The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 183
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The Free Negro, in the Republic of Texas
would rid the country of late Negro immigrants, left the problem
in the hands of the local communities. The largest center of popu-
lation, both Negro and white, at the time was Houston. Here the
white laborer was brought into direct competition with the Negro,
in which he usually lost the contest, for the reason that the Negro's
standard of living was lower and he was willing to do more work
for less wages. Social contacts between the races, moreover, were
closer and more frequent in the cities, and racial prejudices keener
than in the rural districts.50 Francis Moore, Jr., was at this time
mayor of Houston. He had often shown his antagonism to the
free Negro class and as a senator had expressed his fear lest the
extension of privilege to free Negroes would result in "dissatis-
faction, insubordination, and finally insurrection" among the
slaves.51 It is reasonable to suppose that Moore lent his office to
any move which would rid Texas of this great danger.
Searching about for some act under which free Negroes might
be prosecuted, the ordinance of the General Consultation of
January 5, 1836, was resuscitated. This ordinance provided for
the sale into slavery of all free Negroes who immigrated to Texas
subsequent to the passage of the act, and was similar in most
respects to the bill which Congress had failed to pass during its
On April 9, 1839, between eight and twenty Negroes were
brought before the Recorder's Court by constable McGee as vio-
laters of this Ordinance." Beyond a doubt, it had been super-
seded by the Constitution, which placed no restriction on immi-
gration, and the joint resolution of June 5, 1837, which granted
residence privileges to all Negroes living in Texas on March 2,
1836. Further evidence that the ordinance was a dead letter
lies in the fact that two congresses had considered bills similar
"Almonte, as nearly as 1834, recognized the great aversion to the free
Negro in Texas cities. On this basis he had refused to sanction the immi-
gration of Negroes from New Orleans since the greater part of them were
artisans but at the same time he believed the immigration of free Negro
farmers to be desirable and recommended that the government encourage
it. Juan Nepomuceno Almonte to E. S. Secretario de Estado y del Despacho
de Relaciones de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. April 13, 1834. Dept. of
Fomento, Leg. 8, Exp. 65. University of Texas transcripts.
"1Austin City Gazette, December 25, 1839.
"Gammel, The Laws of Texas, I, 1024.
"The Morning Star, (Houston), April 10, 1839.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/205/?q=%22francis%20moore%22: accessed September 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.