The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 568
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
building up of invasion forces, to blockade, and by warfare to
force Mexico to recognize the independence of Texas.
To an ambitious, young, energetic officer in the stagnating
United States Navy, moldering quietly after the great days of
the War of 1812, Texas presented a lively challenge. On March 2,
1839, Moore went on leave from the United States Sloop Boston
to visit Texas; and on July 16, 1839, he resigned from the United
States Navy and became a post captain and commanding officer
of the Texas Navy.
Yet, for four years Commodore Moore had to wait for the
Texas Navy to be used for the purpose for which it had been
bought. For four years the political leaders of Texas would not
order the offensive campaign that Commodore Moore urged.
Instead, navy vessels carried diplomats on futile missions attempt-
ing to negotiate recognition from Mexico. The indecision of the
Texas government frittered away its scanty money, prevented
responsible settlement of the country, and hampered trade and
investment in Texas. The officials of the Republic failed to use
its superior naval strength to wrest from Mexico the admission
that Texas was truly independent. For any country, warships and
bases are extravagantly expensive, wasteful of manpower, and
exhausting upon a nation's resources. Therefore, every effort must
be made quickly to bring the ships into action and defeat the
enemy. Otherwise, the war may drag on, popular support wane,
and the government might deprive the navy of the resources
needed to retain its preponderance. The Texas Navy should have
been thrown immediately into the conflict; instead, for four years
it was a burden on the Texas treasury.
While Mexico played for time with the Texas diplomats, she
was busily building up her own naval forces until by the winter
of 1842, the army, the fleet, and chartered American merchant
vessels were poised almost ready for the invasion which General
Adrian Woll,2 General Albert Sidney Johnston,8 Sam Houston,'
'George P. Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of the Republic of Texas
(8 vols.; Washington, 1908-191 1), II (1), Part II, 696.
2William R. Manning (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States
(12 vols.; Washington, 1939), XII, 254.
3A. T. Burnley to General A. S. Johnston, October 21, 1842 (MS., Johnston
Papers, Barret Collection, Tulane University).
4E. W. Winkler (ed.), Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas, z836-
z845 (Austin, 1911), 270o, 271.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/700/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.