The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 3
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Influence of Slavery in the Colonization of Texas
ence with indecent haste; and, finally, after a period of hypocritical
hesitation, annexed them.
These were the essential links in the chain of circumstantial
evidence, compounded of fact, assumption, and false implication,
by which earnest abolitionists sought, through continuous iteration,
to rouse the indignation of somnolent voters and smite the curse
of slavery. The fatal strength of such propaganda is its reckless
single-mindedness; its charges are brief, pointed, and without qual-
ification. Historical truth, on the other hand, is often a matter of
lights and shadows and the weakness of the defense lies in its in-
ability to return a categorical denial; it cannot plead an alibi or a
general demurrer. The writer has discussed in other papers the
complex conditions which took emigrants to Texas, the efforts of
the United States to buy the territory, evasion of the neutrality
law during the Texas revolution, and General Gaines's occupation
of Nacogdoches; and a former president of the Mississippi Valley
Historical Association has shown that as a united, aggressive force,
capable of bringing about sectional ends, the so-called "slavocracy"
of this period was a myth, a bugaboo of ante-bellum politics.2 It
is the purpose of this investigation to examine the subject of slavery
from the point of view of the settler in Texas. Did he regard
himself as a crusader, in the language of Lundy, "to perpetuate
slavery and the slave trade in Mexico and to bring Texas ultimately
into the United States of the North" ?3
Moses Austin's permit to establish the first Anglo-American col-
ony in Texas was granted by Spanish authority. He was accom-
panied by a slave to San Antonio, the capital of the province, when
he made his application. The laws of the Indies recognized slavery
'Eugene C. Barker, "Notes on the Colonization of Texas," in The Mis-
sissippi Valley Historical Review, X, 141-152, "The United States and
Mexico, 1835-1837," in Ibid., I, 3-30, "President Jackson and the Texas
Revolution," in American HIistorical Review, XII, 788-809; Chauncey S.
Boucher, "In Re that Aggressive Slavocracy," in The Mississippi Valley
HIistorical Review, VIII, 13-79. See also T. M. Marshall, A History of
the Western Boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, 1821-18148 (New York,
1913), Chapters X, XV; Justin H. Smith, The Annexation of Texas
(New York, 1911), 27.
'In 1898 Lester G. Bugbee ("Slavery in Early Texas," Political Science
Quarterly, XIII, 389-412, 648-668) discussed this question with a breadth
and penetration that leaves little to be added. The present study, which
is a by-product of a biography of Stephen F. Austin, uses a considerable
volume of sources that Mr. Bugbee did not have and shifts the emphasis
here and there, but it confirms his main conclusions.
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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/m1/7/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.