By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: September 29, 2018

The Archer, a brig of war in the Texas Navy, also sailed under the names Galveston and Brazos. The ship, named in honor of Texas diplomat Branch Tanner Archer, was 110 feet long and twenty-eight feet across the beam and had a draft of eleven feet. She displaced 400 tons of water and carried a complement of seventeen officers and 123 sailors and marines. Her armament consisted of fourteen eighteen-pound cannons. As the sister ship of the Wharton, she was the last ship of the navy to be delivered under a contract with the shipbuilding firm Schott and Whitney. She was constructed in Baltimore and delivered on April 25, 1840, but not commissioned until 1842, and only then as a response to the raids of Mexican generals Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Woll. In April of that year she was sent to New Orleans for refitting and re-arming, most of her guns having been transferred to the Austin and the Wharton. The Archer was never sent to sea on a major cruise. She was commanded in 1840 and 1841 by John C. Clark and, on May 11, 1846, was transferred to the United States Navy. She was found "unfit for service" and sold, on November 30, 1846, for $450.

Alex Dienst, "The Navy of the Republic of Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 12–13 (January-October 1909; rpt., Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army Press, 1987). C. L. Douglas, Thunder on the Gulf: The Story of the Texas Navy (Dallas: Turner, 1936; rpt., Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army Press, 1973). Jim Dan Hill, Texas Navy in Forgotten Battles and Shirtsleeve Diplomacy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937; rpt., Austin: State House, 1987). Tom Henderson Wells, Commodore Moore and the Texas Navy (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1960).

Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Archer,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 29, 2018