The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 465
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Notes and Documents
act, for some days. When they became aware of the fact and called on
Bernardob for the punishment of the authors of this barbarous deed,
he said he could not resist the importunities of his friends, it being
an universal custom with both parties, in their present struggle, to
execute all the principal officers that the fate of war placed in their
hands. And on further investigation, the Americans found so many
Mexicans justifying the act, they had no alternative but to submit or
to produce a collision that would break up the expedition and might
prove fatal to themselves-the town being full of men under the
influence and control of Bernardo and his minions.107 The Americans
finding it necessary to organize a government and being determined
Americans arrived at that place-knowing as they did the barbarous custom of the
Royalist with their own prisoners in not only executing the officers, but some of
the soldiers and private citizens who manifested a desire for the Republican cause.
The probable cause of the surrender was explained to the writer afterwards by
Dr. Robertson, who was a member of Pike's Expedition. He passed the Magee
Expedition at the Trinity river, going into the interior of Mexico. When he ar-
rived at San Antonio, Gov. Salcedo and several other officers had a lengthy con-
ference with him on the subject of the expedition, and Salcedo asked him what
treatment they might expect from the Americans provided they would be de-
feated by them and taken prisoner or surrender. He said that if the Americans
had the entire control of the expedition and the disposition of their prisoners,
they would have nothing to fear in such an event. [John Hamilton Robinson had
been dispatched by the United States Department of State to try to negotiate
a trade agreement with the government of the Interior Provinces. Garrett, Green
Flag Over Texas, 163-164.]
bBernardo exercised all his art of flattery and fondling to conciliate the
Americans after the execution of the Spanish officers. He first ordered a sale of
their clothes exclusively to the Americans, and the price bid to be charged to
their account for service rendered. Some of the men not having a second shirt,
bid fifty dollars for pants and one hundred dollars for coat, &c., &c. He then pro-
posed a settlement of their accounts and a commissioned [sic] was organized for
that purpose, which issued to each private a certificate for a league of land and
one for two mules to all those who had lost a horse; and their pay was registered
at forty dollars per month. This diverted their attention and relieved him for a
time of the frowns and sneers of the men, but they returned with increased force.
They view him with disgust and contempt whenever he made his appearance,
until he excluded himself in his quarters, which was seldom entered by an
107Gaines says that on the march from Labordee (La Bahia) it was proposed by
Captain Gaines of the artillery that, to avoid further difficulties, the Mexicans
should try Mexicans and the Americans should try any American taken. This agree-
ment was drawn up in writing and signed. The murder of the Spanish officers
nearly broke up the army and Captain Gaines was commissioned to make the
necessary explanation to the army. As a result the army remained quiet and con-
tent. The cause of such an agreement may lie in the incident reported by Villars.
On the approach to San Antonio, a man who had deserted at La Bahia came back
and wanted to rejoin his unit. There was much opposition to this so Colonel
Kemper put the matter to a vote which resulted in the hanging of the deserter.
Information from Capt. Gaines, in Gulick and others, Lamar Papers, I, 28o-281;
Information derived from John Villars, ibid., VI, 151.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/m1/501/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.