Hannah Elizabeth (Shipwreck)

The Hannah Elizabeth was built in 1829 in Stoningham, Connecticut. She was a two-masted schooner, 67 feet long and 20 feet wide and was armed with three cannons; two 6-pounders and one 4-pounder.

In 1835, she was carring trade supplies and munitions from New Orleans to Matagorda. Part of the shipment was for Colonel Fannin and the newly formed Texan Army. On November 19, the Mexican warship Montezuma sighted the Hannah Elizabeth and took up chase. The Hannah Elizabeth tried to enter Pass Cavallo to seek shelter in Matagorda Bay but she ran aground on a sandbar. The Montezuma began firing on the Hannah Elizabeth and the crew realized they were about to be captured carrying contraband, so they threw most of the cargo overboard.

The cargo included 500 muskets, 2 field cannons, gunpowder and ammunition. The Montezumaís crew proceeded to board the Hannah Elizabeth capturing her crew and leaving a small crew from the Montezuma onboard to guard the stranded ship. During the evening severe weather forced the Montezuma to retreat, at which time a small Texas ship, William Robbins, recaptured the Hannah Elizabeth. A complete salvage of the vessel and her remaining cargo was thwarted when the vessel rolled over and broke up in the breakers.

During the 1999 expedition to find the 2nd La Salle ship the LíAimable, a shipwreck was found and explored that lay near the entrance into Pass Cavallo. In 2001 divers from the Texas Historical Commission and Texas A&M explored the site and recovered over 200 artifacts, including the remains of muskets, cannonballs, lead shot, and many other military items that were dated from the early 1800ís. It is believed that this shipwreck is the Hannah Elizabeth.

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