The war between Mexico and Texas broke out on October 2, 1835. Two weeks later, on October 15, 1835, J. M. Guerra, Military Commander of Tamaulipas informed the landowners in the Nueces strip that the Texans were in open rebellion against the central government. The rebels had taken Goliad, and Guerra directed ranch owners to arm themselves and their ranch hands and be prepared to challenge the Texians if they came into the area.
While war dominated conversations in the area, interest in land acquisition was not dampened. Several applications had been in the works for land grants and on October 15, 1835–the same day that General Guerra issued his advisory–José Antonio González, a citizen of Camargo, complied with requirements of the Colonization Law in regards to La Huerta grant in the same jurisdiction of Camargo. He paid $46 12 1/2 cents and 11 grains which was the appraised value for 4.5 leagues of land, 3 labores and 125,000 square varas.
Francisco Villaseñor, the secretary to Gov. José Antonio Fernández Izaguirre, signed the deed in Ciudad Victoria transferring title to González. On November 22, 1835, José Matías Ramírez, Provisional Alcalde of the town of Camargo gave notice to adjoining landowners that title to La Huerta had been confirmed to González. Jose Antonio Velasquez and Blas Morales, assistants to Ramírez, witnessed the deed.
Ten days later, on December 1, 1835, the parties were at La Huerta and exercised the customary procedures used to perfect title to the land. Ramírez took González by the hand and the two walked back and forth over the tract of land. “In a loud and intelligible voice,” Ramírez said to González “citizen Antonio González in the name of the free and sovereign people of Tamaulipas and by the authority in me vested I put you in judicial possession of four and a half leagues of land, three labores, and 125,000 square varas, which you have purchased and paid in conformance with the disposition of his excellency the governor dated October 15…and from this day forward I name you the legitimate owner of said land...”
The tract was bounded on the north by the land of Las Anacuas; on the west by that of San Andrés and Don Rafael Ramírez; on the south by that of Concepción and the Falcones; and on the east by that of El Señor de la Carrera. González was instructed to mark his land’s boundaries with visible lime and stones within four months. The lime and stones were required to be of a nature that they would be durable for some time. Ramírez added the proviso that if the land was “not verified” González would be “dispossessed and will lose your right, dominion and property…”
González thanked the state government profusely, sprinkling water, cutting grass, pulling up weeds, and throwing them to the four winds saying to the bystanders “citizens you will bear witness that the citizen Matías Ramírez, Constitutional Alcalde of the Town of Camargo and its jurisdiction has put me in judicial possession…without the least contradiction by any party.”
On October 15, 1835, state of Tamaulipas also approved the sale of El Senor de la Carrera grant to Dionisio Elizondo. It consisted of two leagues, six labores and 891,000 square varas and was located about 55 miles southwest of Corpus Christi on the Laredo road which traversed the grant at the very northern tip. Also on the northeast corner of the grant was the Laguna Travesada.
Soon afterward, the Texians captured Santa Ana at San Jacinto and he reportedly had surrendered the Nueces strip as part of the deal to gain his freedom. At first, this action prompted an exodus of livestock and people from the area. General Antonio Canales ordered residents to abandon the territory and threatened anyone found in the area with punishment as a spy.
It soon became clear to officials in Tamaulipas that the Nueces strip, which was not part of Texas, had not been part of the terms of surrender and Gen. Canales and the Mexican government rejected Texas’ claim to the Nueces strip and continued to make land grants in the area.