The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of a culpable dereliction of duty" as the "agent of Her Majesty
In the meantime, the eighty-nine camels had been unloaded
on the island and were wandering about the city streets creating
a general nuisance. The city fathers met and passed an ordinance
which made it a violation of the Municipal Code to allow camels
to wander unattended in the city streets.8 Galveston youths and
ne'er-do-wells made a sport of pelting the strange, ungainly
animals with stones, thereby frightening the camels into further
behavior unbecoming to the peace and quiet of the port city.
The wheels of the British Foreign Office turned slowly, but
continually. Lord Lyons, the British Minister in Washington,
relayed to George Hammond of the Foreign Office the complaint
Mrs. Watson had filed with the American Secretary of State and,
in due time, the Earl of Malmesbury referred the matter of the
ship Thomas Watson and the Galveston camels to the Lords of
the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade. Her Majesty's
Lords "were pleased to express the opinion that Consul was jus-
tified in withholding a clean bill of health . . in regard to the
town," but the Lords were "not without apprehension from the
tenor" of Lynn's dispatch that his withholding of the clean bill
of health from the vessel might have been inspired "uncon-
sciously" by the Consul's personal distaste for slave-traders.9 Lynn
vigorously denied this suggestion by the Lords, asserting, in a
voluminous correspondence, that all of his actions had been guided
solely by Her Majesty's trade regulations.1
In the meantime, Mrs. Watson, her captain and J. A. Machado,
the actual owner of the slave-trading ship Thomas Watson, who
had by that time arrived in Galveston from New York, had been
making life as unpleasant as possible for Consul Lynn, in order
to show him their distaste for his meddling in the operation of
their mercantile enterprise."'
Into this ungracious and bickering situation, "the mariner's
fate" thrust the little English schooner Commerce, the only ship
7Lynn to Lord Lyons, March 23, 1859, F.O.
sOrdinance Book, 1857-1865 (MS, Office of City Secretary, Galveston), 34.
9Earl of Malmesbury to Lynn, April 18, 1859, F.O.
loLynn to Hammond, April 2o, 1859, ibid.
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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/m1/54/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.