The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 30
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30 Southwestebrn Historical Quarterly
perhaps, that in May, 1833, Austin dated his conversion some six
months back and declared slavery to be the wish of the people.
Was there a declaration in the convention of October, 1832?
Lundy, who spent some months in Texas during the summer of
1833, after adjournment of the second convention, reported that
it was commonly said there that one of the reasons for desiring
separation from Coahuila and the erection of a state government
in Texas was that the Texans might then shape their own slavery
laws.7 There is no reason to doubt this, but, with a knowledge
of all available contemporary evidence, one cannot escape the con-
viction that more general and weighty motives dictated the wish
for divorcement from Coahuila. These motives cannot be dis-
cussed here. Undoubtedly the desire for an effective judicial sys-
tem was the strongest single incentive to separation; and the gen-
eral situation is perhaps sufficiently suggested by the reflection
that Texas had but two representatives in a uniformly suspicious
and frequently hostile legislature to which the Coahuilans elected
Congress denied the application for separation, on the ground
that Texas still lacked the necessary population and resources to
maintain a state government, but it did repeal the law prohibit-
ing the settlement of emigrants from the United States in Texas;
and the state legislature further eased the situation by passing
a number of laws favorable to Texas,7" so that by the end of
1834, even the most impatient champions of separation, with few
exceptions, seemed content." There remains, of course, always
7[Lundy], The War in Texas, etc., 12. The dates for Lundy's sojourn
in Texas are furnished by his diary, in The Life, Travels, and Opinions
of Benjamin Lundy, etc., compiled under the direction and on behalf of
his children (Philadelphia, 1847). The object of Lundy's presence in
Texas was to obtain from the government of the state a grant of land
and a permit to settle a colony of free negroes. He failed, but did ob-
tain a grant in the state of Tamaulipas (see his Life, etc., 63, 66, 79, 80,
86, 88, 89, 128, 130, 143, 147, 149, 152, 162, 164, 167, 168, 188).
"7For the journal of the Convention of 1832 see Gammel, Laws of Texas,
I, 477-503; for the Convention of 1833, Brown, History of Texas, I, 227-
250 (St. Louis, 1892), and manuscripts in the Austin Papers.
"7Among them were laws greatly extending organization for local gov-
ernment, allowing the Texans an additional representative in the Legis-
lature, reorganizing the judicial system and allowing trial by jury and
the use of English in judicial procedure, and granting religious tolera-
"The evidence in support of this conclusion is so voluminous and so
diffuse that it is hardly feasible to cite it with any fullness. See, for
example, Samuel M. Williams to Austin, October 29, 1834; Thomas F.
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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/m1/34/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.