The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 15
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The Navy of the Republic of Texas.
the San A ntonio was, in November, 1839, at New Orleans, on re-
cruiting service.' At the same time the secretary of the navy or-
dered the Zavala to New Orleans for refitting. Captain A. C.
Hinton of the Zavala was instructed not to allow his expenditure
to exceed $9000, including $3200 for the enlistment of sailors and
marines.2 He went, however, considerably beyond the modest
limit set by the department, incurred a severe reprimand therefor
from the secretary, and was ordered to return to Galveston. The
reproof administered to him was in part as follows:
You appear to have forgotten the very first principle of naval
discipline, to wit: that the first duty of an officer, as well as a
seaman, consists in obeying orders. If you have so far transcended
yours, as to purchase anything for which you can not show definite
orders, be assured that you will be held responsible; and you fur-
thermore are strictly forbidden from incurring, under any pre-
text whatever, any liabilities against the Government for repairs.
. . . You will . . . return as soon as possible to Galveston, and
report immediately to this Department.8
In reporting the matter to President Lamar the secretary used
a different tone. He said that, though Hinton had exceeeded his
allowance by nearly twelve thousand dollars, yet
on the return of the Zavala to Galveston, her natural efficiency
was found to. be very much increased, and I have no hesitation in
saying, that the unauthorized repairs were essentially needed, and
they would have been suggested by the proper authority, except
for the consciousness of inability to pay for them.4
The President considered the breach of discipline as serious
enough to warrant the withdrawal of Hinton's commission. Hin-
ton appealed to congress, and a joint resolution was passed,5 order-
ing the secretary of the navy to organize a court-martial for the
trial of Hinton, and declaring that in future no officer should be
deprived of his commission except by sentence of such a court.
'Moore to Hinton, House Journal, 5th Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix,
2House Journal, 5th Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix, 221-222.
'Cooke to Hinton, December 21, 1839, in House Journal, 5th Tex. Cong.,
1st Sess., Appendix, 238-239.
'Secretary of the navy, Report of November 4, 1840, House Journal, 5th
Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix, 185-196.
5Gammel, Laws of Texas, I1, 609.
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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/m1/23/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.