The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 197
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English Abolitionism and the Annexation of Texas 197
them through Mr. Robinson to the Government of Texas, and
rather to substitute for it that of the absolute abolition of the
principle of slavery, and properly regulated emancipation of slaves
in Texas."26 Aberdeen here definitely introduced into British
mediation a new element, the abolition of slavery, in the belief that
Texas so greatly desired peace that it would accept this condition.
Thus would be accomplished the first great aim of the abolition-
ists. Later, Thomas Clarkson, the chairman of the British and
Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, urged upon Santa Anna, in behalf
of that organization, "that the present most favorable occasion
should be seized upon to impose terms upon that country [Texas]
which shall result in the immediate and total abolition [of
Elliot, the British charge to Texas, meanwhile, was making
abolition the subject of semi-official communications to his govern-
ment,28 a fact known to Smith."1 A debate on slavery in Texas
in the House of Lords on August 8, 1843, was a more overt indica-
tion of the policy of the British government. Lord Brougham
put the question to the ministry concerning their position on aboli-
tion in Texas, and suggested that Mexican recognition might be
used to force abolition in her former province, which would ulti-
mately react against slavery in the United States.30 Aberdeen's
reply served to bring the British government definitely under the
same suspicion as rested upon the abolitionists at large, for he said
"that every effort on the part of Her Majesty's Government would
lead to that result which was contemplated by his noble friend.""8
Smith did not attribute to the British government any "sinister
and covert purposes" with regard to Texas.32 Aberdeen and the
leading members of the Peel cabinet, he held in high esteem;ss
"Quoted in Adams, British Interests and Activities in Texas, 1888-
'7Extract from a letter written by Clarkson to Santa Anna, October 6,
1843, copied in Smith's Journal, December 14, 1843.
"Adams, British Interests and Activities ins Texas, 1888-1846, 109-20.
9"Smith to Van Zandt, June 17, 1843, "private"; letter press docu-
ment; also Smith to Calhoun, June 19, 1843.
30Crall6 (ed.), Reports and Public Letters of John C. Calhoun, V,
"Smith to Miller, November 12, 1843; letter press document.
"Smith to Jones, August 2, 1843, "private"; letter press document.
"Smith, "Official Correspondence and Memorandums."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/202/: accessed January 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.