direct invasion; I shall, therefore, issue no proclamation until it is believed there is an absolute necessity for immediate and active operations, when I confidently hope the call will be responded to with energy and promptness.
One spy company was already out with instructions to watch the enemy's movements, and Lamar was preparing to dispatch forthwith one or two other companies to different parts of the country for the same purpose. In the meantime, he urged that the militia officers bring their various commands up to full quota without delay and that they be prepared "to move at one hour's notice." The chief justices of the various counties were instructed to see that the militia was well organized. A month later, Chief Justice Thomas H. Poage of Victoria County reported that his county had been laid off into three "Captain's Beats," one of which had been previously organized, and that A. S. McDonald, a resident of the county who had been elected colonel during the past summer, was proceeding with the organization of the militia. The volunteer company recently organized in the county, having elected its officers, was preparing to move to San Patricio to make that place its headquarters to protect the inhabitants of that county and, as far as possible, those along the southwestern frontier.
For the purpose of facilitating the work of the volunteer company and of establishing a suitable organ for communicating with the administration, Poage urged Lamar to appoint a chief justice for San Patricio County. For that position, he recommended Colonel Alanson Ferguson, "at present of Victoria, but who is now associated with the number destined for that county." Andrew Neill, the district attorney for the Fourth Judicial District, likewise pointed out the need of a chief justice for the county of San Patricio, owing to the rapid increase in the population of the whole valley of the Guadalupe. In another
3. Thomas H. Poage to President [Lamar], Victoria County, April 28, 1841, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.
5. A. Neill to D. G. Burnet, Austin City [dated:] Victoria, April 28, 1841, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms. The increase in population was due principally to heavy emigration from the United States early in 1841 and was not wholly confined to the west. "There has been a large emigration to our country this year," wrote E. A. Pease from Brazoria, "and it is thought that our recognition by Great Britain and the prospect of our Independence being acknowledged by Mexico in the course of this year, will give us a larger emigration next year." E. A. Pease to Mrs. Eliza C. Barrett, Brazoria, Texas, Feb. 16, 1841, in Don Carlos Barrett Papers, 1800-1897, ms.