By: J. Barto Arnold III

Type: General Entry

Published: February 1, 1995

The Independence was a side-wheel steamship of 1,376 tons built in Hoboken, New Jersey. She was on her maiden voyage in the New Orleans-to-Indianola trade when she was lost attempting to enter Matagorda Bay on March 26, 1852. Capt. Charles Stoddard had attempted to cross the bar at Cavallo Pass without the services of a pilot. The passengers were not rescued until two days later due to high seas, and six lives were lost in the attempt. The wreck site was probably the site relocated by the Texas Antiquities Committee during its 1978 magnetometer survey and underwater-site-testing project. The Independence is a designated state archeological landmark.

J. Barto Arnold III, A Matagorda Bay Magnetometer Survey and Site Test Excavation Project (Texas Antiquities Committee Publication 9, Austin, 1982). Brownson Malsch, Indianola-The Mother of Western Texas (Austin: Shoal Creek, 1977).
  • Archeology
  • Ships and Shipwrecks

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

J. Barto Arnold III, “Independence,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995