tsmithjohnson (tsmithjohnson) wrote,


Former Floating Texas Capitol Sold

September 4th, 1839

On this day in 1839, the Cayuga, the former floating capitol of the Republic of Texas, was sold and disappeared from the historical records. The Cayuga was built in Pennsylvania in 1832 and arrived in Texas in August 1834 under the command of John E. Ross. The small river steamer was the first commercially successful steamboat in Texas, and played an important role during the Texas Revolution.

She carried supplies for the revolutionary army, transported government officials and refugees, and was the temporary capitol of Texas in April 1836.

On April 15 of that year Capt. William P. Harris, in command of the steamer, evacuated Harrisburg just ahead of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna and his troops.

The refugees included President Burnet, his cabinet, and all the inhabitants of the town.

After stopping at Lynch's Ferry and New Washington the Cayuga preceded to Anahuac and Galveston, where the passengers disembarked. The cabinet members remained aboard and on April 19 were rejoined by Burnet, who had left the steamer at Lynch's Ferry to get his family and had narrowly escaped being captured by the Mexicans at New Washington. The business of the republic was conducted on the Cayuga through April 26.


ROSS, JOHN EAUTAW (?–1848). John Eautaw Ross was a noted sea captain in Texas during the 1830s and 1840s. John Eautaw Ross made several trips as master of the schooner Exert from Matamoros and the Brazos to New Orleans in January and October of 1832. He also mastered the steamer Cayuga from New Orleans to Galveston Bay on August 1, 1834. The steamer Yellow Stone made a trip up the Brazos River in February 1836 with Ross in command. She went as far upriver as San Felipe de Austin. She was half loaded with cotton at Groce's Landing on March 31, when Sam Houston and the Texas army arrived. Houston impressed the Yellow Stone and moved his army over the flooded Brazos River, with Ross's cooperation. Ross had been warned that the Mexican army was near Fort Bend. As he proceeded downstream he placed his cargo of cotton bales so as to protect the crew and vulnerable ship boilers from musket fire. The Mexican troops opened fire and attempted to lasso the smoke stacks, but the Yellow Stone reached Quintana with cargo and crew intact. On another occasion Ross came to the aid of Houston. The Yellow Stone was being prepared on May 5, 1836, to take the Texas government officials and Antonio López de Santa Anna to Galveston from the San Jacinto battlefield. Houston, painfully wounded above the ankle, was refused permission to sail with the group to seek medical aid. When Ross learned of this decision by the government officials, he replied forcefully that he would not sail without General Houston.


Tags: #african history/culture, #ancestryanthology, #texas, 1400-1900s, 1901-1919, 1920-1929, 1930-1939, 1940-1949, 1950-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2011-2019, american history/culture, black american history/culture, education-teachers issues, international/world news, political news

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.