The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 2
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2 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
of Mexico if it should annex Texas, of which there seemed soniu
fear. The principal consideration involved, however, was the mat-
ter of slavery. England had a treaty with Mexico for the aboli-
tion of the slave-trade, and it was feared that if Texas established
her independence this trade would be reopened with her. It was
England's policy to secure the universal abolition of the trade by
treaties with the principal nations of the world. Viscount Pal-
merston, the foreign secretary, expressed it as his opinion that no
doubt need be entertained of the propriety of the conduct of the
United States in the matter, and that no action need be taken on
the subject of the slave-trade until it was certain that the Texas
revolution was successful.1
2. Rumors of the Sale of Texas by Mexico to England.
In the spring of 1837 an interesting incident took place at Wash-
ington. Fairfax Catlett, the secretary of the Texas legation there,
who was temporarily in charge of its affairs, was shown a letter
to the American State department from M. O. Jones, the Ameri-
can consul at the City of Mexico, in which Jones said that a prop-
osition was before the Mexican Congress to sell Texas to England
in order to pay the Mexican debt in England amounting to some
sixty-eight million dollars.2 Jones added that the measure would
probably pass, but said nothing as to whether England had sug-
gested it or concurred in it. Catlett, of course, felt it his duty to
write at once to Forsyth, the American secretary of state, asking
that the United States prevent any such sale and pointing out
that Mexico would be unlikely to make such a proposition unless
she had previous assurance that it would be acceptable to England.
In his letter, however, he spoke of the United States as the "parent
commonwealth" of Texas, and Forsyth was so unwilling to have
a letter containing such language among the papers of his depart-
ment that he persuaded Catlett to take the letter back. Catlett
reported that he had been told by Cralle (the Washington editor
and relative of Calhoun) that the matter had been proposed to
England and rejected by her. Earlier in the year William H.
Wharton, then one of the agents of Texas at Washington, had
'Niles' Register, LI 38-40.
'Catlett to Henderson, April 29, 1837.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906, periodical, 1906; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/m1/6/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.