The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Jldial Raids on the Lower
Rio grande, 1836-1837
DAVID M. VIGNESS
WHEN THE SPANIARDS first entered the region of the lower
Rio Grande with the serious intent of settling the area,
there was no real Indian problem, although there were
two score or more tribal remnants living on the river from about
the location of present-day Laredo to its mouth. Those rem-
nants, identified as belonging to the Coahuiltecan group, were
never of any particular historical significance to Spanish settle-
ment or life in the area and by 1840 they had for the most part
disappeared, although a few remaining individuals, such as the
Carrizos (situated between present-day Rio Grande City and Mis-
sion), maintained their dress and customs and lived and were
allowed to live in peace.2 Excepting a few incursions by northern
tribes, there was no great difficulty with the Indians, and the
settlers along the Rio Grande could devote themselves to pro-
ductive pursuits of farming the lands on the southern bank of the
river and establishing their huge ranches between that river and
the Nueces.
This calm was broken in 1836. Coincident with the coming of
the Texas Revolution, the Comanches, the Kiowas, and both the
Lipan and Mescalero Apaches began raiding the region in sig-
nificant proportions for the first time." Several possible explana-
tions for the increased incursions are suggested. For one thing,
the reduction of the Texan garrisons at San Antonio and La
Bahia (Goliad) opened the trans-Nueces country and the lower
Rio Grande to spoliation by the powerful tribes relatively new
to the area.4 Another reason may be sought in the westward expan-
sion of Anglo-Americans into the trans-Mississippi country; as
1Gabri61 Saldivar, Historia compendiada de Tamaulipas (Mexico, 1945), 31-34;
map facing p. 32.
2Report of the Committee of Investigation sent in 1873 by the Mexican Govern-
ment to the Frontier of Texas (New York, 1875), 252.
8Ibid., 245.
4Ibid., 252

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed November 23, 2014.