Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sioners, and which has been before the public for some time it seems-
I wish to have it understood that these were the last and not all the
instructions that the Commissioners received from the President and
Navy Department. In these published instructions it has been noticed
of course that the President speaks of "the Act of Congress for the
Disposition of the Navy" and that he says nothing about the "removal
of the Vessels from New Orleans." It will be inferred, therefore, that
the disposition of the Austin and Wharton was to take place in New
Orleans! When the "Secret Act" of Congress and all the instructions
are published, I will be enabled to justify my course more fully by
ist. That if "the disposition of the Navy," had taken place as con-
templated by the President, the Austin and Wharton would have fallen
into hands whereby a serious evil might have resulted to Texas there-
2d. That from information received in New Orleans, I was justifiable
in taking the responsibility of removing the Vessets before named to
Galveston, (although I had no instructions to do so) inasmuch as
there was a risk of their being destroyed, and I so wrote the President;
and for another reason, that it was the last remnant of coast defence,
and in case of a descent on Galveston by the enemy which there was
no doubt of, and I can shew was in contemplation, the said Vessels
armed and equipped as they were, would have rendered essential aid
in its defence.
3rd. By the timly move m-,de by said Vessels after receipt of the
news at the Balize, wt put a stop to the contemplated invasion of
Galveston in the Spring altogether; saved that place from falling into
the hands of the enemy or being destroyed.
4th. That if after the information received in New Orleans I had
not pursued the course 1 did in regard to the removal of the Austin
and Wharton from that place to Galveston, I should consider myself
a traitor to my country, and would have been so considered by the
President himself as well as the people.
5th. That when all shall have been disclosed touching "the dispo-
sition of the Navy," the situation of the Mexican Navy, the design of
the enemy and the manner in which all his plans have been frustrated
by the timely move of Commodore Moore on the coast of Yucatan;
the advantage that has and will result to Texas therefrom, that no
friend to his country can honestly condemn the course I have pursued
in the affair. JAMES MORGAN.
New Washington, Galveston Bay,
16th July, 1843.
The editorial comment was:
Col. Morgan's Defense.-This document which we publish to-day,
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 August 29, 2015.