Capture and Death of Dimitt
IN THE MEANTIME, the Mexican raids on the southwestern frontier continued unabated throughout the summer and into the fall of 1841. Early in June Kinney & Aubrey were reported doing an excellent business with the Mexican traders. Philip Dimitt, James Gourlay of Lamar and late a resident of Matamoros and John Sutherland, with the assistance of James C. Boyd and William Thompson, employees, began in May 1841, the establishment of a trading post on the Laguna Madre, near Flour Bluff, in the Corpus Christi area in competition with Aubrey and Kinney, whom they accused of having treasonable relations with the Mexican authorities on the Río Grande, particularly at Matamoros. Dimitt's establishment, located near the head of Padre Island about fifteen miles below Aubrey & Kinney's rancho and about twenty-five miles southeast of the mouth of the Nueces was expected to cut into the latter's "excellent business with the Mexican traders." Stephen W. Farrow and Henry Graham, traders, also resided nearby. In May, after the establishment of his competitor in a more favored position, Kinney paid a visit to Arista's headquarters, and was reported on June 9 as having received assurance from him that he would not be molested.
On July 1, 1841, without a single vessel afloat in the Gulf, the Mexican government declared the ports of Texas and Yucatán to be in a state of blockade and prohibited the introduction of the products of
1. Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), June 9, 1841.
2. Reuben M. Potter to Genl. M. B. Lamar, Velasco, Nov. 26, 1838, in Lamar Papers, V, 218.
3. Vicente Sánchez described the location as on Padre Island, near its head. Vicente Sánchez á Sr. general commandante de la 2a Brigada de la la Division del Cuerpo de Ejército del Norte D. Pedro de Ampudia, Matamoros, Julio 9 de 1841, in El Ancla (Matamoros), July 12, 1841.
4. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 9, 1841.