The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 205
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The Carvajal Disturbances
To understand the further activities of Carvajal it is necessary
to examine trade relations between Mexico and the United
States. After the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War the
restrictions on 'imports from the United States encouraged
smuggling along the border. In order to develop the manufacture
of unbleached cotton cloth the Mexican government had given
a group of merchants a monopoly. To protect this industry the
government raised the tariff on foreign fabrics so high that it
amounted almost to a prohibition. But since there was a good
market for Anglo-American products in northern Mexico, the
high tariff only served to increase smuggling. Some settlers
on the American side gave up stock-raising and farming and
took up the "meritorious" business of smuggling, "which was
identified with the best part of the population."'"
The smuggling activities during a part of this period are de-
scribed by Ovid F. Johnson, editor of a paper in Brownsville, in
reporting his personal investigation of the situation in 1849. He
It is not to be regarded as extraordinary that after the close of the
late war with Mexico, and the disbanding of our forces on that
frontier, a large number of persons, were found dispersed along that
line, who felt little inclination to observe the Law, or to respect
the rights of their neighboring citizens of Mexico-All wars and
commotions, leave behind them, a refuse population, of the same
description-On both sides of the Rio Grande, these persons have
stationed themselves, and as a sort of waiters on providence, are
ready for any enterprize [sic], lawful or unlawful, that presents itself
to their attention. Smuggling is of course, the most convenient re-
source, and we should not feel, in the least degree, surprized [sic], at
the extent, to which this pursuit is carried, by the citizens or residents,
of both Nations. The enforcement of the revenue system of Mexico, is
of things, the most uncertain and inefficient. Neither the officers or
citizens, of that Republic, to any great extent, appear to have any
verry [sic] conscientious scruples of duty, in favour of its rigid execu-
tion. Evasions are practised [sic] and winked at, by many of these
officers and citizens, which seem to our view extraordinary. American
citizens have unquestionably availed themselves, of oppertunties [sic]
18Ibid., 327; Senate Executive Documents, 32nd Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No. 620o),
Document No. 80o, p. 57; ibid., 2nd Sess. (Serial No. 665), Document No. 52, pp.
227-229; House Executive Documents, 34th Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No. 861), Docu-
ment No. 135, pp. 63-64.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/251/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.