Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Tied closely to the problem of setting a suitable boundary line
was the actual relationship of Mexico and Texas in the disputed
areas, particularly that portion which lay between the Nueces
River and the Rio Grande. This illustrates a point mentioned
before-the inability of the new Texas government to maintain
a semblance of control even over the frontier areas nearest the
center of its population. For all practical purposes the area south
of the Nueces was a no-man's land where renegades of both sides
could find safety. Here, as well as farther westward, the Indian
problem was acute. The only real Texan forces in this area con-
tinuously were Ranger bands, led by men such as Jack Hays,
which sought to minimize these dangers to the areas of advanced
settlement. The army which operated in the area was an inter-
mittent militia force generally in pursuit of marauding Indians.
This large area continued in the main to be lawless.
Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second President of Texas, had as one
of the cornerstones of his policy the freeing of the frontier from
the danger of Indian attack. His policy of extermination as
stated in his message to the Fourth Congress on November 11,
1839, was to have far-reaching effects, particularly upon the
finances of the government. This policy did, however, serve to
bring more armed men to the disputed territory. Of the innum-
erable Indian clashes, one stands out more than any of the
others, not because of its size, but because of the recovery of
letters which linked Mexico with the marauders. This was a
small engagement between a Ranger band and some twenty-five
Indians led by a renegade Mexican, Manuel Flores. Flores was
killed, and correspondence found on his body showed that the
Mexican commander along the Rio Grande, Valentin Canalizo,
had given Flores instructions to co-operate with the Indians in
pushing the Texan settlers back beyond the Nueces line."
To illustrate further the complexities and confusion of the
situation in the area south of the Nueces, there was the feder-
alist revolt in Mexico early in 1839. This uprising against the
centralist regime sought to obtain support from the Texan gov-
ernment. For this purpose General Juan Pablo Anaya, the leader
of the federalists in Mexico, came to Houston to bargain for aid,
sWilliam L. Mann, "James O. Rice," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LV, 30-42.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed September 15, 2014.