The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Galveston Civilian took the lead in demanding that only
candidates in favor of reduction should be elected to. congress.
This is the paper which during the campaign of 1843 announced
its conversion to reduction. Its recommendation is a peculiar
mixture of free-trade and protection. Some of the main points
suggested are as follows:
A plan is beginning to be agitated from sources entitling it to
consideration, to run candidates for office at the approaching
election, upon the principle of Free Trade, except so far as it
may conflict with the few simple interests of our mechanics; that
is, to retain something like the present heavy duties on leather,
boots and shoes, saddlery, ready made clothing, and a few similar
mechanical products which can be supplied by our own citizens,
and to declare our ports open for almost all others duty free.
This has been a plan long discussed here, and it has gained
strength from the fact that the contrary policy has been so far
defeated by the impossibility of enforcing it upon our northeast-
The article continued by suggesting that the entire tariff sys-
temn be abolished if any other method of raising revenue could
be devised.129 About the same time the Matagorda Dispatch
joined in this campaign, advising the voters to support for con-
gress only those candidates who. were in favor of free-trade.30
There does not seem to have been a general effort to make the
tariff an issue in the presidential campaign. The editor of the
Telegraph and Texas Register, however, gave as his chief reason
for opposing Anson Jones for the presidency, that he was Hous-
ton's candidate and could be depended upon to continue Hous-
ton's financial policy, chief of which was a high tariff.131 The
Red-Lander at the same time was a strong supporter of Jones,
though it had been the leading free-trade journal.
The importance of the tariff as an issue in the election of
1844, can be further indicated by noticing the announcement of
the candidates for congress. Richard Roman, candidate for the
senate from Matagorda, Jackson and Montgomery Counties, dis-
cussed the issues in the Matagorda Dispatch early in July. He
'"From the C(ivilian, in The Red-Lander, June 1, 1844.
1oTelegraph and Texas Register, July 24, 1844.
8"'Telegraph and Texas Register, June 26, 1844.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/20/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.