The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 16
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
vanced by a Mexican investigating committee reporting in 1873
on border conditions, was that the contact of American traders
with the Comanches and other tribes placed such a demand on
trade goods and booty that the Indians began raiding deeper into
Mexican territory, reaching the lower Rio Grande as a result."
For whatever reason, Mexican towns such as Matamoros, Villal-
dama, and even Monclova felt the lash of raiding Indians for the
first time in 1836.'
To illustrate the severity of the raids beginning in 1836 and
to trace the efforts of the people in the "Villages of the North"8
to defend against them, events occurring in the years 1836 and
1837 may be selected.
The first record of Indian activity in 1836 appears in a letter
from the alcalde of Matamoros, Juan Nepomuceno Molano, to
the governor of the Department of Tamaulipas, Jose Antonio
Fernmndez. Molano informed the governor that on April 14
Comanches in considerable numbers appeared around the ranches
on the coast in the Matamoros jurisdiction. The Indians killed a
certain Don Leonardo Longoria and his servant; they took all the
horses they found, a typical Comanche act; and they did the worst
possible damage to the ranches. In order to restrain the Indians
from further invasions, the military commander of Matamoros sent
out a detachment of men to the point where the savages had en-
tered the jurisdiction.9 The Indians, however, retired without fur-
ther incident or contact with the garrison troops, and the detach-
ment was recalled.
Evidently this was not the only raid in April. On May 4, the
commandant general of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Le6n informed
the governor that it had recently been learned from the com-
manders of the garrisons on the frontier that a large contingent
of Indians of various tribes was close to the towns of Mier,
Camargo, and Guerrero. It appeared that the Rio Grande had
sReport of the Committee of Investigation Sent in 1873 by the Mexican Gov-
ernment to the Frontier of Texas, 248.
8The villas del norte were those on the Rio Grande: Matamoros, Reynosa, Ca-
margo, Mier, Revilla (Guerrero), and Laredo. All were and are on the south
bank of the river except Laredo.
9Juan Nepomuceno Molano to Governor of Tamaulipas, Matamoros, April 21,
1836, in Matamoros Archives (photostats, Archives, University of Texas Library).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/28/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.