Edwin Ward Moore

Edwin Ward Moore (July 15, 1810 – October 5, 1865), was an American naval officer who also served as Commander-in-chief of the Navy of the Republic of Texas.

Edwin Ward Moore
Edwin Ware Moore photo IMG 0572
Moore as depicted in portrait at the courthouse in Moore County, Texas
BornJuly 15, 1810
Alexandria, Virginia
DiedOctober 5, 1865 (aged 55)
New York City, New York
Allegiance United States of America
 Republic of Texas
Service/branch United States Navy
 Texas Navy
Years of serviceUS Navy - 1825-1839
Texas Navy - 1839-1843
RankCommodore of the Texas Navy

Early life

Moore was born in Alexandria, Virginia. His grandfather and uncle had served in the American Revolution. Moore was a classmate of Robert E. Lee at the Alexandria Academy.

Early naval career

Moore entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1825 at the age of fifteen.

His first assignment came when he was posted to the USS Hornet, followed by stints on the Fairchild and the Delaware. He saw active service on the Atlantic Coast and the Mediterranean Sea. In 1830, Moore was stationed at the Gosport Navy Yard and five years later was commissioned a lieutenant and assigned to the sloop-of-war Boston on July 1, 1836. While serving on the Boston, Moore saved the ship from sinking when it encountered heavy seas in a hurricane.

In September 1836, the Boston, captured the Texas privateer Terrible off the coast of New Orleans. The Texas ship was sent to Pensacola, Florida, on piracy charges. It is believed this contact with the Texans prompted Moore to re-evaluate his military career. Promotion within the U.S. Navy at this time was a slow process as many of the officers who served in the War of 1812 still held rank above Moore.

Moore's Journey to and with the Republic's Navy

In 1839, Moore was accused of recruiting officers and up to eighty sailors from the Boston to join him in enlisting with the Republic of Texas Navy. Moore's cousin, Alexander Moore, confirmed this rumor to Commodore Charles Ridgley who forwarded the charges to the Secretary of the Navy. On July 8, 1839, Moore resigned from the U.S. Navy to become commander of the Republic of Texas Navy.

U.S. Secretary of the Navy, John Forsyth tried to bring charges against Moore based on his violation of the Neutrality Act of 1819, but Moore resigned his commission before any trial was held.

From 1840–1841 he sailed off the Mexican coast to hasten peace negotiations between the Republic of Texas and Mexico. On collapse of the negotiations, Moore returned to Texas and to the support of Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar. Lamar signed a treaty with the Mexican state of Yucatán for the lease of the Texas navy for $8,000 per month and to protect their ports from being blockaded by the Mexican Navy. On September 18, 1840, Moore received orders to guard the Yucatán coast in conformity with the Texas-Yucatán Treaty and on December 13, 1840, left Galveston, Texas with three ships to join the small Yucatán fleet at Sisal, Yucatán under the command of former Texas Navy officer Captain James D. Boylan. Moore later captured the town of San Juan Bautista, Tabasco and then surveyed the Texas coast. His chart was later published by the British Admiralty.

Invasion of Tabasco

In September 1840, Moore invaded the Mexican state of Tabasco in support to the Tabasco federalist forces, collaborating in the overthrow of the centralist governor José Ignacio Gutierrez, capturing the state capital San Juan Bautista on November 17, 1840.

Subsequently, and due to a disagreement with the new federalist government, for the lack of a payment of $25,000 Mexican pesos promised to Moore, on December 14, 1840, he bombed the capital again, until he reached a new agreement with the Government of Tabasco for the payment of the debt.

President Sam Houston

Upon becoming President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston suspended the treaty with the Yucatán and ordered the fleet to return to Texas. Houston was not a big supporter of the Texas Navy. When funds for naval repairs, approved by the Texas Congress, were withheld by Houston, Moore re-instated the treaty with the Yucatán in defiance of Houston's orders. Moore and two other Texas ships, along with a few from the Yucatán navy, engaged the Mexican fleet in May 1843 in the Battle of Campeche. Mexico's naval fleet consisted of the British-built ironclad steam-powered warship the Guadalupe and was the most advanced fleet ever assembled in the Gulf of Mexico at that time. Their battle was determined a draw even though Mexico suffered high casualties. The Mexican government even coined a medal of bravery for their sailors. Mexican Commodore Francisco de Paula Lopez, a naval veteran, was recalled for his failure to defeat a smaller and out-gunned force and was court-martialed.

End of career

On January 16, 1843, the Texas Congress ordered the sale of the Texas fleet. On June 1, 1843, Moore and the fleet had received Houston's proclamation accusing them of disobedience and piracy and suspending Moore from the Texas Navy. Houston even went so far as to ask for any friendly nation to capture and execute the Texas fleet. Moore returned to Galveston on July 14 and turned himself in at the port of Menard's Wharf, a hero to the people of Texas, and demanded a trial.

Later years

After the dissolution of the Texas Navy, Moore spent many years in prosecuting financial claims against Texas. In 1844 the Texas House of Representatives concluded that Moore was owed $26,510.41. He was paid, in installments, with the last payment coming in 1856. Moore married Emma Matilda Stockton Cox of Philadelphia in 1849. She was a distant cousin of Commodore Robert Stockton.

In 1850, Moore and other officers petitioned the U.S. Navy to recognize their rank as officers with the Texas Navy. The House Naval Affairs Committee supported their claim, but the United States Supreme Court did not agree holding that when Texas joined the Union, only property, and not human beings, belonged to the United States.[1] On March 3, 1857, Congress finally closed the books on Moore and the other officers by granting them five years of back pay at the salaries of corresponding U.S. Navy officers.

He was in New York City for a time attempting to perfect a machine to revolutionize marine engineering. His quarrel with Sam Houston over the justice of his suspension from the navy continued during Houston's term as U.S. Senator.

In 1860, Moore returned to Galveston, where he built the Galveston Customhouse. Moore died in New York City on October 5, 1865, of apoplexy, and is buried in the Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2]


See also


  1. ^ Abbott, Benjamin Vaughan (1885). A Digest of the Reports of the United States Courts: From the Organization of the Government to the Year 1884. George S. Diossy. p. 389. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Como Edwin Ward Moore (1810-1865) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 26 March 2018.


Edwin Ward Moore in the Handbook of Texas

Further reading

  • Bauer, K. Jack, (1969). Surfboats and Horse Marines: U.S. Naval Operations in the Mexican War, 1846-1848,
    United States Naval Institute. pp. 291 Url
  • Brockmann, R. John, (2009). Commodore Robert F. Stockton, 1795-1866: Protean Man for a Protean Nation, the only scholarly biography
    Cambria Press, Amherst, Massachusetts, pp. 622, ISBN 978-1-60497-630-4, Url
  • Douglas, Claude Leroy, (1936). Thunder on the gulf: or, The story of the Texas navy,
    Publisher, pp. 128, Url
  • Dienst, Alex (2007). The Texas Navy
    Fireship Press, [note 1] pp. 208, ISBN 1934757047, Url
  • Fischer, Earnest G (1900). Robert Potter: Founder of the Texas Navy,
    Pelican Publishing Company Incorporated, pp. 320, ISBN 0882890808, Url
  • Garrison, George P., Editor, (1910). The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13,
    Texas State Historical Association, pp. 344, Url
  • Hill, Jim Dan (1987). The Texas Navy: in forgotten battles and shirtsleeve diplomacy,
    State House Press, pp. 224, ISBN 0938349171, Url
  • Meed, Douglas (2001). The Fighting Texas Navy, 1832-1843
    Republic of Texas Press, Plano, TX, ISBN 978-1-55622-885-8, Url
  • Sullivan, Roy F. (2010). The Texas Navies,
    AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN, pp. 176, ISBN 1449052584, Url
  • United States (Government), Naval History Division, (1968), The Texas Navy, Volume 2; Volume 31,
    U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 40, Url


  1. ^ Originally published by Dienst in 1909 as The Navy of the Republic of Texas

External links

  • Texas Navy hosted by The Portal to Texas History. A survey of the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution and the Republic Era. Includes maps, sketches, a list of ships of the Texas Navy, and a chronology. Also includes photographs of 20th century U.S. Navy ships named after Texans or Texas locations.
E. W. Moore

E.W. Moore may refer to:

Edwin Ward Moore, commander of the Texas Navy

E.W. Moore Oval in Griffith, New South Wales where Group 20 Rugby League Grand Final matches are played

E.W. Moore, photographer of the Hodgdon Site petroglyphs

E.W. Moore (photographer) and artist in Oregon

Edwin Moore

Edwin Moore may refer to:

Edwin Hardwick Moore (1910–2004), British businessman

Edwin L. Moore (1916–2009), researcher for the United States Department of Agriculture

Edwin Ward Moore (1810–1865), United States Navy officer

Ivy Hill Cemetery (Philadelphia)

Ivy Hill Cemetery is a public cemetery located at 1201 Easton Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Chartered in 1867, it was originally call the "Germantown and Chestnut Hill Cemetery."

List of U.S. county name etymologies (J–M)

This is a list of U.S. county name etymologies, covering the letters J to M.

List of counties in Texas

The U.S. state of Texas is divided into 254 counties, more than any other U.S. state. Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, the 23 municipalities became the original Texas counties. Many of these were later divided into new counties. The last county to be initially created was Kenedy County in 1921, but Loving County is the newest organized county; it was first organized in 1893 in an apparent scheme to defraud, abolished in 1897, then reorganized in 1931. Most of these recent counties, especially near the northwest, were created from Bexar County during the 1870s.Each county is run by a commissioners' court, consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts drawn based on population) and a county judge elected from all the voters of the county. In smaller counties, the county judge actually does perform judicial duties, but in larger counties, the judge's role is limited to serving on the commissioners' court. Certain officials, such as the sheriff and tax collector, are elected separately by the voters, but the commissioners' court determines their office budgets, and sets overall county policy. All county elections are partisan; the one exception is the board of trustees of the Dallas County department of education (the Harris County trustees were elected on a nonpartisan basis until 1984).While the counties have eminent domain power and control all unincorporated land within their boundaries, they have neither home-rule authority nor zoning power. The county is responsible for providing essential services (except for fire and ambulance, which are often supplied by volunteer fire departments). Unlike other US states, Texas does not allow for consolidated city-county governments. Cities and counties (as well as other political entities) are permitted to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services (as an example, a city and a school district may enter into agreements with the county whereby the county bills for and collects property taxes for the city and school district; thus, only one tax bill is sent instead of three). School districts are independent of county and city government (with the exception of the Stafford Municipal School District, which is city controlled).

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, which is used by the United States government to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Texas's code is 48, which when combined with any county code would be written in the form of 48XXX. The FIPS code for each county in the table links to census data for that county.

List of naval battles

This list of naval battles is a chronological list delineating important naval fleet battles.


If a battle's name isn't known it's just referred to as "Action of (date)".

Moore County, Texas

Moore County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 21,904. The county seat is Dumas. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1892. It is named for Edwin Ward Moore, the commander of the Texas Navy.

The Dumas, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Moore County.

Moore County history is highlighted in the Window on the Plains Museum in Dumas.

Naval Battle of Campeche

The Naval Battle of Campeche took place on April 30, 1843, and May 16, 1843. The battle featured the most advanced warships of its day, including the Mexican steamer Guadalupe and the equally formidable Moctezuma which engaged a squadron of vessels from the Republic of Yucatan and the Republic of Texas. The latter force consisted of the Texas Navy flagship sloop-of-war Austin, commanded by Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, the brig Wharton, and several schooners and five gunboats from the Republic of Yucatán, commanded by former Texas Navy Captain James D. Boylan. Texas had declared its independence in 1836 but by 1843 Mexico had refused to recognize it. In Yucatán, a similar rebellion had begun and was fought off-and-on from 1836 to 1846. The battle ended in a combined Yucatecan and Texan victory.

A scene from this battle is engraved on the cylinder of every Colt 1851 Navy and 1861 Navy revolver.

Texan brig Potomac

The Texan brig Potomac was a ship of the Second Texas Navy that never sailed as a warship. For a while, in 1838, she was the only ship in the Texas Navy. She was decommissioned in 1843.

Texan brig Wharton

The Texan brig Wharton was a two-masted brig of the Second Texas Navy from 1839-1846. She was the sister ship of the Archer. Accompanying the Texas flagship, Austin, she defeated a larger force of Mexican Navy steamships in the Naval Battle of Campeche in May 1843. Transferred to the United States Navy in 1846, she was sold for $55.

Texan schooner San Antonio

The Texan schooner San Antonio was a two-masted schooner of the Second Texas Navy from 1839-1840. She was the sister ship of the San Jacinto and the San Bernard. In 1840, San Antonio was part of the Texas Navy flotilla led by Commodore Edwin Ward Moore which was dispatched to assist Yucatecan rebels that had taken up arms against Mexico. In February 1842, while re-provisioning in New Orleans, the crew of the San Antonio mutinied and the Lieutenant was killed. This was the only mutiny in the history of the Texas Navy. That fall, the San Antonio sailed for Campeche and was never heard from again.

Texan schooner San Bernard

The Texan schooner San Bernard was a two-masted schooner of the Second Texas Navy from 1839-1840. She was the sister ship of the San Jacinto and the San Antonio. In 1840, San Antonio was part of the Texas Navy flotilla led by Commodore Edwin Ward Moore which was dispatched to assist Yucatecan rebels that had taken up arms against Mexico. Returning to the Yucatan in 1841, San Bernard assisted in the capture of three Mexican prizes. Upon return to Galveston, San Bernard was driven ashore and was not repaired. When Texas joined the United States in 1846, San Bernard was transferred to the United States Navy and then sold for $150.

Texan schooner San Jacinto

The Texan schooner San Jacinto was a two-masted schooner of the Second Texas Navy from 1839-1840. She was the sister ship of the San Antonio and the San Bernard. In 1840, San Jacinto was part of the Texas Navy flotilla led by Commodore Edwin Ward Moore which was dispatched to assist Yucatecan rebels that had taken up arms against Mexico. In a storm, San Jacinto

ran aground at Cayos Arcas and was wrecked. The crew were rescued by the flagship Austin.

Texan schooner Zavala

The Texan steamship Zavala was a Texas Navy ship in Texas' second Navy after the Texas Revolution. She was the first steamship-of-war in the Texas Navy.

Texan sloop-of-war Austin

The Texan sloop-of-war Austin was the flagship of the Second Texas Navy from 1840 to 1846. Commanded by Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, she led a flotilla in the capture of Villahermosa in 1840. After a period of inaction in port, Austin participated in the Naval Battle of Campeche in 1843. Austin was transferred to the United States Navy when Texas joined the United States in 1845, but was run aground and broken up in 1848.

Texas Navy

The Texas Navy was the official navy of the Republic of Texas. It was created to protect and defend the coastline of Texas and offer protection for the shipping and trade that was desperately needed for the growing republic.

Window on the Plains Museum

Window on the Plains Museum offers displays of ranching, farming, industrial, business, and family life exhibits of the Texas Panhandle during the late 19th and 20th centuries. It is located in Dumas, the seat of Moore County, at 1820 South Dumas Avenue on the common United States Highways 287 and 87. Dumas is approximately fifty miles north of Amarillo.

Originally housed in the ballroom of the landmark Sneed Hotel and first known as the Moore County Historical Museum, the facility was dedicated on Bicentennial Day, July 4, 1976. It was relocated in 2001 to a modern building on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) tract in southwest Dumas and renamed "Window on the Plains." The facility also houses a research and archives center, and the Moore County Art Association is located next door.

The origin of the museum dates to January 1976, when representatives of the Moore County Historical Commission, the art association, and the Bicentennial Committee met to consider the establishment of a county museum. Collier Phillips, then president of the historical commission, was elected temporary chairman. A steering committee met with the county commissioners in February to seek permission to use the first floor of the hotel, now the Lew Haile Annex. The building had been donated to the county by Elizabeth Sneed Pool Robinette. The commissioners agreed to the proposal, work soon began on remodeling, building exhibit areas, acquiring and placing artifacts, and documenting records. Some fifty-two persons donated more than five thousand hours of labor, having completed the task in time for the formal dedication on July 4.

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