Following Laffite's expulsion from Galveston, settlers from the West Indies began to arrive. Within a few years, Galveston became principal port to the Republic of Texas.
Galveston was declared a Port of Entry in 1825 by Mexico and a customs house was established. The City served as capital of The Republic of Texas when President David G. Burnett and his cabinet were forced to abandon the interior at the time Sam Houston's forces met and defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto in 1836.
Michel B. Menard purchased what is now the present site of Galveston from the Republic of Texas in 1836 for $50,000.
Galveston County was created in 1838 by an act of the Texas Congress. The city of Galveston was incorporated in 1839.
During the next decade, Galveston shared in the rapid growth and development of Texas. Churches were established and banks were founded. The Galveston News began publication and the first Federal Count in Texas was established. The City was soon to become the most important cultural and commercial center in the State.
In 1858, trackage of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad was completed between the island and Houston.
By July 1861, the Federal blockade was extended to Texas. Confederate forces evacuated Galveston in October, 1862, but in 1863, with General John Bankhead Magruder in command, the Confederate forces occupied the City, capturing four vessels and some 300 Federal troops. The Confederate forces remained here until the end of the Civil War.