The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 9
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Influence of Slavery in the Colonization of Texas
intend by this to prevent the introduction of slaves by owners
for their own use? The implication of the suspension for colon-
ists in the south is that it did, and other indications point to
the same conclusion. Erasmo Seguin, Texan representative in
congress, wrote as early as March, 1824, that an abolition law
was already passed.1" If in fact passed, the law evidently was
not published, but the report shows intention. On June 3 the
committee on petitions presented a request from Jared E. Groce,
owner of nearly a hundred slaves in Texas, that no new legisla-
tion should affect his slaves, or, if this could not be granted, that
he be allowed to return them to the United States. A sharp
debate ensued in which Carlos Bustamante argued that, "in view
of what congress had resolved concerning slaves," the petition
should be returned; but Ramos Arizpe and Father Servando
Mier, both clericals, objected that the resolution prohibiting the
slave trade (comercio de esclavos) did not affect slaves already
in the country. This, they said, was a matter that would re-
quire great circumspection.s Final action on the petition is not
disclosed, nor is there any material discussion of the law of July
13 in the broken files of journals that are accessible. Seguin
told Austin that the whole congress became "electrified when it
considered the unhappy condition of that branch of humanity;
that it was resolved to decree the perpetual extinction in the
Republic of commerce and traffic in slaves; and that their intro-
duction into our territory should not be permitted under any
pretext." He believed that no modification could be expected
from congress, but he offered the interesting suggestion that the
state legislature might be induced to interpret the act favorably.19
All this seems to determine pretty definitely that the federal
law was intended to stop immigration as well as importation of
slaves for trade. Such an intention is in character. Mexican
statesmen of this period learned their political philosophy from
the orators of the French Revolution. "Liberty, Equality, and
Fraternity" spoke the language of their emotions; and the first
member of the fair trinity, especially, diffused about them a
17Erasmo Seguin to Baron de Bastrop, March 24, 1824, Austin Papers,
'Diario de las Besiones del Congreso Constituyente, June 3, 1824, page
1 (Mexico, 1824). The writer is unable to find a complete file of the
journals of Mexican Congresses.
2*Erasmo Seguin to Austin, July 24, 1825, Austin Papers, I, 1156.
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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/m1/13/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.