The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 9
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The Navy of the Republic of Texas.
the coasts and harbors of Texas, as for the protection of the com-
merce thereof, that an appropriation be made of the sum required
for that object. Wherefore, be it enacted, . . . That the sum
of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in the promissory notes
of the Government be, and the sum is hereby appropriated for the
naval service for the year 1839. . 1
The navy thus contracted for, including the Zavala, and the ap-
propriation just mentioned, cost the Texan government more than
Mr. Williams, having now accomplished the task he had been
entrusted with, returned to Texas. That his services were appre-
ciated by his countrymen, we note in a, resolution offered in con-
gress3 tendering him a resolution of thanks "for the energy which
he has rendered in procuring a navy." It will be recalled that
while he was connected with the firm of McKinney and Williams
he had been largely instrumental in securing the first navy of
Texas. His talent lay in his ability to finance such matters, and
later in life we see him the first banker of Texas. He knew noth-
ing of naval construction, and the republic now needed a man at
Baltimore to see that the contract was carried out according to
specifications. A man in every respect qualified for this important
service was found in John G. Tod, who had resigned a commission
in the United States navy to connect himself with the young re-
public.4 Before entering upon this work, he had, at the request of
'Gammel, Laws of Texas, II, 129-130. Gouge, Fiscal History of Texas, 93,
and Bancroft, TI, 317, say that this appropriation of $250,000 was made to
pay for the ships contracted for; they are of course, mistaken, as the
language of the act is clear.
2Secretary of the navy, Report of November 8, 1839, cited in Yoakum,
II, 272; Bancroft, II, 351.
8Senate Journal, 3d Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., 72. The resolution was dated
December 14, 1838.
4John G. Tod was born in Kentucky. Leaving Lexington when seventeen
years of age, he proceeded down the Mississippi on a flatboat to New
Orleans, and enlisted in the Mexican Navy as a midshipman, under Admiral
Mina. Two years later, through the influence of Henry Clay, he was ap-
pointed a midshipman in the United States navy, and transferred to that
service in which he rose to more important grades.-C. W. Raines, Year
Boole of Texas, 1901, p. 402.
Mr. Tod entered the Texas navy in 1837, and, as the following letter
(copied from a facsimile of the original) indicates, apparently had some
difficulty in convincing the secretary of the navy of his merits:
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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/m1/17/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.