The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910 Page: 16
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TIexas Historical Association Quarterly.
The verdict of the court-martial was favorable to Hinton, and
congress passed another joint resolution acquitting him "of any
act of misconduct reflecting upon him as an officer or gentleman
whilst a commander in the Navy of this Republic."
The Zavala, on her return to Galveston, had brought a consid-
erable number of men to complete the equipment of the other ves-
sels. For a while it seemed as if this act, and all the cost of pro-
visioning and officering the new navy were to be in vain. The law-
makers of Texas, in the mood of retrenching and economizing,
were about to sacrifice an outlay of one million dollars, in order
to save a few thousands. Without warning, or ascribing any cause
for its action, congress passed a law which was approved on Feb-
ruary 5, 1840, requiring the president to retire from the service
temporarily all the fleet except such schooners as were needed for
revenue purposes, and to retain only a sufficient number of officers
and men to carry out the provisions of the act. Section 4, how-
ever, provided that, "should Mexico make any hostile demonstra-
tions upon the Gulf, the President may order any number of ves-
sels into active service, that he may deem necessary for the public
That the President was not in sympathy with this act can be
clearly seen in reading his message of November, 1840. He prob-
ably acquiesced in it with the intention of availing himself of the
discretionary power conferred by Section 4. At any rate, he did
not execute the act, and concerning his reasons for not doing so,.
spoke as follows :3
The act of the last session of congress providing for the laying
up in ordinary the principal portion of the naval forces of the
country, has not been carried into effect. Before the necessary
preparations could be made for doing so, circumstances transpired,
which in the opinion of the executive, involved potentially the
contingency contemplated in the fourth section of that act, and
induced him to defer the withdrawal of our gallant flag from the
gulf. It was confidently asserted in the papers of the United
States, and as confidently believed here, that the iMiexican govern-
'The resolution was approved January 29, 1842. It does not appear in
Gammel's Laws, but the enrolled copy of the original may be found in the,
Records of the State Department (Texas).
2Gammel, Laws of Texas, II, 364.
"See House Journal, 5th Tex. Cong., 1st Sess., 20-22.
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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/m1/24/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.