As detailed in this letter, the maiden voyage of the flagship Austin was an eventful one. Leading the Zavala, San Bernard, and San Antonio, the Austin arrived in Sisal on July 31, 1840, to assist Federalist rebels in Yucatán. In August, the ship cruised the Bay of Campêche as far as Veracruz.
After sending this letter, Commodore Moore blockaded Tampico, then captured San Juan Bautista in November and held the town for $25,000 ransom.
Texas Sloop of War Austin
At Sea 28th August 1840.
Latitude 25o – 21’ N.
Longitude 96o – 29’ W.
I have the honor to report that since I last wrote
by the Schnr San Antonio 24th July, that on the same
morning the weather continued light. I ordered the Zavala
to make the best of her way to the Arcas Islands touching
at Sisal under English colours, and to leave a letter for
Genl Anaya from Genl Canales. On the 26th July, the
weather still very light, in consequence of which and my
unexpected detention off the SW Pass, I thought it best
to send a vessel off Point Mariandrea with the letters No 1.
and 2. for Richard Pakenham Esqr Her Brittanic Majes-
ty’s Minister at Mexico; and that I might in conformity
with my orders of 20th June endeavour to ascertain the
feelings of the authorities of the State of Yucatan towards
our Government and be off the Brazos de Santiago as
near the time mentioned in the same orders as possible.
I sent the Schr San Jacinto with the letters, and availing
myself of the usual Trade Winds, proceeded with the San Bernard
in company, to Sisal off which place I arrived on the 31st July
and on making signal for a boat, wearing American colours,
was boarded by an Officer and learned that the Zavala had
passed six days before; he informed me that an order had been
received that day from Merida (the Capital) by the Captain of
the Port, who had sent him out, that if any Texan vessel appeared