Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 60
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC-1939.
political, as well as the early church
history, was divided between the east
and the west. The administrations of the
Governors did not extend into the ter-
ritory of extreme Western Texas, which
was under the authority of the adminis-
tration at Santa Fe. These portions of
Texas now included in the Trans-Pecos,
Pecos Valley and Great Plains regions
were identified in their early develop-
ment with the history of New Mexico
rather than that of Texas.
New Problem on the East.
In 1803, France sold Louisiana to the
United States and Spain recognized a
still greater menace east of the Sabine.
The virile new republic was more feared
than France, and several incidents, no-
tably the Aaron Burr conspiracy, con-
tributed to Spanish fear of American de-
signs on Texas. In 1736, the Arroyo
Hondo, east of the Sabine, had been tem-
porarily fixed as the eastern boundary
of Texas. However, doubt as to the
actual boundary continued and the ter-
ritory between the Sabine and the Ar-
royo Hondo became a "neutral ground,"
a lawless no-man's land and home of des-
Circumstances along the eastern boun-
dary of Texas, in the United States and
in Spain and Mexico conspired to lead
venturesome Americans to try their for-
tunes west of the Sabine, and several ex-
peditions were led into Texas for the
purpose of making it independent of
Sain, alone or min conjunction with
lMost noteworthy of these was the
Magee-Gutierrez expedition of 1812-13.
Augstus Magee was an American army
officer stationed in Louisiana who be-
came intrigued by the plans of Bernardo
Gutierrez, a Mexican who had been an
adherent of Hidalgo in his unsuccessful
attempt to free Mexico of Spanish rule.
Magoe resigned his commission in the
Uiit d States Army and with Gutierrez
had little difficulty in collecting a force
of I several hundred venturesome men
along the turbulent border. Invading
Texas, the little army captured Nacog-
doches, Goliad and San Antonio, Magee
dying a mysterious death at Goliad, how-
ever. The "Republican Army of the
North," as it was called by its leaders,
grew in numbers and might have been
successful in establishing Texas' inde-
pendence had not internal strife split its
ranks and brought about Gutierrez' dep-
osition. The expedition finally met de-
feat at the Battle of Medina on the Me-
dina River southwest of San Antonio,
Aug. 18, 1813, losing to a federal force
under General Arredondo. It is reputed,
in the rather scant records of that day,
to have been an extraordinarily bloody
conflict in which most of the 3,000 mem-
bers of the expeditionary force were mas-
Two expeditions aimed at making
Texas independent were led into Texas
by Dr. James Long of Natchez Miss., in
1819 and 1821. In the first, Long cap-
tured Nacogdoches and went to Galves-
ton Island to enlist the aid of the Pirate
La Fitte. While away his followers were
defeated and dispersed. He led his sec-
ond expedition from a new base at Point
Bolivar on Galveston Bay, and captured
Goliad. Later his force was captured in
this town, however. Long was sent cap-
tive to Mexico, was paroled in 1822 and
killed shortly afterward. His followers
were later released.
A prior but less significant expedition
was that of Philip Nolan, an adventur-
ous character of the Texas-Louisiana
border, in 1800-01. Nolan had been a
successful trader and had led several ex-
peditions over the border to capture wild
horses. He had fallen under Spanish
Suspicion in cortnection with the Burr
conspiracy. In his expedition of 1800-01,
ostensibly to capture wild horses, he was
accompanied by only eighteen or twenty
men, and was defeated in a battle with a
small force of Spanish troops on the
Brazos near the present site of Waco,
losing. his life in the conflict. His nine
surviving followers were carried to Mex-
ico and one of them, Ephraim Blackburn
was hanged in 1807 after a long delayed
decision which awarded death to one of
the prisoners by lot. Only one, Peter
Ellis Bean, is known to have regained his
Aury and La Fitte.
At the same time adventurers were in-
festing the eastern border of Texas and
trying their fortunes in westward expe-
ditions, the Texas coast, notably Galves-
ton Island, became the harbor of pirates.
Luis Aury, who, like Gutierrez, had been
an adherent of Hidalgo, established him-
self at Galveston Island and did a suc-
cessful privateering business in 1816,
eventually sailing away oi an expedi-
tion against Spain in Mexico, where he
He was succeeded by Jean La Fitte,
who had operated his ships prior to the
War of 1812 out of headquarters off the
mouth of the Mississippi. La Fitte's en-
terprise at Galveston thrived from 1817
until 1821, privateering against the Span-
ish commerce in the Gulf. In 1821, how-
ever, some of his men attacked vessels
flying the flag of the United States and
his Galveston base was closed by the
United States Navy.
In 1821, three hundred years after the
first visit of white man to the coast of
Texas. the vast wilderness between the
Rio Grande and the Sabine was broken
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/62/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.