The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer Page: 29
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The Early History of Galveston. 29
tent captured from the Mexicans. The men of the army had been very
threatening to Santa Anna, and he was ill from fright.
* * *
When the Yellow Stone arrived at Galveston on May 5 with the prisoners
it was decided to place Santa Anna in a hut near Fort Travis. Again
he objected and begged so hard that a hut was placed at his disposal near
Burnet's and Sam Houston's. Burnet in his address only mentioned that
Santa Anna was placed in the keeping of Captain Hawkins on the Independence,
then in the harbor. This was partly true, for on the 8th at
right some one fired a shot into Santa Anna's hut, and Captain Hawkins
was ordered to fit up a cabin for him. It should be remembered that
Burnet was very anxious to have the peace treaties signed, and did not at
all desire injury or death of the Mexican chief, for the Texas army really
was destitute and incapable of further prolonged fighting. This attempt
on the life of Santa Anna undoubtedly caused the Cabinet to remove to
Velasco, taking the prisoner along. There may have been other reasons,
such as Galveston being liable to seizure by a strong fleet which could
have invested the whole island. Burnet states that the reason was the
lack of accommodations at Galveston; but further on he admitted that the
Cabinet did not improve their condition in that respect. (Both places had
been damaged by the gulf storm and Velasco in May, 1836, had seven or
eight store rooms and a few dwellings. It had the advantage of Galveston
in having better buildings and a supply of drinking water, but it was not
the health resort of Austin's colony with a number of boarding houses, as
described in Holley's History of Texas.) On May 10 early the move to
Velasco was made. As General Green's force followed up the Cabinet to
Velasco, they did not escape having the army close at hand. The balance
of the troops were at Harrisburg and on Galveston Island. Green's men
were very unruly, being mostly composed of levee loafers and adventurers.
However, Green kept them in check and undoubtedly not only protected
Burnet, but also Santa Anna, when the army insisted on his being landed
at Quintana. The treaties had now been signed, but the murder of Santa
Anna would have rendered them useless. Mrs. Looscan, in a sketch of
Mrs. Burnet, stated that the lady slept with two pistols at night to protect
her husband. About May 12 Col. David Thomas died at Galveston from an
'ocidental pistol wound received whilst on his way some weeks previously
to the island to escape capture. He was the Attorney General in the Cabinet,
and Grayson was appointed to fill his place. Burnet was likewise
accused of dishonest practices in regard to the management of the Texas
Land and Galveston Bay Company. However, Burnet and the Vice President
were undoubtedly duped by New York Wall Street sharks. General
Mason, who figured in the same company, helped Texas to fit out her fleet,
advancing the money for the Liberty and paying expenses for the Brutus.
He died in Galveston in 1860.
* * *
General Cos' life also was attempted; he was greatly despised for having
broken his parole, having been released when San Antonio was captured.
Burnet at Velasco lived in a hut and sold a slave when his child died
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Dyer, Joseph O. The early history of Galveston, by Dr. J. O. Dyer, book, 1916; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24651/m1/32/?rotate=90: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .