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Marauders and Frontier Trade and Life

area between the two frontiers of settlement remained infested with robbers, marauding bands, and small bodies of Mexican cavalrymen in search of the contrabandistas. At the suggestion of Launcelot Smithers, the City Council of San Antonio decreed on September 9, 1841, that foreigners entering the city make known their presence to the mayor.[6]  At a meeting of citizens of Béxar County on November 24 a committee, with Samuel A. Maverick as chairman and Edward W. Sanders as secretary, was appointed to draft a petition to Congress in behalf of frontier protection. The petition, as drafted and approved by the public meeting, requested the Congress then in session

. . . to take into consideration the very exposed, and truly suffering situation of this section of the Republic, and as the most probable means of stopping the incursions of murdering and robbing Indians and Mexicans, and preventing numerous other evils, that the Congress be pleased to consider the propriety of establishing, on an economical plan, two Military Posts, the one at, or near the ford of the Río Grande road, on the Medina River, the other post, at or near the ford of the Laredo road on the Atascoso; which two with the addition of one other post at San Patricio would, in the opinion of this Meeting under the management of active and trustworthy Captains, with a few soldiers, and a small complement of good corn fed Horses, and without much cost, do much to save the lives and property of the Citizens. For the present and under existing circumstances it is suggested that it would be better to limit the number, and narrow the circle of Posts to the points indicated, and to extend them further hereafter, if the proposed experiment should satisfy the expectations of the Country.

The proximity of the posts to the settlements would permit them to be manned by fewer troops and at less expense. By requiring each post to keep a portion of its force constantly scouring the country above and below, these outposts, declared the memorialists, would be sure to check, if not wholly arrest,

. . . that countless throng of pilfering Mexicans, and escaping Peons of Mexico, as well as put a check to the Indians, and secure the numerous runaway slaves of the Eastern Counties, all which operate very imperiously on us, and are of so much moment to the whole country, that if some immediate and effective means, are not adopted for their prevention the best interests of the Republic will be greatly endangered.[7]

6. San Antonio, City of, "Journal A, Records of the City of San Antonio," Sept. 9, 1841, ms. For greater detail, see p. 419 of this work.

7. Petition of Meeting of Citizens of Béxar County for Frontier Protection, Nov. 24, 1841, to the Congress of the Republic of Texas, presented in the Senate on

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