Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade
IN HIS FIRST MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, as already noted, Lamar took up the question of frontier trade, and suggested a plan to open that trade as a means of cultivating friendship with the inhabitants of the north Mexican states, and with the added hope that it would enable the Texans to secure a more definite knowledge concerning the area lying between the Nueces and the Río Grande. By a joint resolution of January 14, 1839, Congress gave its sanction to the opening of the frontier trade, which up until then had been carried on under the proclamation of Lamar's predecessor. The President was authorized to open trade with the inhabitants along the Río Grande, and on February 21 President Lamar issued instructions regarding the conduct of such trade. All Mexican traders were required to have passports from either the civil or the military authorities of the district from which they came, specifying the objects of their visit and giving a description of the merchandise and other things which they wished to dispose of. They were to enter Texas by way of Casa Blanca on the lower
1. M. B. Lamar to Congress, Dec. 20, 1838, Journal of the House of Representatives, Regular Session of Third Congress, pp. 167-195; the Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), Dec. 22, 1838, mentions this message as having been transmitted at noon, Thursday, December 20, 1838, and it is printed in the Telegraph, Dec. 26, 1838; but in the Lamar Papers, VI, 346-369, it is shown with date of December 21 and it was separately published with date of December 21 as: Mirabeau B. Lamar, Message of the President, Submitted to Both Houses, December 21, 1838. Published by Order of Congress.
2. Proclamation of President Mirabeau B. Lamar, February 21, 1839, Lamar Papers, no. 1079, ms.; H. P. N. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 117; Texas Congress, Journal of the Senate of the Republic of Texas: First Session of the Third Congress -- 1838, pp. 105-106; Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., pp. 58-60. In 1807 Spain granted sixteen leagues of land, known as the Casa Blanca grant to Juan José de la Garza Montemayor. J. F. Dobie, in Coronado's Children: Tales of Lost Mines and Buried