The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 7
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Influence of Slavery in the Colonization of Texas
were directly from slave states-Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Tennessee, and Kentucky, though much interest had been mani-
fested also in Illinois and Ohio. This, however, was character-
istic of American migration--hardy frontiersmen, crowded by
the on-coming flood from the east, always marching out to con-
quer a new west. A short generation earlier many of these same
families were moving from western New England, New York,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina into the regions
from which they now moved to Texas. Certainly the migration
had no purposeful relation to the extension of slavery.18
Austin and many others now obtained contracts under the
state law. For reasons that are not essential to this study only
Austin and Green DeWitt of Missouri were notably successful in
introducing settlers prior to 1835. The news spread through
the United States that Mexico was hostile to slavery and many
anxious letters reached Austin from prospective emigrants. One
of these in Mississippi wrote:
The emigrating, or Texas fever prevails to an extent that your
wishes would no more than anticipate. It has pervaded all classes
of the citizens of this state and the adjoining, from the man
with capital to the man that wishes to acquire a living. Noth-
ing appears at present to prevent a portion of our wealthy plant-
ers from emigrating immediately to the province of Texas but
the uncertainty now prevailing with regard to the subject of
slavery. . . . If slavery is tolerated by the new constitution
I could wish, for the benefit of yourself, and others, that you
would petition the government for extension of territory .
Three hundred familys more can be settled in less than two
Another wrote from Alabama: "Our most valuable inhabitants
here own negroes. I am therefore anxious to know what the
laws are upon that subject. Can they be introduced as the labor-,
ing servants of emigrants? and [if so] when are they free? They
are an important species of property here and our planters are
not willing to remove without they can first be assured of their
being secured to them by the laws of your Govt." "You know,"
wrote another, "such is the sensitive feelings of the slavehold-
ers on that subject that the least agitation will deter them from
"For expansion of this paragraph, see the writer's "Notes on the Col-
onization of Texas," in Mississippi Valley Historical Review," X, 141-152.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/11/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.