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Marauders and Frontier Trade and Life

By December 1841, the trade at Béxar was greatly improved as a result of the internal political troubles in Mexico, beginning with the uprising in Jalisco on August 8 of General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga, in secret understanding with Santa Anna, whose Bases of Tacubaya were accepted by those who sought to unseat Bustamante. The latter evacuated Mexico City on October 5, and the next day in an agreement at Estanzuela bowed out and soon left the country.[8]  On October 7 Santa Anna made his triumphal entry into Mexico City and was declared provisional president. In the north, General Arista sought to stave off the collapse of Bustamante's government by raising the Texas question. "It increases my pain," he wrote the Minister of War, "to see disunited the interior of the Republic, at a time when the Texans everywhere cry to arms, and prepare to conduct the most cruel hostilities against us, dreaming that they can place their puny flag over that of Mexico."[9]

During the revolutionary disturbances and the preoccupation of Arista, commander of the Army of the North, in assisting Bustamante, the citizens of the eastern provinces were driven to the markets of Texas for their supplies of merchandise. In the north the Mexican troops were concentrated near Monterey, leaving the frontier virtually unprotected. Caravans of traders from the Río Grande arrived at Béxar and other places to purchase large quantities of goods.[10]  One party of traders, it was reported,[11]  brought in $10,000 in specie. Although an occasional party of traders was robbed while on the way to San Antonio (one party lost $5,000 in specie), such losses scarcely interrupted the trade. The ranger company under Captain Hays was most efficient and had "almost completely broken-up the old haunts of the Commanches in the vicinity of Béxar." In fact, declared the editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register,[12]

December 2, 1841, by William H. Daingerfield, where that portion of it dealing with frontier protection was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and reported December 3 by bill. Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 84, 84 n; Memorials and Petitions (Texas), ms.

8. Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Mexico, V, 227-235.

9. Mariano Arista ál Ministro de la Guerra, Cuartel general en Monterey, Septiembre 6 de 1841, in Boletín Official (Mexico City), Sept. 13, 1841.

10. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 8, 1841.

11. Ibid., Oct. 20, 1841.

12. Ibid., Dec. 8, 1841.

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