The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
dented servants. He protested vigorously, therefore, against ex-
clusion of Americans, but declared the slavery article to be
"founded in justice and in the well-being of the state."67
On the face of the record to this point there is reason to ques-
tion the sincerity of Austin's conversion. His controlling prin-
ciple, however, was always the advancement of Texas and it is
only upon this principle that the inconsistency of his declara-
tions can be reconciled. He seems now to have expressed his
real conviction concerning slavery and he made an earnest effort
to carry the colonists with him. Of his personal attitude there
is a good deal of evidence. He wrote his cousin, Henry Austin,
who had been discussing the possibility of the transfer of Texas
to the United States, that he would oppose such a change unless
he could have certain guarantees, among them the perpetual ex-
clusion of slavery from Texas. To another kinsman, Thomas F.
Leaming of Philadelphia, he wrote more strongly. One of the
reasons, he said, which were causing him to think of the advan-
tages of Swiss and German immigrants, aside from their char-
acter and industry, was that
they have not in general that horrible mania for speculation
which is so prominent a trait in the English and North Ameri-
can character, and above all they will oppose slavery. The idea
of seeing such a country as this overrun by a slave population
almost makes me weep. It is in vain to tell a North American
that the white population will be destroyed some fifty or eighty
years hence by the negroes. . . . To say anything to them
as to the justice of slavery, or its demoralizing effects on society,
is only to draw down ridicule upon the person who attempts it.
In the beginning of this settlement I was compelled to hold out
the idea that slavery would be tolerated, and I succeeded in get-
ting it tolerated for a time by the Govt. I did this to get a
start, for otherwise it would have been next to impossible to
have started at all, for I had to draw on Louisiana and Missis-
sippi, slave states, for the first emigrants. Slavery is now most
positively prohibited by our Constitution and by a number of
laws, and I do hope it may always be so.
Gleaming was neither a slaveholder nor a prospective colonist,
"7Austin to Anastacio Bustamente, May 17, to Teran, May 18, and to
, May 18, 1830, Austin Papers, MS. For a comprehensive dis-
cussion of the circumstances leading to the passage of the law of April
6, 1830, see an article by Alleine IHowren, The Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, XVI, 378-422.
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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/m1/30/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.