Galveston Island, for centuries a crossroads for Indians, privateers, Spanish and French explorers, for a time was capital of the Republic of Texas. This was during the Texas War for Independence, when Santa Anna was making his 1836 invasion. On March 17, the hastily organized and interim cabinet of President David G. Burnet evacuated Washington-on-the-Brazos, moving to Harrisburg, and then in April to Galveston. Here it remained until after the Texas victory at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
From January 1836 until U. S. annexation in 1846, Galveston was the naval base for the fleet which protected shipping and sought to prevent Mexican invasion of Texas by way of the sea.
By September 1837 the 4 ships of the Texas Navy had all been lost. Not until April 1840 was the navy reorganized under President M. B. Lamar. A former U. S. Naval officer, Edwin W. Moore, was made commodore. Afterward, when Moore became involved in a bitter controversy with President Sam Houston, Houston ordered the Navy to be sold. At the sale, the incensed people of Galveston used forceful means to prevent bidding. The ships at annexation were all transferred to the United States Navy.