26 The Early History of Galveston.
able hut there. His child died there, and he had to sell a slave for expenses.
* * *
President Burnet's first act at Velasco was to appoint the Toby Bros.,
of New Orleans, the financial agents of the Republic. They had fitted out
the privateer Toby, and were then getting the Green Regiment equipped.
On May 14 Santa Anna signed the two treaties with the Republic of Texas.
Santa Anna had been confined on a warship and was to be released. The
army did not approve of this act, and when Green's Regiment arrived,
"Green's New Orleans wharf rats" controlled the situation. They forced
both Burnet and Green to be harsh to Santa Anna, who was finally sent
to Dr. Phelps' farm on the Brazos. It was claimed that several attempts
were made to release Santa Anna, and that he was chained to an iron
rod. The prisoners and their guards were left at Galveston, the army
finally concentrating near Harrisburg; the navy remaining in Galveston,
where a naval station was built. Captain Delgado left a description of the
suffering prisoners on Galveston, "the hell island." "Heat, mosquitoes,
poor food, flies, brackish water and sandcrabs that ate the few rags of
clothes left," were some of the evils enumerated. Money and supplies
were scarce in the Texas army. The $10,000 captured at San Jacinto had
been divided, the navy getting $3,000. The schooners Express and Columbus
were sent to New Orleans to solicit and carry supplies. The army
was idle, dissatisfied and hungry and wanted to court-martial or impeach
the president. This ugly spirit developed after the arrival of Green's
Regiment of rough volunteers. History tells you they arrived on June 1
in the Ocean. Colonel Dyer's commission as aide de camp and major,
signed by Thos. Jefferson Green, and approved by D. G. Burnet, bears the
date of May 18, which would show that the Ocean arrived at Velasco previous
to that date.
V * * *
The Ocean was commanded by Capt. R. Wilson, a Brazoria colonist,
and the vessel chartered by Toby Bros. of New Orleans. She carried
General Green, Pinckney Henderson, Memucan Hunt and about two hundred
and fifty men. Arriving at Galveston and finding the Cabinet had
left, General Green concluded not to use the camp on Galveston Island.
The supplies were gathered and a few tents were placed aboard the Ocean
by Colonel Dyer who also went to Velasco. Colonel Dyer and Colonel Graham
were sent to Goliad later with a small force, but tiring of the inactive
life and lack of food they resigned in October, 1836. In November, Colonel
Graham acted as second for Colonel Dyer, who fought a duel in New Orleans
with one Smith. (A clipping from a newspaper reporting this affair
of honor is in the possession of the writer.)
* * *
Potter, the Secretary of the Navy, remained at Galveston to superintend
the building of the navy yard. The Julius Caesar, with supplies, was
captured by the Mexicans as she was about to enter the harbor. Galveston
was not recognized by the "Columbia" Congress on October 3. Mr. Millin
was refused admission. In August all the prisoners were sent to Hardin's
farm on the Trinity. A small garrison was left at the fort, and the navy
rendezvoused at the navy yard.
Dyer, Joseph O. The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24651/. Accessed September 2, 2014.