SAMUEL MAY WILLIAMS
Samuel May Williams arrived in Texas in 1822 and soon became Stephen F. Austin’s trusted assistant in colonial affairs. By 1831 he had acquired title to over forty-eight thousand acres of land in return for his various services to the Mexican government. During Austin’s numerous absences between 1830 and 1835, Williams assumed responsibility for directing his friend’s business pursuits and, in addition, endeavored to steer the colony away from a collision with either of the political factions struggling for control of the Mexican government.
When Texas committed itself to oppose Santa Anna in 1835, Williams contributed by financing and dispatching ships for the First Texas Navy including recruits, arms, ammunition and supplies from the United States.
Once Texas independence was established, he returned again to the North seeking money for the Republic and later arranged for the construction of the Second Texas Navy, six vessels delivered in 1839 and 1840. Between September 1835 and June 1839, Williams spent all but eight months away from his wife and children in Texas.
After union with Texas and the United States was accomplished, Williams unsuccessfully sought a seat in Congress. Abandoning politics, he devoted the remainder of his life to developing Texas’s economic potential.
In 1834 he had joined Thomas F. McKinney in the commission business on the Brazos River, and in 1837 the firm moved to Galveston Island where it became Texas’s leading mercantile establishment. McKinney and Williams were among the founders of the Galveston City Company and, because of the contributions made by the firm during the rebellion against Mexico, Williams received permission from the Texas Congress to issue paper money in 1841 in order to ease the critical shortage of circulating currency. This small banking function grew and in 1848 Williams opened the Commercial and Agricultural Bank in Galveston, using a charter received from Mexico in 1835.
Williams is considered the Father of Texas Banking and the Father of the Texas Navy.
The Texas Navy Association Members
and Friends are invited to attend on
Texian Navy Day
September 18, 2021
A Ceremony and Historic Program
honoring Samuel May Williams,
Father of the Texas Navy
DATE: Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Texian Navy Day)
TIME: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. followed by a Luncheon
PLACE: Public Ceremony at Broadway Cemetery
(Trinity Episcopal Church section) Southeast corner between 40th and 43rd streets - Signage and Flags will direct you to the location of the Ceremony
Map To Ceremony Location
• Reservations are requested for the Ceremony
(see "Register Now" Link below)
• Texian Navy Day Luncheon to follow at 1 p.m.
at The Galveston Artillery Club at 3102 Avenue O,
Galveston, Texas 77550.
Cost per person $25,
Luncheon reservations required by
September 9, 2021.
Map to Galveston Artillery Club
.•The Reverend Lillian Hyde - Invocation
•Admiral Gordon Blocker, Filmmaker, Author
and Researcher on the Life of Samuel May Williams
Mayor of Galveston
President General - Daughters of the Republic of Texas
President General - Sons of the Republic of Texas
City and State Officials & Citizens and
State and Local Organization Members