The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 10
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10 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
the secretary of the navy, drawn up a report upon the establish-
ment of a navy yard, and in April, 1838, had been vested with
powers to examine into and report on all matters connected with
the naval interests. On June 10, 1838, he was ordered to the
United States by President Houston upon that mission. He fitted
out the steamer Charleston and returned with her to Galveston,
in March, 1839, where her name and flag were changed, and she
was commissioned as the Zavala.1 In accordance with the Dawson
contract, on June 27, 1839, the schooner San Jacinto was deliv-
ered; on August 7, the schooner San Antonio; on August 31, the
schooner San Bernard; and, on October 18, the brig Colorado.2
A corvette and a brig were yet wanting to complete the contract,
but they were confidently expected by the end of the year.8 They
Houston, May 25, 1837.
Hon. W. G. Hill.
Sir,-I take the liberty of laying the enclosed letters before you as a
further introduction to your friendly enfluence in my behalf.
They will show you how I stand in civil life with men of eminance in the
United States-who are not likely to confer their friendship or esteem
upon any man except for his individual worth as a gentleman; more espe-
cially, when the difference of ranlk betwen us as public men is taken into
The Hon. James Harlan is from Kentucky and has known me from my
earliest years. Commodores Barron and Bolton are at the head of the
Navy. Maj. Graham is a distinguished officer of the U. S. Army. The first
clause of his letter will inform you how I stand with my acquaintances in
the U. S. Navy.
I regret that the present state of affairs should make it necessary for me
(to succeed in my object) to trouble you and other gentlemen upon a sub-
ject that the Hon. Secretary of the Navy alone appears to view in rather
an indifferent light. If I obtain my commission, it will be my pride to do
my duty in every situation that my country places me. My greatest honor
to prove myself worthy of the interest shown by my friends. My glory in
defending the rights and advancing the liberties of our common country.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your ob. Servt,
JNo. G. TOD
'As an instance of the carelessness of the historians of Texas it may be
mentioned that Yoakum (II, 271), Morphis (419), and Brown (II, 128),
each represents the Charleston and the Zavala as two separate vessels.
That such an error should have been made by Yoakum, who used the docu-
ments, is strange; Morphis and Brown, no doubt, followed Yoakum's state-
ment without consulting the sources.
'In 1840 the name of the Colorado was changed to the Archer.
OSecretary of the navy, Report of November 8, 1839; Yoakum, II, 271.
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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/m1/18/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.