Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 258 of 894
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2INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
at St. Helena for water, arrived at her wharf in
Philadelphia during the month of January, 1836.
The voyage to Calcutta thoroughly cured him of
his penchant for the sea. He returned to his home
and for three months taught school at Coatsville,
Chester County, Pa. While thus engaged he
met an old friend of his family and a resident
of that place, who had been out West and
who told him that steamboating on the Ohio river
offered fine opportunities for young men to get on
in the world and promised to give him a letter of
recommendation to a friend residing in Pittsburg,
Pa., and largely interested in steamboats. Kenedy
determined to take the advice proffered him,
surrendered his school, procured the letter of
recommendation and made his way to Pittsburg.
Arriving at his destination in June, 1836, he
delivered the letter and met with a kind reception
and was told that an effort would be made to secure
for him the first vacancy that occurred. In the
meantime he realized that he must secure employment
by which he could earn funds sufficient to
defray current expenses, and, accordingly, worked
in a brick-yard until October 1, 1836, when he was
notified that the position of clerk on a steamer had
been secured for him.
From that time until 1842 he ran on the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers as clerk
sometimes acting as
In 1842 he went to Alabama and during one
season on the Alabama river served as clerk of the
Champion, a boat running from Mobile to Montgomery.
The Champion then proceeded to Apalachicola,
Florida, and ran on the Apalachie and
Chattahoochie rivers until 1846. He retained his
position as clerk during these years and, in the
absence of the captain, acted as commander.
While thus engaged in Florida, he met Capt.
Richard King, then a river pilot and in after years
l is partner in steamboat operations on the Rio
Grand and ranching in Southwest Texas.
Every spring, from the year 1843 to 1846, the
Champion was sent along the Gulf coast to New
Orleans and from that point up the Mississippi
and Ohio rivers to Pittsburg, where she was owned,
to be repaired. In the early part of 1846, Capt.
Kenedy was placed in charge of the boat and
ordered to take her to Pittsburg, Pa., and reached
his destination in April following.
Upon his arrival at Pittsburg, he met Maj. John
Saunders, an engineer in the United States Army
and a friend of his, who was sent there by Gen.
Zachary Taylor to obtain boats for the use of the
army on the Rio Grande. He employed Capt.
Kenedy to assist him in this work. Maj. Saunders
purchased the Corvette, Colonel Cross, Major
Brown, Whiteville and other boats for the service.
Capt. Kenedy was made commander of the
Corvette, and directed to proceed to New Orleans
and report to Col. T. F. Hunt, of the Quartermaster's
Department, U. S. A. Col. Hunt confirmed
the appointment of Capt. Kenedy and he thereupon
enlisted for the war, as master, and was ordered to
proceed with the Corvette to the mouth of the Rio
Grande and report to Capt. E. A. Ogden, Assistant
Quartermaster, U. S. A. One of the reasons for
selecting him for this work was his experience in
conducting light boats over the Gulf.
He reached the station at the mouth of the Rio
Grande June 17, 1846, and from that time until the
close of the Mexican war transported troops and
provisions to Matamoros, Reynosa, Camargo and
other points on the river.
After the victory at Buena Vista and while moving
on Vera Cruz, Gen. Winfield Scott stopped
at the mouth of the Rio Grande, desiring to go to
Camargo and consult with Gen. Worth. Capt.
Kenedy's vessel, the Corvette, was the best in the
service and he was selected to take Gen. Scott and
staff up the river.
Capt. Richard King joined Capt. Kenedy in May,
1847, and acted as pilot of the Corvette until the
close of the war, in 1848. They were thoroughly
experienced steamboatmen and rendered their
country good service. Capt. Kenedy during his
long experience as a steamboatman never met with
an accident while in charge of a boat.
At the end of the Mexican war, he and two
other gentlemen (Mr. Samuel A. Belden and Capt.
James Walworth) bought a large number of mules
and wagons and a stock of merchandise and started
for the fair at San Juan, in the State of Jalisco.
They did not succeed in reaching the fair, and sold
their outfit at Zacatecas and returned to Matamoros,
where they divided the proceeds of the trip and
dissolved partnership. Capt. Kenedy immediately
purchased another stock of goods and, with
his merchandise loaded on pack-mules, started for
the interior of Mexico. Upon arriving at Monterey,
he sold out and returned to Brownsville, reaching
the latter place in the spring of 1850.
Seeing the necessity for good boats on the Rio
Grande, he then formed a partnership with Capt.
Richard King, Capt. James O'Donnell and Mr.
Charles Stillman, under the firm name of M. Kenedy
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/258/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .