The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 21
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Indian Raids on the Lower Rio Grande, 1836-1837
The governor approved the plan,22 and seemed quite willing
to assist the stricken villages of the north to control the danger.
When the alcalde of Camargo requested specifically that the gov-
ernor instruct the commandant general to issue four cargas of
ammunition, one hundred guns, and one swivel gun for the de-
fense of the town,23 the governor assented, relaying the request to
Commandant General Nicolas Bravo at Matamoros on March 17,
1837.24 On the same day, responding to an appeal from Matamoros,
Governor Fernindez promised to appeal in turn to the central
government for more arms and ammunition so that the vecinos
on the Rio Grande could campaign effectively against raiders.
He feared that should Matamoros and the other settlements on
the lower Rio Grande fall, there was nothing to keep the invaders
from pillaging Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas.26
But either the plans of Laredo did not materialize properly
or else they resulted in rank failure, for the depredations con-
tinued unabated. The Indians continued their robbings and kill-
ings apparently unchecked. "In a matter of one year," reported
El Mercurio, "they have wrecked the fortunes of ranchers and
townsfolk alike. Those who only yesterday had ten or fifteen thou-
sand pesos today count but a quarter part of that."26 During the last
of July, 1837, a band of Comanches reportedly one thousand
strong came to within a few leagues of the city of Matamoros,
where they encountered the military outposts and killed a Colonel
Cortina, carried off large numbers of mules and horses, and burned
several ranching settlements. The United States consul in Mata-
moros, D. W. Smith, referring to the problem, observed:
These hostile incursions of the Indians, repeated almost every full
moon, have compelled the greater part of the frontier inhabitants to
abandon thir stock farms and remove on the south side of the Rio
1837. The courier with whom the plan was sent to the governor on February 13
was killed by Indians. It was re-sent on February 27.
22Governor to Guerra, March 17, 1837, in ibid., March 25, 1837.
23De la Garza to Governor, Camargo, March 2, 1837, in ibid., March 25, 1837.
24Governor to General of Division Nicolas Bravo, Ciudad Victoria, March 17,
1837, in ibid., March 25, 1837.
25Governor to Ayuntamiento of Matamoros, March 17, 1837, in ibid., March 25,
26El Mercurio (Matamoros), October 2o, 1837.
27D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, August 4, 1837, in Matamoros
Consular Despatches (microfilm, 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/m1/33/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.