Southwestern Historical Quarterly
AH Jrteidset at telasco, 132
THE YEAR WAS 1882, and Texas was at that time a part of
Mexico. The high-handed actions of John D. Bradburn,
military commander at Anahuac, had aroused the indig-
nation of the settlers.
After the petty tyrant, a native of Kentucky, had arrested sev-
eral citizens without charges, including William B. Travis, the
settlers assembled to resist. The colonists needed cannon, how-
ever, and three captains-John Austin, Henry S. Brown, and
William J. Russell-and George B. McKinstry were sent with a
force to obtain artillery at Brazoria.'
While the three captains and McKinstry were away on this mis-
sion, Colonel Jose de las Piedras released the prisoners, placed
Bradburn under arrest and sent him out of the country. Captain
Austin and his associates knew nothing of these developments,
however, and proceeded with their mission.
At Brazoria, the little band of Texans obtained two cannon and
placed them aboard a trading schooner which likewise was named
Brazoria. This ship also had one gun of its own.2
Captain Russell, who was in command of the men aboard the
Brazoria, called for volunteers to man the vessel. Soon a sufficient
number of crew members was obtained, but only two men be-
sides the captain knew one rope from another.8
The mate of the Brazoria volunteered his services to assist in
working the vessel down to a point near the fort at Velasco, but
it was understood that he would not be called upon to take any
part in the battle, as he was a poor man with a large family
dependent on him for support. The services rendered by the mate
were quite valuable.4
iJohn Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols.; St. Louis,
1892), I, 18o.
2Louis J. Wortham, A History of Texas from Wilderness to Commonwealth
(5 vols.; Fort Worth, 1924), II, 28.
sEugene C. Barker and E. W. Winkler (eds.), A History of Texas and Texans,
by Frank W. Johnson (5 vols.; Chicago and New York, 1914 and 1916), I, 78.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed May 3, 2015.