Thomas Toby

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

The Thomas Toby, originally named the De Kalb, was renamed in honor of the Texas agent in New Orleans when commissioned as a privateer in the Texas Navy in 1836. According to a Yucatan newspaper, the crew was only thirty men and armament consisted of one eightpounder, two brass guns, rifles, and small arms; yet the Thomas Toby was the outstanding privateer of the navy and captured several vessels off the Mexican coast. When the early navy vessels had all been captured or destroyed, the Sam Houston administration discussed buying the privateer, but the purchase was never made. Walter Paye Lane joined the crew of the Thomas Toby and was on board for six months; during that time an attempted mutiny was quelled in February 1837. The vessel was lost in a storm off Galveston in October 1837.

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). Jim Dan Hill, The Texas Navy in Forgotten Battles and Shirtsleeve Diplomacy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937; rpt., Austin: State House, 1987). Walter Paye Lane, Adventures and Recollections (Marshall, Texas, 1887; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Anonymous, “Thomas Toby,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995