Brown, William S. (unknown–ca. 1838)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

William S. Brown, Texas Navy officer, a resident of Velasco, joined the revolutionary army in 1835 and took part in the siege of Bexar. After Martín Perfecto de Cos capitulated, Brown proceeded to Goliad, where he was said to have designed a revolutionary flag displaying a bloody arm, stripes of red and white, and the motto "Independence." The flag may have been hoisted at Velasco in January 1836 (see FLAGS OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION). Brown was made captain of the schooner Liberty in January 1836; he was a brother of Jeremiah Brown, captain of the Invincible. On March 3, 1836, William Brown captured the Mexican trading vessel Pelicano near Sisal and got its cargo safely to Matagorda Bay. Because of a quarrel with Charles E. Hawkins, commodore of the Texas Navy, Brown was superseded in command of the Liberty on March 12, 1836. In July he was given another navy commission and was put in charge of the Comanche and the Fanny Butler, two captured Mexican vessels. Later he was commissioned captain of the privateer Benjamin R. Milam, but he died in New Orleans before the ship was ready for service. A eulogy appeared in the Telegraph and Texas Register for August 18, 1838.

William Campbell Binkley, ed., Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, 1835–1836 (2 vols., New York: Appleton-Century, 1936). 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). Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Texas Collection, April 1947. Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Anonymous, “Brown, William S.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994