BookReviews his own cabinet officers, naval commissioners, and commandants use the ships of the Texas Navy to make both war and foreign policy in direct defiance of the orders of the constitutional commander-in-chief. But the cautious and conservative General Houston, argues Jordan, never understood two basic points about navies: that they can be strategically much more effective by operating far from home than by clinging to the nation's coastline, and that a navy is not like a militia, which can be called up when needed and equipped on the cheap. Houston emerges from Jordan's book as a more dangerous threat to the Texas Navy than the Mexicans ever were. Surely Houston hated few men as thoroughly as he despised the intrepid and insubordinate Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, and the feeling was mutual. In between Houston's two terms as president, Commodore Moore was hired and given a monumentally expensive navy by Houston's other archenemy, president Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, whose expansive diplomacy also provided Moore with a wealthy patron and ally in the form of the rebel Mexican state of Yucatán. For much of the early 1840s, the Texan ships protected the rebellious peninsula from Mexican invaders, while Yucatecan silver
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Mar 28, 2007
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