The Sons of the Republic of Texas
Commander of the Texas Navy
Fisher, President of the San Jacinto Chapter of the
Sons of the Republic of Texas,
provided the following press
On Saturday, September 19, 2009, at 10:00
a.m., The Sons of the Republic of Texas will honor the
second commander of the Texas Navy, Commodore Henry Livingston
Thompson, at the historic Founders
Memorial Cemetery, in Houston, as part of The Sons of
the Republic of Texas' official observance of the Texian
Navy Day. The Texas Navy Association will also
participate by laying a wreath to honor Thompson and the
entire Republic of Texas Navy. At the time the
Texian went to press, the SRT Texas Navy Committee
had no announcement regarding the keynote speaker, but this
year's ceremony promises to be special since it has
been two years in the making.
Commodore Thompson was named commander of the
Texas Navy in the days after the victory at San
Jacinto. The climate and vast terrain of South Texas
may have given the young Republic some sense of security
from another invasion by the Mexican army, but in the Gulf,
the Mexican Navy continually blockaded Texas' ports.
It was in this climate that Commodore Thompson devised an
audacious plan to project force outside Texas' territorial
waters and raid Mexican ports to force the Mexican Navy to
defend Mexico rather than allowing it to blockade Texas'
ports. At the time, this plan was highly
controversial, but now historians agree this put the world
on notice that the Texas Navy was a potent force despite
having its tiny fleet.
The land fall of Hurricane Ike in Galveston
on September 13, 2008 caused the postponement of last years
observance of Texian Navy Day, and it interrupted the SRT's
new tradition of celebrating Texian Navy Day —
established by act of the Texas Legislature as the third
Saturday of September.
It is fitting that The Sons of the Republic
of Texas renew its observance of Texian Navy Day on the
heels of a hurricane since the fleet commanded by Commodore
Thompson was ultimately destroyed by one of the most
destructive hurricanes in history. Just as the second
Texas Navy was established on the heels of a hurricane, the
SRT proudly will renew its tradition on the heels of a
modern day hurricane.
About Founders Memorial
Designated as an historic cemetery by the
Texas Historical Commission in 2007, Founders
Memorial Cemetery is a long-forgotten jewel of a
cemetery in the shadows of the skyscrapers of downtown
Houston. The cemetery is the final resting place of
one of the founders of the City of Houston, John Kirby Allen, 31 veterans of
the Battle of San Jacinto, a signer of the Texas Declaration of
Independence, and many other early leaders of the
Republic of Texas. Most of the burials occurred in the
1800's, although a few are dated in the twentieth century,
the most recent being 1949.
The cemetery was badly neglected for many
years. As a result, many of those reportedly interred
no longer have grave markers. In 1936, when the city
took back control of the cemetery, the State of Texas
erected individual monuments commemorating the service
of 26 of those individuals.
Founders Memorial Cemetery is located at 1217
West Dallas Street in Houston at the intersection of
Valentine Street. The cemetery is located in the
middle of the historic "Freedman's Town." Due to very
narrow streets in the neighborhood, there is very limited
parking. The City of Houston is giving the SRT a
permit to allow parking on West Dallas Street in what is
normally a no parking zone; however, people are encouraged
to carpool where possible. Further parking
instructions and other details about the Texas Navy and this
years celebration of Texian Navy Day may be found on the SRT
web site (http://www.srttexas.org).
You will not want to miss this momentous
tribute to Commodore Thompson and the entire Republic of
Texas Navy. The public is welcomed and encouraged to
attend. For additional information, contact SRT
Texas Navy Committee Chairman, David Hanover (firstname.lastname@example.org).