The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912

British Correspondence Concerning Texas

British interest in Texas was manifested from the time of her
declaration of independence in 1836, and Texan diplomats were
early in communication with the British government. It was not
until 1840, however, that the Texan appeal for recognition met
with active official approval in England, and the first steps were
taken toward a conclusion of treaties. Thus very little corre-
spondence from Texas is to be found in the British archives pre-
vious to that year. The present publication, which will run
through several numbers of THE QUARTERLY, consists mainly of
letters and reports to the British government, hitherto unpublished,
written by the two principal British officials stationed in Texas.
These were Charles Elliot, charge d'affaires, and William Kennedy,
consul at Galveston. Further biographical detail is given in foot-
notes where these men appear in the correspondence. Elliot did not
arrive in Texas until the fall of 1842, while Kennedy, though in
Texas in 1839-1840, and again in 1842, did not assume his duties
as consul until 1843. But as the purpose of THE QUARTERLY
is to present British evidence as to political, social, and industrial
conditions in Texas, as well as of the activities of British agents,
various letters from other officials are included in this first install-
ment. On the other hand in the later years of the Republic, instruc-
tions to Elliot and Kennedy have been omitted in most cases.
Their substance will be stated in footnotes whenever the connection
requires it.
The bulk of the manuscript material in the Public Record Office,
treating of Texas,-from which these documents are exclusively
drawn-is in the form of bound manuscript volumes, some twenty-
five in number, containing the instructions of the Foreign Office
to British agents in Texas and the reports of these agents. A few
of the volumes comprise the records of Elliot's office while in Texas,
which were transferred to London when Texas ceased to be a


Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed August 31, 2015.