The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 93
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Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
Letters from correspondents also indicate that there was some ac-
tivity looking toward such an expedition.'" Lamar was unwilling,
however, to adopt the suggestion of Jones that the Prairie Indians
be conciliated, especially since he had repeatedly expressed himself
as favoring their extermination or expulsion from the republic.
And the warfare begun early in his administration continued
until the close of 1840, leaving little opportunity to divert any of
the forces for an expedition to Santa F6.
It will be noticed that the letter of Jones mentioned a previous
letter to the secretary of war on the subject of the Santa F6 trade,
and the importance of securing it for Texas. It is interesting to
notice that the secretary of war in his report, September 30, 1839,
mentioned the fact that the government was constructing a mili-
tary road from Red River to the presidio crossing of the Nueces
river, and proposed the construction of a similar road from Austin
to Santa F6. He said that Santa PF was situated about twelve
miles east of the upper Rio Grande, and was included within the
statutory limits of Texas. It was settled entirely by Mexicans,
and never having been conquered by Texas was still under the
Mexican government. The country between Austin and Santa F6,
he said, was wholly unoccupied save by roaming bodies of Indians.
For many years the traders of the United States had carried on a
successful commerce with Santa F6, of the annual value of four
or five million dollars. Santa F was not the consumer of all the
goods, but was rather the depot for trade with the interior of
Mexico. He thought that the trade might be diverted to Texas
if a, military road were constructed, since, the distance from Santa
F to Texas ports was much less than to St. Louis; and Texas
would be the recipient of the vast profits realized. He sug-
gested, also, that a military road would serve to conciliate the
western part of the Texan territory, and the two sections would
be bound closely together."
Lamar, in his message to Congress, November 12, 1839, re-
ferred to this subject, and discussed the importance of the Santa
F6 trade without recommending any action by Congress at that
"J. S. Jones to Lamar, April 14, 1839, Lamar Papers, No. 1198; W. J.
Jones to Lamar, April 15, 1839, Ibid., No. 1199.
"Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 313.
"'Lamar Papers, No. 1529.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101078/m1/99/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.