eaeral Arthur . Wavell
A Soldier of ortuHe in areas
ROBERT W. AMSLER
[The following is a continuation of the study of Wavell begun
in the July, 1965, issue of the Quarterly.]
Immigration from the cotton producing area in the United
States to all of Texas, including Wavell's colony, was retarded in
part by Mexico's known hostility to slavery. A letter to Austin
from Mississippi told him that nothing but uncertainty about
their slave property prevented a number of the wealthiest planters
in that area from moving to Texas.82 E. C. Barker said the planters
who had immigrated to Texas before 1824, "instantly recognized
the conditions that were to make Texas the greatest cotton pro-
ducing area in the world; but they saw equally clearly that slaves
were indispensable to large-scale production."'8
The law of July 13, 1824, captioned "Prohibition of Commerce
and Traffic in Slaves," may have been intended to abolish slavery.
But the Texans interpreted it literally and believed that it was
intended to stop slave trade only, and that the introduction of
slaves already owned by a colonist for his personal use was legal.84
Concerning other legal instruments with regard to the slavery
policy, Barker wrote:
Neither the federal colonization law nor the federal constitution
mentioned slavery, and the state colonization law of March 24,
1825, merely said that in the introduction of slaves the colonists
should subject themselves to existing laws and those that might
be passed in the future.85
82Phelps to Austin, January 16, 1825, in Barker, Stephen F. Austin, 145-146.
88Eugene C. Barker, "Slavery and the Colonization of Texas," Mississippi Valley
Historical Review, XI, 1o.
"BBarker, Stephen F. Austin, 231-233.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed May 31, 2016.