The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 4
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4 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
once executed his bond, and departed for Baltimore, to enter ac-
tively into the labors of procuring a navy for Texas.
In order to meet immediate needs, an effort was made to buy the
steam ship Pulaski; and Congress authorized her purchase at an
agreed price;' but the transaction failed through the refusal of
the owners to deliver her at Galveston, on the ground that
our ports were declared by the enemy to be under blockade,
and that the blockade was reported to be effective. Be-
fore any agreement could be arrived at she was destroyed. The
Potomac, therefore, was the only vessel that was in the service of
Texas during 1838. And for a long time it remained doubtful
whether or not the government would become the owner of this
vessel. The secretary of the navy at a critical hour had bought
it on his own responsibility from Captain L. M. Hitchcock for
eight thousand dollars and had almost completed its conversion
into a. brig of war, when all further work on it was suspended
because congress had made no provision for its purchase. This,
however, was due to a want of funds, and not to a belief in con-
gress that the vessel was not needed. The secretary of the navy
in his report of October 30, 1838, put the matter before the presi-
dent, and urged him to find some means for completing the trans-
action.2 The Potomac seems to have been finally acquired by the
government, though no record of the transfer can be found.
The secretary of the navy two years later says :3
In consequence of the leaky condition of the brig Potomac, for-
merly the receiving ship, she has had everything removed from
her; placed securely in the yard, and her crew transferred to the
Wharton. It has since been discovered, and prevented as far as
it was deemed necessary, to keep her from sinking. This vessel
is new and has been for a long while, perfectly useless to the Gov-
Meeting William H. Wharton after his return from the United States, the
president could not refrain from delivering a home thrust. "I did not
appoint John A. Wharton naval commissioner," he said, "because I did not
wish to drive any more of the Wharton family into exile."-Linn, Rem-
inisocnces of Fifty Years in Texas, 273.
1Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 1392.
'House Journal, 3d Tex. Cong., 18; Yoakum, II, 242.
'Report of November 4, 1840, in House Journal, 5th Tex. Cong., 1st Sess.,
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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/m1/12/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.