Republic of Texas Navy Buttons (1836)

Texian Trade’n Post is proud to offer re-strikes of the first 1836 Texian Navy Buttons!

 (Gold gild is pictured… silver oxide also available)

ITEM# TNVGold      Vest (or cuff) Button    24 Ligne 5/8 inch dia, Gold gild.   … $2.50 ea
ITEM # TNCGold     Coat  Button                   36 Ligne 7/8 inch dia, Gold gild  …  $2.95 ea.

Texas Maritime Regiment
ITEM# TNVSilver    Vest (or cuff)  Button    24 Ligne 5/8 inch dia, Mil. spec Silver oxide   … $2.50 ea
ITEM # TNCSilver    Coat Button                   36 Ligne 7/8 inch dia, Mil. spec Silver oxide  …  $2.95 ea.

Product Information –

When someone mentions the “Republic of Texas Navy’, most folks think its just another Texas joke.  “TEXAS NAVY?”, they reply.   However, The Texas Navy was NO JOKE, but was very effective in helping Texas gain her independence, which may not have happened without the Navy.  Sadly, the Texas Navy has been ignored by the History Books, and Legends.

In 1836, the Committee of Safety created the First Texian Navy.  They purchased four sailing craft, to serve as warships of the Texian Navy, namely, the Schooners of War;  Brutus, Independence, Invincible, and Liberty.  The Committee also ordered the buttons to be used on the Army and Navy uniforms.  (The first military buttons may have been for the Texian Marines, who were to serve aboard the Texian Privateers in 1835 or before.)  The buttons were ordered from the Scoville Co.

The Navy buttons were ordered in two sizes, with the cuff size also being used on vests.  The 1836 Texas Navy buttons were 24k gold gild stamped brass buttons.  The design on the front depicted a “Fouled Anchor”.   That is an anchor on a slant, with a short piece of rope entwined about it with a small, five pointed star above it. Around the circumference of the face of the button is embossed;  “REPUBLIC OF TEXAS…”, and the background had fine horizontal lining.  On the back was stamped the name of the manufacturer.

This design button was ordered in September 1836 and only remained in use for about thirteen months before the button design was changed.  It appears that nearly 1,300 coat size buttons were ordered.  So, its obvious they intended to have uniforms right from the very beginning.  A couple of the ships sailed up to New York to pick up the buttons, and to have uniforms made for their crews.

In the 1980’s, I learned that a die for the 1836 Navy button was still in existence and that a limited number of re-strikes had been produced in 1936 for the Texas Centennial.  So I ordered another batch of re-strikes from the same die.  The face of the buttons is the same as the originals and the back stamp is different, to prevent confusion with the originals.  I have kept enough buttons for a Texian Navy uniform for myself, but have been selling the remainder to button collectors. 

 – Malcom L. Johnson