The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 178
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178 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
rate the department from the Southern republic and annex it to
the United States, the Mexican congress passed a law prohibiting
the colonization of her border States by citizens of countries adja-
cent and forbidding the further importation of slaves, a measure
evidently intended to exclude settlers from the Anglo-American
States." Subsequently Santa Anna abrogated this law and gave
conciliatory assurances to deceive and quiet the enraged colonists;
but, at the same time, with characteristic craftiness, he was forg-
ing, by political intrigue, the fetters of an intolerable despotism.
It required no deep penetration to foresee the effect of severe re-
pressive measures on the sturdy, liberty loving colonists, and the
revolution which culminated on the field of San Jacinto in the
accomplishment of Texan independence.
The States of the South, circumscribed both by the ordinance of
1787 and the Missouri compromise, looked to the acquisition of
Texas as a way of relief from the impending constriction with the
resulting loss of influence in national legislation. Senator John
Bell, of Tennessee, in 1850, affirmed that "the general, though by
no means universal, sentiment of the slave States, was in favor of
the policy of annexation, as a means of preserving the equilibrium
of power between the free and the slave States."2 Daniel Webster,
in his memorable speech of March 7, 1850, said that the profitable
cultivation of cotton gave a new desire to promote slavery, to spread
it, and to use its labor. The cotton age became a golden age for the
South, and the desire for improvement and accumulation which it
gratified soon became "an eagerness for other territory-a new
area or new areas for the cultivation of the cotton crop"; and new
measures were brought forward rapidly, one after another, to ac-
complish the end desired." Unquestionably, at that time, cotton
was found to be more profitable than any other agricultural product,
and hence its cultivation confirmed or created a sentiment in favor
of slavery; yet there were still vast areas in the Gulf States of fer-
tile, virgin soil, suited for its cultivation. The economic considera-
tion for acquiring "other territory" for its cultivation was cer-
"Garrison, Texas, 103, 159; Bancroft, North Mexican State, and Texas,
II 114; McMaster, History of the People of the United States, V 553.
GConqressional Globe, 31st Cong., 1st Sess., Appendix, 1103.
8 Cong. Globe, 31st Cong., 1st Sess., 478.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904, periodical, 1904; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101030/m1/182/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.