The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 18
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
were so low that Bean's injunction was fulfilled, and "the slave
was the same to the master as before."4
As a subterfuge, the law legalizing this evasion of the consti-
tution was reasonably effective, but Austin was not comfortable.
Encouraged by Padilla, the secretary of state, he again addressed
the governor, combining with an appeal for withdrawal of the pro-
hibition an argument for open ports and extension of domestic
and foreign trade, by which not only Texas but Coahuila and the
nation as well would profit and Texas would be bound to the
rest of the republic by ties of economic interest. He pointed
out that England, exasperated by the high tariff of the United
States, was looking about for another source of cotton, rice, and
tobacco; that for the same reason, if the prohibition of slavery
were removed, southern planters would pour into Texas and sup-
ply the British demand; and that the consequent stimulation of
every branch of industry in Mexico would enrich the nation.44
Governor Viesca was friendly enough and probably intelligent
enough to realize the truth of this argument, but he had no in-
fluence with the legislature; and Austin, in fact, probably ex-
pected no more of the document than an educative influence. He
continued correspondence during 1829 with various officials, go-
ing so far as to sound a member of the legislature upon the feasi-
bility of suspending the constitutional prohibition for ten years
without going through the well-nigh impossible procedure pre-
scribed for amending it.45
About this time fell a bolt from the blue. President Guer-
rero, in August, 1829, was invested with extraordinary military
48Copy of a contract prepared by Austin, May -, 1828, Austin Papers,
MS. Bugbee quotes the essential provisions of this formulary, Political
Science Quarterly, XIII, 411-412. Pizarro Martinez, Mexican consul at
New Orleans, complained in 1831 that owners made these declarations
alone and then embarked, with the slave totally ignorant that such a
document existed, or that he was "going to breathe the free air of a
country where virtue and merit take care of color." (Quoted by Gov-
ernor Letona to Ram6n Milsquiz, May 20, 1831, General Land Office of
Texas, Vol. 57, p. 139, MS.) Martinez gives another form of contract,
in which the slave receipted for a sum of money and agreed to serve
the master for a specified term, from seventy to ninety years.--Univer-
sity of Texas, Transcript from Department of Fomento, Mexico, Legajo
7, Expediente 56.
44"Austin to J. M. Viesca, February 19, 1829, Austin Papers, MS.
46Ram6n Mf1squiz to Austin, May 28, 1829, acknowledging letters from
Austin of April 15 and 21 and May 5; Austin to J. A. Navarro, July
23, 1829, Austin Papers, MS.
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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/m1/22/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.