The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 94
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The failure of the Texans to arrive in 1840 reassured him, but
he continued his watchfulness; and in April, 1841, he reported
that he was still attempting to organize the troops for the de-
fense of his department In the meantime, however, he had
completely overlooked the activities of an individual whose work
had a more direct connection with the Texan expedition than any
of the developments which he was so carefully watching. This
man was William G. Dryden, who had come to New Mexico from
the United States as a trader several years earlier. He had made
Santa FP his home; had married a Mexican woman; and in 1839,
after having served as a captain in the Mexican army, he was
engaged in the caravan trade between Santa F6 and Chihuahua.86
During 1839 he quietly left Santa F6, going by way of the Santa
F4 Trail to the United States. In the spring of 1840 he appeared
at Austin with a letter to President Lamar, in which he was
introduced as a former officer in the Mexican service who pos-
sessed information of a valuable nature, and who knew the atti-
tude of the people of New Mexico toward Texas."7
The question as to why he was in Texas cannot be answered
satisfactorily. Two years later, when he was on trial in Chi-
huahua on the charge of being implicated in the Santa F6 ex-
pedition, he testified that in February, 1840, while on the way
from the United States to Matamoros, he had been shipwrecked
off the coast of Texas, and in an attempt to save his cargo had
gone ashore at Velasco. Then in answer to a question as to
whom he had met in Texas, he stated that he had had no rela-
tions with anyone except a man named Tucker, whom he had pre-
viously known in the United States. A search of the Texas news-
papers for this period fails to throw any light on the shipwreck,
and there is positive evidence that Dryden's relations while in
Texas were not limited to his friend Tucker. Why then was it
necessary for him to misrepresent his visit to Texas? One is
inclined to conclude that he was there for a purpose which could
8Armijo to Minister of War, April 23, 1841.
s"This information was brought out when Dryden was on trial at Chi-
huahua, charged with complicity in the Santa F6 expedition. See Kendall,
Narrative of the Texan Santa F4 Expedition, II, 76-79. A copy of the
testimony in his trial is in the Bolton Transcripts.
"8Jack to Lamar, April 1, 1840, MS. in Lamar Papers, Texas State
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/100/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.