Orleans, wrote that the Mexican government had purchased the steamship Natchez to blockade Galveston harbor. A short time later, it was discovered that, besides a steamship being acquired in England, two heavily armed warships, the Montezuma and the Guadaloupe, were being built there for the Mexican navy.
News of the fitting out of vessels in the United States for the Mexican navy first appeared in the press at Houston on January 25, 1842, and produced considerable excitement. It gave some of the fire-eaters an opportunity again to kick up the wind against Mexico. In response to a public notice, the citizens of Houston assembled in the courthouse at 4 p.m., January 28, where, upon motion of Charles J. Hedenberg, Dr. Francis Moore, Jr., editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register, was called to the chair and Peter W. Gray was named secretary. In a brief, but eloquent speech, interrupted from time to time by rapturous applause, Moore explained the purposes for which the local citizens had been called together. Following Moore's address, Major James D. Cocke, a printer who had come to Texas in 1837, moved the appointment of a committee of five to draft a preamble expressing the objects of the meeting together with such resolutions as they might deem expedient to carry out those objectives. Upon the adoption of Cocke's motion, Chairman Moore named to the committee of five James D. Cocke, chairman; B. P. Buckner, R. C. Campbell, John N. O. Smith, and Charles J. Hedenberg, after which the meeting adjourned until 7:30 p.m.
Following a brief intermission, the public meeting was resumed at the appointed time, and the preamble and resolutions which had been drafted by the committee were presented, discussed, and after some alteration in the resolutions were adopted unanimously. "The position toward Mexico, now occupied by the government and people of Texas, is peculiar and critical" declared the preamble.
79. Sam Houston to Alexander Somervell, City of Houston, March 25, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, IV, 85-86.
80. Details concerning the fitting out of these two vessels may be found in E. D. Adams, British Interests and Activities in Texas, 1838-1846, pp. 79-96; Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, III, 955-962, 1004-1008; H. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846, I, 389.
81. "Meeting of the Citizens of Houston," Telegraph and Texas Register, Feb. 2, 1842.
82. Handbook of Texas, I, 368.