HAWKINS, CHARLES EDWARD
HAWKINS, CHARLES EDWARD (?–1837). Charles Edward Hawkins, naval officer, served as a midshipman in the United States Navy until 1826, when he followed David Porter in submitting his resignation and accepting a commission in the Mexican navy. As captain of the Hermón he saw action in the Gulf against the Spanish fleet attempting to suppress the Mexican bid for independence. In 1828 he resigned from Mexican service and for a time worked as a river captain on the Chattahoochee. He subsequently was involved with Col. José Antonio Mexía as a filibuster on the abortive Tampico expedition. In 1836 he visited Texas governor Henry Smithqv, seeking a commission in the new Texas Navy. Smith was impressed with his credentials and sent him to New Orleans, where he was given command of the newly acquired Independence, formerly the United States revenue cutter Ingham. He had returned to Texas with the ship by January 10, 1836. From that time until March 1 Hawkins cruised the coast between Galveston and Tampico, destroying "a considerable number of small craft, with all material on board that could be used to the injury of Texas." By March 12 he had taken the Independence to New Orleans for refitting. He then returned to Matagorda and was promoted to the rank of commodore and command of the entire Texas Navy. With the Runaway Scrape and the retreat of Sam Houston's army after the twin disasters of the Alamo and Goliad, Hawkins was forced to move his home port up the Texas coast from Matagorda to Galveston. After the Texas victory at San Jacinto (see SAN JACINTO, BATTLE OF) he ordered his fleet to blockade Matamoros, but soon the need for repairs sent the Invincible and the Brutus to port and reduced his numbers to a single ship, his own. Even the Independence required refitting at New Orleans in mid-September. There, in February 1837, Hawkins died of smallpox at the home of a Mrs. Hale (he was buried on February 12). Upon his death he was replaced as captain of the Independence by George W. Wheelwright. See also TEXAS REVOLUTION.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas W. Cutrer, "Hawkins, Charles Edward," accessed April 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhaax.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles