Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The "Secret Act of Congress"s in regard to the Navy, and the secret
instructions from the Department of War and Marine prevent me from
entering into a full explanation of this affair; let it suffice, in relation
to it, that the Act of Congress confined the President within certain
limits, and he may have instructed the Commissioners accordingly
and been thus far blameless: and, if the Commissioners are able to
show, that they could not carry out the instructions of the President,
without subjecting the Vessels under the command of Com. Moore to
the risk of being destroyed ("burnt") and that there was less risk in
taking the coast of Yucatan on their course, than in going direct to
Galveston, then the Commissioner who took the responsibility of
sanctioning a cruise along the coast of Yucatan to Galveston may not
deserve censure from any quarter. Commodore Moore may likewise
be cleared of all censure, and to crown the matter, President Hous-
ton may prove undeserving of censure also This will appear rather
anomalous, yet it may prove true, and all have originated from Secret
Legislation! When the injunction of secrecy is removed, the public
shall know the true situation in which the Commissioners were placed.
Commodore Moore has it now in his power to explain his peculiar sit-
uation, and President Houston has already given his reasons for issu-
ing the Proclamation in regard to Com. Moore, which I feel satisfied
never would have been published had my dispatches from Campeche
reached the President, prior to its promulgation. If I have erred in
deviating from instructions, it was not an error of the heart, and I did
believe that President Houston, when he was made fully acquainted
with all the circumstances, would approve my course. Whether, what
has been done shall turn out "for weal or for woe," it cannot be said
that I had any purposes of ambition to serve, or any pecuniary gain
in view. I left retirement, and ease, at the earnest solicitation of
President Houston, totally against my inclination, to embark on a
mission by no means of a pleasant nature, and was on my return to
the retirement I had so reluctantly left, when I was induced to deviate
from the course first determined on, regardless of all personal hazard
from that Amor Patrice so dear to every true patriot, I therefore feel
that I am not deserving of censure.
The Proclamation of President Houston, although bearing upon me
only indirectly, I feel sensibly, as bearing directly upon others: There
are a number of officers in the Ship and Brig, perhaps all, who knew
nothing of the difficulty existing between the President and Com.
Moore, and who believed that all proceedings of their Commander,
were not only in accordance with the Laws of the land, but in com-
pliance with the wishes of the President. Young men of noble bearing,
BThe "secret acts" referred to by Morgan provided for the sale of the Texas Navy.
They were first completely printed in E. W. Winkler (ed.), Secret Journals of the
Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 3, 2016.