The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 41
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A Cargo of Camels in Galveston
The lady applied in the usual manner at the Consul's office
for clearance papers to sail to the British port of Liverpool.
Knowing that Mrs. Watson's declared intention to sail for Liver-
pool was but a ruse to cover her real destination, the slave-trading
port of Havana, Lynn refused to give the Thomas Watson a clean
bill of health. Although the failure to secure this document
would have caused the vessel no inconvenience in Liverpool, the
lack of a clean bill of health would have denied to the vessel the
privilege of a port of call at the tropical harbor of Havana, where
the authorities would not have welcomed a vessel entering with-
out a health clearance from the fever-laden city of Galveston.4
On December 13, Mrs. Watson wrote Lynn demanding a clean
bill and threatening to file a protest with the United States
Department of State if it were not forthcoming. Lynn replied at
once that he would not grant a clean bill to any vessel wishing to
sail to a British port, which had entered Galveston harbor prior
to November 14, the date of the last fever death in the city. This
particular epidemic, according to Lynn, had taken the lives of
io per cent of the population then living in Galveston. He advised
the lady that, since the lack of the document would cause her no
difficulty in Liverpood, it was an open question as to what the
real purpose of the Thomas Watson's next voyage might be.5
Thus, the good lady and the Consul were locked in a conflict
from which neither would back down. Mrs. Watson sent a com-
plaint against Lynn to the American Secretary of State and also
sent an urgent message to J. A. Machado of New York City, the
nominal agent, but actually the owner of the vessel,6 to come to
Galveston at once. Lynn's next move was to send another dispatch
to the Earl of Malmesbury at the Foreign Office and to Lord
Lyons in Washington regarding the strange cargo of camels at
Galveston harbor. The Consul pointed out to Lord Malmesbury
that if he had "deviated from the course adopted," because of
the threats made by Mrs. Watson, he would have been "guilty
4Lynn to Hammond, April so, 1859, ibid.
5Mrs. M. J. Watson to Lynn, December 13, 1858, ibid.; Lynn to Mrs. M. J.
Watson, December 13, 1858, Records Galveston Consulate, ibid.
6Howard to Earl of Clarendon, April 7, 1857, ibid.; Lynn to Hammond, April
2o, 1858, ibid.; J. A. Machado to Lewis Cass, June 23, 1858, and G. M. Dallas to
Cass, October 12, 1858, House Executive Documents, 36th Cong., and Sess. (Serial
No. 1o95), Document No. 7, p. 132; Document No. 132, p. 264-265.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/53/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.