In the late 1820s in the United States, anti-gambling movements were cropping up in areas which were frontier not that many years prior. Nicholas Trammell's tavern and gambling at horse racing put him on the other side of that line. Those resisting gambling mostly received only lip service from justice officials, so operations generally proceeded as usual but with a little less fanfare.
The Mexican settlement of Nacogdoches was a haven for gamblers more than eager to welcome a newcomer to Texas. Though the local council in Nacogdoches tried to control gambling through fines on gamblers and operators, their efforts were largely unsuccessful. The unwritten rules often left the unwitting relieved of their stake. One gambler, an unnamed future signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, spotted an easy mark that appeared to have money and directed him into a game. After the newcomer sat down, the future patriot went out to look for others to fleece.
Noah Smithwick was there for the game and wrote about it in his memoirs "The Evolution of a Nation. Smithwick said, "When he returned the game was over and the clique dividing the spoils. The steerer demanded his share. "Why you was not in the game," they contended. "The hell I was not; didn't I find him first?" and backing his claim with a pistol he secured his share." The future signer was not named, but was likely Martin Parmer.
The following entry from "Texas Day by Day" of the Texas State Historical Association recognizes the date when Smithwick was banished from the state.
December 7th, 1830 -- Noah Smithwick banished from Texas as "a bad citizen"
On this day in 1830, Noah Smithwick was banished from Texas as "a bad citizen." Smithwick, born in North Carolina in 1808, came to Texas in 1827 and eventually settled in San Felipe. When San Felipe authorities ordered a friend of his who was accused of murder chained with leg irons, Smithwick, a blacksmith by trade, provided a file and a gun so he might escape. As a result, the authorities tried Smithwick, declared him "a bad citizen," and banished him from Austin's colony and Texas, providing an escort as far as the Sabine River. Smithwick returned to Matagorda in the fall of 1835 and reached Gonzales the day after the battle of Gonzales. He served in the Texas Revolution, married, and after an unsuccessful stint as a Williamson County cattle rancher established a mill near Marble Falls. With the coming of the Civil War, the Unionist Smithwick received threats and decided to abandon Texas. He sold his property and, with a number of friends, left Burnet County for southern California in 1861. In California, Smithwick gradually lost his eyesight but dictated his memoirs to his daughter. After his death in 1899, she had the manuscript published by Karl H. P. N. Gammel as The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days.