The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
authorities for protection. On March 9, 1877, five days after
the inauguration of President Hayes, Lieutenant-Colonel Shafter,
commander of the District of the Nueces, with headquarters at
Ft. Clark, Texas, sent to the Assistant Adjutant-General of the
Department of Texas, a very gloomy report of the border situ-
ation and at the same time expressed the opinion that "to effec-
tually put a stop to the Indian raids from Mexico it will be
necessary to do all scouting for Indians on the Mexican side of
the Rio Grande. . .. Full authority to operate in Mexico as
we choose is the only way in which life and property can be
made secure on this frontier."26 Secretary of War McCrary sent
a copy of Shafter's report to Secretary of State Evarts on March
28. Three days later Secretary Evarts sent a copy of Shafter's
report to Mr. Foster." With reference to the Indian raids Sec-
retary Evarts expressed the conviction that the opinion of Col-
onel Shafter that the way to check the border atrocities was "to
follow the delinquents into Mexico and there attack them in their
lairs" was probably well founded. At the same time Evarts in-
structed Foster to intimate to the Diaz government that the
United States might soon be obliged to consider seriously the ex-
pediency of "acting pursuant to Colonel Shafter's opinion"; that
it would be preferable, in such a contingency, to enter Mexican
territory with the consent or acquiescence of the Diaz govern-
ment; and that, in case such consent were denied, and the out-
rages persisted in, the United States "might deem itself war-
ranted in punishing the wrong-doers wherever they might be
The above instructions were by Mr. Foster made the basis for
a lengthy conference with Sefior Vallarta on April 23. Mr.
Foster reminded Sefior Vallarta that in his first interviews with
"2Foster, Diplomatic Memoirs, I, p. 89.
2"Shafter to the Assistant Adjutant-General, Ft. Clark, Texas, March
9, 1877, in House E. Does., 45 Cong., 1 sess., I (serial no. 1773), doe.
13, pp. 4-5. Shafter reported that since Oct. 1, 1876, Indian raiders
from Mexico had killed seventeen men on the Texas side of the Rio
Grande and had later openly sold arms and horses of these men in Sara-
gossa, Mexico. Since Dec. 30, 1876, one hundred head of cattle had been
driven across the river from within a radius of ten miles of Ft. Clark.
In spite of the vigilance of American troops, the Indians were always
able to escape across the Rio Grande.
27See McCrary to Evarts, Washington, March 28, 1877, and Evarts to
Foster, Washington, March 31, 1877, in ibid., p. 4.
"Evarts to Foster, Washington, March 31, 1877, in ibid., 4.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/46/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.