A Guide to the Texas Navy Engraving Collection, 1843, 1936
The Republic of Texas Navy flagship Austin was a sloop-of-war, measuring 125 feet long by 31 feet wide with a draft of 12.5 feet and carrying 174 men and 20 cannons. Commissioned into the Navy in January 1840, the Austin became the flagship vessel in April that year, serving that capacity until July 1843. During its service under the commands of Edwin Ward Moore and Alfred G. Gray, the ship assisted Federalist rebels in Sisal, Mexico, and helped capture San Juan Bautista, which was ransomed for $25,000. The Austin’s presence along the Mexican coast earned Moore and the crew a charge of piracy by Texas president Sam Houston in 1842. The next year, the vessel along with the brig Wharton attacked a Mexican fleet of the coast of the Yucatán, and as the Austin followed the fleeing Mexican ships, it sustained numerous strikes to the hull and rigging. After the Austin and the Wharton returned to Texas in July 1843, the crew answered Houston’s piracy charge and operations of the Navy essentially stopped. Upon annexation of Texas to the United States in 1846, the Austin was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as a receiving ship. The vessel was disassembled two years later due to its poor condition.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Austin,"http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/AA/qta2.html (accessed October 21, 2010).
The Texas Navy Engraving Collection, 1843, 1936, contains two copies of an engraving of the Texas Navy flagship Austin, a narrative by Dr. Alex Dienst about the 1843 battle in which the Austin fought between the Texas Navy and Mexican Navy, and a 1936 list of items related to the Austin and the Texas Navy from the Argosy Book Store in New York City.
This collection is open for research use.
Texas Navy Engraving Collection, 1843, 1936, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
This collection was processed by Walter H. Richter, August 1966.
Detailed Description of the Papers