The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

THE FREE NEGRO IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
II
HAROLD SCHOEN
T-IE FREE NEGRO AND THE TEXAS REVOLUTION
The affairs of free Negroes in Texas were interminably bound
up with those of their white friends, neighbors and countrymen.
They rightly considered the welfare of all Texans to be their
own, and they might expect the restitution of good government
to fall with grace upon their own heads. They probably heard
a great deal of discussion about the unjust burdens which Mexi-
can misrule was forcing them to bear, and some of them, doubtless,
felt the injustice of the decree of April 6, 1830, which
prohibited their relatives and friends in the United States from
joining them in Texas. The collection of duties which resulted
from the administration of this decree increased the price of im-
ports and it was as delicate a matter to collect taxes from Negroes
as from white men, particularly from those in Austin's colony
who had grown accustomed to having their goods duty free. At
any rate, it was as easy for the Negro as for the white man to
place all his grievances, real and imaginary, at the door of the
Mexican Government, and when the outbreak of hostilities threat-
ened his life and property and the safety of his family, all of
which he held as dearly as his neighbors, he was willing to risk
his life in their preservation.
On the other hand, it was natural enough that the white man
should accept the services of the Negro in defence of the rights
and privileges which had been extended to him, particularly since
every man was sorely needed to oppose the overwhelming forces
which it seemed certain the Mexicans would send to subdue, what
they considered to be, an insurrection.
When a volunteer company was hastily organized near Mata-
gorda early in October, 1835, for the purpose of driving away
some Mexicans alleged to be committing outrages at Victoria,
Samuel McCullough, a free Negro, was among them. The com-
pany under Captain James Collingsworth did not rest at Vic-
toria but continued on to Goliad. Collingsworth estimated that

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/. Accessed August 30, 2014.