- Get Involved
MERCHANTS WAR. The so-called Merchants War of the early 1850s resulted from financial losses to merchants along the Rio Grande boundary caused by Mexico's strict tariff laws, her prohibition of imports from the United States, and her violation of trade rights granted to the United States in the 1848 treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. José María Jesús Carbajal led Texas merchants in four unsuccessful expeditions to recover confiscated goods from revenue officials. In September 1850, with a force of between 200 and 700 Anglo-Americans and Mexicans he took Camargo. An attack on Matamoros in October failed, and he was driven back across the Rio Grande in November after an unsuccessful attack on Cerralvo. In February 1852 Carbajal made another attempt, with 400 Anglo-Americans, near Camargo. A third attack, in the spring of 1853 was unsuccessful. There were rumors of another attempt in 1855. Mexican retaliation resulted in sham battles and in sacking, burning, and menacing in the Monterrey-Laredo area. The United States government, which captured and released Carbajal, tried to prevent American participation and worked for a peaceful settlement of debts claimed by American merchants.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Milo Kearney and Anthony Knopp, Boom and Bust: The Historical Cycles of Matamoros and Brownsville (Austin: Eakin Press, 1991). J. Fred Rippy, "Border Troubles along the Rio Grande, 1848–1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 23 (October 1919). Ernest C. Shearer, "The Carvajal Disturbances," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 55 (October 1951). Oreta Turner, Border Trouble along the Rio Grande from 1848–1878 (M.A. thesis, East Texas State Teachers College, 1940).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, "Merchants War," accessed April 26, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qym01.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.