The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 32
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the settlers.8" It seems beyond question that an anxious, ex-
cited public sentiment concerning slavery, had one existed, would
have been the object of more frequent and elaborate appeals from
the war party, which was leaving no stone unturned now to rouse
the settlers to resistance. In all soberness, the adoption of a
constitution legalizing slavery, after the declaration of independ-
ence, can hardly be regarded as serious evidence of the purpose
of the revolution.
The number and distribution of slaves in Texas can only be
estimated. A census of Austin's colony in 1825 shows 1,347
whites and 443 slaves owned by sixty-nine families. Of these
Jared E. Groce owned ninety, ten families owned upwards of
eleven each, and fifty-eight families owned from one to eight.84
In 1831 the last available census gave Austin's and DeWitt's set-
tlements a total population of 5,665 without differentiating
slaves.8" The proportion of slaves to whites had greatly declined
since 1825, for in 1834 a reasonably careful Mexican estimate
placed the number of slaves in these settlements at one thousand
when the white population was in the neighborhood of nine thou-
sand. The same estimate gave another thousand slaves to the
settlements in East Texas.8" Thus in a total immigrant popu-
lation of probably twenty thousand, some ten per cent were slaves.
The essential results of this investigation, based on a much
more comprehensive study of the subject than can be shown by
specific citation of authorities, may be summarized as follows:
(1) While at the beginning of Texas colonization the govern-
ment reluctantly tolerated slavery, it was consistently and per-
sistently hostile to the institution. (2) Slaveholders contem-
plating emigration to Texas manifested, naturally, a good deal
of anxiety concerning the status of slavery there; and after set-
tlement opposed abolition and evaded the government's efforts to
prevent the further introduction of slaves. Their reasons were
twofold: they wished not to lose their property and they were
profoundly convinced that the development of Texas, and con-
"The informant was H. A. Allsberry. Other objects of the invaders
were said to be to establish military ports and custom houses; to expel
some of the leading citizens, and to burn their houses. Austin Papers.
"4General Land Office of Texas, Vol. 54, pp. 8-17, MS.
"June 30, 1831, Nacogdoches Archives, MS., Texas State Library.
8"Juan N. Almonte, Noticia estadistica sobre Tejas, etc. (Mexico, 1835),
50, 68. See also Bugbee in Political Science Quarterly, XIII, 662-664.
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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/m1/36/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.