Texas Navy Page: 16 of 43
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
tion. Instead, the government ordered San Bernard
to return to Mexico. with another diplomatic agent,
James Webb, to resume Treat's negotiations. Ultimately,
the Webb mission met the same fate as his
Meanwhile, Commodore Moore began a survey
of Texas coastal waters in San Antonio. The survey
lasted through the summer and fall of 1841; it was
important work, albeit a more peaceful enterprise
than Moore had hoped to be engaged in. The charts
of the waters of the rapidly expanding Republic
were so inaccurate that one-fourth of the British vessels
trading on the Texas coast in 1840 had been
wrecked. Commonly used charts showed Galveston
and Sabine Pass as much as 75 miles out of position
and were inaccurate by as much as four feet
in their indicated depth of channels. The survey
information accumulated by the Texas Navy was
used in British Admiralty charts and in those of
G. and W. Blount of Baltimore. They remained the
standard navigational tool until the U.S. Coastal
Survey reached Texas more than a decade later.
During 1841, President Lamar determined upon
an aggressive military policy. He reasoned that by
launching land-sea assaults against Mexico he
could achieve recognition of Texas independence,
thus assuring peace and economic stability. However,
his fiscal resources were lacking. The land
phase of the attack, which became the ill-fated
Santa Fe Expedition, was financed partly by the
government and partly by private enterprise. The
sea expedition was to receive financial support from
Yucatan. An executive agreement between that rebellious
province and Texas provided that the latter
would furnish fully outfitted and manned ships to
prevent the reconquest of Yucatan. In its turn,
Yucatan would pay Texas $8,000 per month for
the use of the fleet against a resurgent Mexico.
On 13 December 1841, the last day of the
Lamar administration, Commodore Moore sailed for
Yucatan with the Texas squadron consisting of his
flagship Austin, San Bernard, under Lieutenant
Commanding Downing Crisp (a former British
midshipman), San Antonio, Lieutenant Commanding
William Seegar and, much later, Wharton,
Commander J. T. K. Lothrop. During a four
month cruise in which hostilities were suspended
several times while Yucatan negotiated for reentry
into the Mexican Republic, the Texas squadron
fulfilled its mission. It generally patrolled off
Vera Cruz, challenging the smaller Mexican warships
and capturing four Mexican merchantmen-Progreso,
Doric, Doloritas and Dos Amigos.
The cruise ended on 26 April 1842 on President
Houston's orders after Yucatan had suspended its
$8,000 a month subsidy during a truce with
It was during this expedition that mutiny took
place on board San Antonio. She had been sent
to New Orleans to pick up provisions and men
when the incident occurred. On the night of 11
February 1842, several of the ship's sailors and
marines in a drunken rage tomahawked the duty
officer and bayoneted him to death. After throwing
three wounded officers down a hatch, they
rowed ashore. Alerted by the noise accompanying
the incident, the crew of the U.S. Revenue Cutter
Jackson restored order, captured thirteen men and
turned them over to civil authorities.
During the next year, the ringleader, Sergeant
Seymour Oswald, escaped and another Marine
prisoner died. Of the men tried by a general court
martial, one was acquitted and another was pardoned.
Three men received 100 lashes each, and
four were sentenced to death. They were hanged
from Austin's yardarms on 26 April 1843.
Upon the return of the Texas Squadron from
Yucatan in April 1842, President Houston ordered
Austin, San Antonio, and San Bernard to New
Orleans and Galveston for extensive overhaul.
However, he provided no funds for the repairs,
much less for the necessary resupply of the vessels
and augmentation of their depleted crews. A prolonged
and intensely personal conflict between
President Houston and Commodore Moore ensued.
Houston sought the annexation of Texas by the
United States and used the power of his office to
prevent any action which might force Mexico to
recognize the independence of Texas. For more than
a year he withheld all appropriations from the Navy,
but did not dismiss its commander. Moore, a member
of Texas' war party, used every means at his command
to get his squadron into battle, while publicly
proclaiming the support of his president. Finally,
when it appeared that Moore might get his squadron
to sea with the aid of New Orleans merchants,
Houston ordered Wharton, badly in need of repairs
and desperately undermanned, to New Orleans to
be included in the detachment. As a last resort,
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
U.S. Navy Department. Naval History Division. Texas Navy, book, January 1, 1968; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2419/m1/16/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .