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The Southwestern Frontier

rate of losses continued, they would soon have to withdraw from the frontier trade.[46]  Wrote Chief Justice Ferguson of San Patricio County to the Secretary of State,

I find myself placed in a very difficult and unpleasant, unsafe & critical situation. I have no control at all over some 50 or 75 men who have come out here expecting to derive advantage from the order of the Hon[orable] Sec[retary] of War. The civil law is entirely unnoticed & useless. Unless I can have some power or authority here I do assure (candidly) that it is useless and even dangerous to remain here. . . . We have been overflooded with men from all the western counties, most of whom are perfectly reckless. It is absolutely necessary that something should be done. Now the strongest rules, and I cannot tell or even imagine what may happen.[47]

In the interest of greater security, the City Council of San Antonio, at the suggestion of Doctor Launcelot Smithers, one of its members, enacted an ordinance on September 9, 1841, requiring any person, not an inhabitant of the Republic of Texas, entering the city in the future to present himself or herself immediately upon arrival before the mayor of the city, upon penalty, for failure to do so, of being fined at the discretion of the mayor.[48]  It was further ordained "that any citizen harboring any person of suspicious character in his or her house" in the city, upon conviction before the mayor, would be fined not more than $100, nor less than $25 at the discretion of the mayor.

46. Aubrey & Kinney to M. B. Lamar, Corpus Christi, Aug. 15, 1841 (Confidential), in Lamar Papers, III, 562-563.

47. A. Ferguson to the Secretary of State, San Patricio, Aug. 26, 1841, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

48. San Antonio, City of, "Journal A, Records of the City of San Antonio," Sept. 9, 1841, ms., copy.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963