The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 34
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34 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
In 1832 Velasco was a Mexican post, garrisoned by near two. hun-
dred and fifty men, who were in a fort of circular form, having in
the center a mound or raised plateau of earth, whereon the artillery
was placed en barbette, so as to fire over the outer wall, and command
-a range on every side. This outer wall was surrounded by a fosse
or ditch, and perhaps 'with something intended for cheveaux-de-frise
or abattis. There were -at that time several vessels trading between
Velasoo and New Orleans, which were engaged in .exporting home
.articles and bringing in supplies to barter for 1Mexican bars of silver
land other articles. Among these vessels was the "Sabine," which
carried out the first cotton ever raised in Gulf Prairie, produced by
Westall and 'IcNeil, and was owned by Edwin Waller, then a young
man, native ,of Virginia, who had visited Texas for his health. Up
to this year no duties or customs had been demanded from persons
engaged in this trade by government officials, but it coming to. their
ears that the commerce was becoming profitable their attention was
,aroused, and the commander of the Velasco fort notified the captain
of the Sabine, Jerry Brown, that he must pay .certain duties, and
procure a clearance for his vessel from 'Colonel Bradburn, then com-
manding at Anahuac, before he would be allowed to. sail. 'This was
demanding impossibilities, as there was no land communication with
Anahuac, and the embargo thus laid prevented intercourse by water.
Captain Brown reported this state -of facts to Edwin Waller, the
vessel's owner, who in company with Wm. H. Wharton visited the
commanding officer, and offered to, pay him a duty of fifty dollars,
for permission for his vessel to leave. The official demanded one
hundred dollars for the privilege, and this Mr. Waller refused, see-
ing the intention of the officer to blackmail him, and believing that
to yield would be but to pave the way for future extortions. After
speaking this ,opinion to, the officer with more emphasis than defer-
ence, Waller retired, to consider upon the situation. 'Finally, he
persuaded Captain Brown to, agree to "run the blockade," and
accordingly the plan was arranged to protect the vessel as well as
might be, with cotton bales, that trhe sailors should hoist sail, the
passengers to go below into the "hold" and that thereupon Wharton
would unloose one fastening 'of the boat, and Waller the other, sim-
rultaneously, to give her as fair a start as possible. All of which
rwas accordingly done, and the first "overt act" of resistance to Mex-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/40/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.