The Thomas Toby
The Thomas Toby, originally named the De Kalb, was renamed in honor of the Texas agent in New Orleans when commissioned as a privateer in the Texas Navy in 1836. A small ship with a crew of only 30 men, it become the outstanding privateer of the fleet. As this letter shows, the Sam Houston administration considered a proposal to buy the Thomas Toby after the ships of the first Texas Navy were destroyed. The Toby was lost in a storm off Galveston in October 1837.
Columbia March 28th 1837.
Col: A.S. Thurston
Commissary General for Texas
Your favor of 17th instant
was received yesterday. I last had this honor under date of
20th instant; and on the 20th ulto wrote you respecting the
Tom Toby entirely approving the course you had taken in
having nothing to do with her, to which I beg you to refer,
will here observe that I am especially instructed by the
President to say that the government will not recognize
the purchase of the Tom Toby upon any terms, neither does it re-
quire her in the Service upon any terms[.] And it appears to me extraordinary
that the funds in the hands of the Agents, or the credit ex-
tended to them, should be sufficient to purchase the Tom
Toby and not adequate to raise one fourth the amount for
the purpose of giving an outfit to those vessels we already
have added to which the great importance of being thor-
oughly acquainted with our coast, inlets, and harbours, renders
it most essential the every exertion be made to give Capt
Alex Thompson a requisite outfit. And I will again beg my
Dear Sir that you will continue your exertions to affect
that object. The Brutus and Invincible are back in Galveston
Bay. Capts Hurd & Brown have resigned. The Brutus
stretched to the southward & westward, as far as Campea-
chy [Campeche] Banks he says he saw nothing, nor did he ____ [?]
Tampico or Matamoras, and fire either one of [?] two guns.
S. Rhoads Fisher to A.S. Thurston, March 28, 1837. Texas Navy Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.