The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 6
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
maintaining a small fleet under the command of Captain H. L.
Thompson in the Gulf of Campeachy to prey on Mexican com-
merce. The British schooner Little Penn, bound from Liverpool
to Tabasco in Yucatan, ran aground on the Alacranes, a shoal on
the Yucatan coast, in the summer of 1837. Her cargo was owned
by F. de Lizardi and Co., a house with offices in England and
Mexico, and was consigned to a Mexican citizen. As it was found
impossible to save the Little Penn, the consignees and the Mexi-
can authorities at Campeachy sent out two Mexican vessels, the
Paz and the Abisipa, to rescue her cargo. These two vessels were
loaded with the greater part of the cargo of the Little Penn. The
Paz made her way safely to Campeachy, but the Abispa fell into
the hands of the Brutus and Invincible, two of the Texas vessels
cruising in the neighborhood. As Captain Thompson found the
A bispa to be a Mexican vessel and was shown no papers indicating
that the cargo was other than Mexican goods, he sent her into
Matagorda, Texas, where the vessel and cargo were condemned as
prize. It was claimed, and apparently with truth, that the officers
of the Brutus and Invincible boarded the wreck of the Little Penn
and stripped her of everything of value found on board.1 From
these facts Lizardi and Co. submitted to the British government
their claim against Texas for damages to the extent of some 3640.
On August 3, a few days after the capture of the Abispa, the Texas
vessels chased and captured the British schooner Eliza Russell,
bound from Liverpool to Sisal, Mexico, owned and commanded by
Captain Joseph Russell, with a miscellaneous cargo of merchan-
dise, part of which was consigned to Mexicans at their own risk.
This vessel was taken as a prize off the Campeachy coast and sent
to Galveston. On her arival there she was released by order of
the executive government, but by storms that arose at the time
she was delayed and injured, so that Captain Russell presented to
the British government his claim for some 865 damages caused
by the detention. The Texas government at once acknowledged
that it was at fault in the case of the Eliza Russell, and R. A. Irion,
the secretary of state, directed Henderson to express to Lord Pal-
merston his regrets at the occurrence and to assure him that Rus-
sell would receive compensation for his injuries. Palmerston
'See extract from records of navy department of Texas filed with letter
of Elliott to Terrell, Dec. 13, 1842.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906, periodical, 1906; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/m1/10/: accessed February 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.