Armed to the Teeth: The Weaponry of Early 19th Century Shipwreck Archeology in Northern Gulf of Mexico
The first half of the 19th century was a tumultuous period in the Gulf of Mexico as European and regional powers competed for territorial dominance. As immigration into the northern Gulf of Mexico increased, age-old rivalries erupted while new independent nations emerged. In such a climate, maritime supremacy was essential—foreign and local navies representing every major power were present, new and sometimes ad-hoc navies were created, and privateers capitalized on the unrest—often acting in concert with revolutionary factions. Within this diverse arena, three archeological sites off Texas and Louisiana have been investigated that contain arms and/or cannon.
As part of this discussion with State Marine Archeologist Amy Borgens, artifacts from an early 19th-century shipwreck off Pass Cavallo, Texas, discovered in 1998, are reassessed in comparison with more contemporary shipwreck discoveries to evaluate the potential historic roles of these vessels. Could they represent privateers, pirates, or early naval vessels that were similar in design? Collectively these archeological sites help develop a broader understanding of these shipwreck types and allude to the dynamic character of the period.
This event is free. Donations in support of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are welcome and appreciated!
Pictured: Cannon on Monterrey Shipwreck A (Ocean Exploration Trust/Meadows Center for Water and the Environment).REGISTER HERE