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their money and goods, and sometimes killed them in cold blood. Both governments sought unsuccessfully to exterminate the "gangs"; yet, each accused the other of abetting them.

Meanwhile, the Federalist wars in Mexico, which helped to secure Texas from Mexican attack, also helped to increase the ill-will between the two nations.

It was difficult for Mexico to realize that the Texans who participated in the Federalist wars from 1838 to 1840 did so as private parties and not as representatives of the Texan government. The motives of the Texans in aiding the Federalists were varied and not always altruistic, and, in the long run, the Texans probably did more harm than good to that cause. The most significant result, however, was to intensify the bitterness on both sides of the border, to destroy confidence, and to adversely affect Texas-Mexican border relations for many years to come.

The acrimony of the presidential election in 1841 between the Houston and Lamar factions carried over into the Sixth Congress where an effort was made by each side to blame the other for the country's woes, largely emanating from a nearly bankrupt treasury, a defenseless frontier, a frustrated foreign policy, and a feeling of utter hopelessness and despair resulting from the depression. Many resented the wasteful expenditures of the Lamar administration, and, in particular, the sending of the army to Santa Fé and the renting of the navy to Yucatán, which could only further antagonize Mexico. The persistence of marauders on the frontier, and the failure of the Sixth Congress, before its adjournment early in February 1842, to make adequate provision for frontier defense were very disheartening.

The prospects for rapid growth and prosperity of the country seemed at low ebb. Then as news of the failure of the Santa Fé Expedition was confirmed and reports trickled in of the mistreatment of its members, and as new rumors circulated of a Mexican invasion, men began to talk boldly of taking matters into their own hands and of marching across the Río Grande to force a release of the Texan prisoners and to punish Mexico severely. The situation on the frontier was daily becoming more ominous. Lamar's poor judgment in sending out the Santa Fé Expedition in the summer of 1841 unleashed a chain of events that brought the first significant body of Mexican troops into Texas since the battle of San Jacinto and made the year 1842 the most exciting one in the frontier history of Texas since the decisive events of the spring of 1836.

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