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Growth of War Spirit in the West

It is for war they make demands;
Their shouting cry will never cease,
Till armies and invading bands
Shall wring from Mexico, a peace.[54]

By the end of 1841, France, England, Holland, and Belgium had recognized the independence of Texas. Treaties of commerce and navigation had been signed with several European countries, and the western trade with northern Mexico had taken a change for the better. At the turn of the year, large numbers of traders from the Río Grande were arriving almost daily at the western towns, where it was soon reported they purchased nearly all the dry goods in that section of the country, causing more than one merchant at Béxar, Victoria, and the region of Corpus Christi Bay to go to New Orleans to procure new supplies.[55]  With the arrival of the news concerning the fate of the Santa Fé Expedition, the Mexican traders became more wary about coming in for fear of retaliation. The unwholesome fate of a party of Mexican traders who had recently been to Béxar served as a warning to others. The traders, it seems, had purchased approximately $10,000 worth of goods and upon their return toward Laredo had been robbed, and a few of their number murdered, by an unknown party about forty miles from San Antonio.[56]  It was supposed that the robbery had been committed by citizens from Béxar and the ranches below.

During the next several months, the Mexican marauders on the frontier became more troublesome, killing one or two Texans at Aransas Bay. Sometime early in February a Texan spy company on the frontier intercepted and routed a large number of Mexican marauders, killing several and taking a large quantity of plunder.[57]  General Vasquez's expedition to Texas, then being planned in Mexico, no doubt also had much to do in February and March 1842 with interrupting the friendly relations being developed with the Río Grande peoples.

Shortly after resuming the office of President, Houston sent James Reily, a former Texas Congressman whose wife was Henry Clay's niece, as chargé d'affaires to the United States to reopen, if possible, negotiations for annexation. In the meantime, the President's policy toward

54. Daily Texian (Austin), Feb. 2, 1842, contains a twenty verse poem on the cry for war with Mexico.

55. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 12, 1842.

56. Ibid., March 2, 1842.

57. Ibid., Feb. 23, 1842.

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