinney was not always on the best of terms with the Mexican authorities, for in August 1842, we find him detained on parole at Matamoros. Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 3, 1842. For additional information bearing on Kinney and Aubrey, see pp. 405-408, 499-500 of this work.

60. Affidavit of Aubrey and Kinney, Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 25, 1841.

61. William F. Weeks, Debates of the Texas Convention, p. 405.

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