The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 30
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oulthwestern Historical Quarterly
the agents to the United States had purchased the William Robbins,
and had changed the name to Liberty. He also found fault with
the wording of the ordinance, and thought the Council should
make no effort to purchase vessels after having authorized Austin,
Archer and Wharton to do so.7 The Council immediately repassed
the ordinance and returned it to the governor for his signature.
It was never returned by Smith.8
Barrett reported to the Council January 8, that the Montezuma,
a Mexican sloop of war, was reported to be in the harbor at Gal-
veston. According to Barrett, Texas had no vessel capable of
competing with the Montezuma, but the sloop Invincible was
offered to Texas at a fair price. The Council resolved that the
Invincible be accepted as the property of Texas, and be registered
accordingly. Governor Smith was requested to issue a commis-
sion to Thomas F. McKinney as commander of the vessel. Mc-
Kinney was to provide a crew, ammunition and supplies, and
cruise against the enemy in the Gulf of Mexico until he received
On at least one occasion the Council was called upon to exercise
its functions as a court of admiralty. The schooner Hannah
Elizabeth, loaded with cannon, arms, ammunition, and a cargo
of goods belonging to Peter Kerr, sailed from New Orleans for
Texas. Before completing her voyage she was run aground by
the Mexican vessel Bravo, and a prize crew was placed on board.
The Hannah Elizabeth was retaken by citizens of Matagorda, who
had obtained at least temporary possession of the William Robbins.
The crew of the William Robbins, under command of Captain
Hurd, appropriated to themselves the goods and provisions, "allow-
ing Kerr to retain his part on payment of half their value !'~o
This matter was reported to the Council by J. W. Fannin, who
was, it seems, quite prejudiced against Hurd and the members of
his crew. Thomas Barnett, Robert H. Williams and James Col-
lingsworth were appointed commissioners, with power to secure
and retain in the name of the Provisional Government the vessel
and its cargo. The commissioners were also made a court of
7Ibid., I, 749.
slbid., I, 750, 1033.
9Ibid., I, 754.
ioWooten, A Comprehensive History of Texas, I, 205.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/38/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.