The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920 Page: 93
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Border Troubles Along the Rio Grmnde, 1848-1860
poor, and the advantages of the American side tended to encourage
The inhabitants of this region, furthermore, lived in constant
dread of Indian invasion. Comanches, Lipans, Kiowas, Apaches
and others frequently descended upon the settlements carrying off
the stock and other property, making prisoners of the women and
children, often taking the lives of the unfortunate settlers, and
then escaping to the chapparal along the river, or into the
mountains farther to the north.
If the criminals and the honest settlers, and the Indians and
the whites were incompatible, the Anglo-Saxons and the Mexicans
were scarcely less so. The former were sometimes selfish, aggres-
sive and overbearing; the latter were suspicious, underhanded,
often proud and sensitive. The former had their negro slaves,
the latter their peons; and both classes of servants not infrequently
sought freedom by crossing the international boundary. The situa-
tion was further complicated by the presence on the American
side of a large German element opposed to slavery.4
To control these discordant elements a strong government was
needed on the frontier, but this was lacking. The Mexican cen-
tral government, weak and constantly changing in personnel, only
made its power felt by the appointment of new military command-
ers and governors, or by its attempts to levy high tariffs upon, or
to prohibit entirely the importation of commodities much needed
by the border population. The arm of the United States, though
stronger, was slow to exert its influence upon this far distant
frontier. The situation would have been greatly improved by an
extradition treaty, but such an agreement, though often talked
of, was never made until 1861."
The Four Episodes.-Omitting the offences of a more or less
petty nature which are characteristic along all interstate or inter-
national boundaries;6 the history of this period falls rather natur-
38enate Rep. 166, 41st Cong., 2nd Sess., 2.
'Mauritz Tilling, History of the German Element in Texas, etc.
(Houston, 1913), 1-131; Olmsted, op. cit., 327-329.
'House Rep. 701, 45th Cong., 2d Sess., app. D, 331-332.
eOccasional feuds, robberies and thefts, for instance.
There seems to have been considerable stealing of horses and cattle,
but this phase of the question is important mainly as an antecedent to
the difficulties which arose over the matter in the seventies when it be-
came the subject of considerable diplomatic correspondence.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920, periodical, 1919; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/m1/99/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.