The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 2
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2 Tiexas Historical Association Quarterly.
the expenditure of a considerable sum by Texas; and when, in
addition, it is remembered that Mexico had in no wise relinquished
her intention of reconquering Texas, .and would sooner or later
attack her by land and by sea, the reader can understand why it
was necessary for Texas to secure and maintain at any cost a
navy strong enough to make Mexico fear and respect her, and to
impress foreign nations with the stability of her government.
All this had been clearly perceived since the first session of the
first congress of the Republic. On October 26, 1836, the Com-
mittee on Naval Affairs recommended "the immediate building or
purchase" of one twenty-four gun sloop, a ten gun steam vessel,
and two schooners of eleven guns each. The total cost of the
four vessels was to be $135,000.1 An act was passed in conformity
with these resolutions, authorizing the President to appoint an
agent to proceed immediately to the United States, to purchase,
or contract for and superintend the building of, the desired vessels.
It was approved by President Houston November 18, 1836. This
increase in the navy was planned while Texas was still in pos-
session of several war vessels; but long before any of the vessels
of the new navy reached the Texan shores, the last of the old navy,
excepting the Potomac, had disappeared. Owing to the youth of
the Republic, and the uncertainty of her future, sufficient money
could not be borrowed to carry out the act; and it therefore re-
The second congress found it imperative to act. The Inde-
pendence had been captured by the Mexicans, and the Invincible
wrecked, leaving the Brutus and the Potomac sole defenders of
six hundred miles of coast. William M. Shepherd, acting secre-
tary of the navy, in his report of September 30, 183 7,2 begs earn-
estly for the expenditure of a few thousand dollars to prevent
Mexico's gaining supremacy of the Gulf. Some two weeks later
the Brutus was wrecked, and the Committee on Naval Affairs
thereupon framed the following resolutions, and submitted them
to the Senate for action :8
1House Journal, 1st Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., 97-98; Gammel, Laws of Texas,
I, 1090; Gouge, Fiscal History of Texas, 54.
2House Journal, 2nd Tex. Cong., 1st and 2d Sessions, 166-172.
3Archives of the Department of State, file No. 764.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910, periodical, 1910; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101051/m1/10/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.