The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 199
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The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas
to gradual abolition as its ultimate solution, and did not wish
to see this door closed.
Personal friends of certain free Negroes, particularly old settlers
who had accepted the Negroes as colonists, found them to be good
neighbors over a long period of years, and considered them to be
no danger now. This fourth group, who as pioneers knew at first
hand the difficulties these Negroes had in establishing themselves
in the wilderness, did not view with unconcern their forced
migration and the consequent loss of the fruits of long years
In addition to these four groups of sentimentalists, were those
who had an economic interest in the retention of a free Negro
population. Employers of free Negro labor, faced with a chronic
scarcity of artisans, were not anxious to lose a good brickmason,
mechanic, blacksmith or common laborer. Their wives wished to
retain an efficient washerwoman, cook, nurse, or house servant.
Some white men found an inn, boarding house, livery stable, dray
service or barber shop owned by Negroes, conveniences which they
wished to be continued. To this group might be added merchants,
lawyers, agents and others who found their Negro customers to
be some source of profit and who wished to retain their trade.
These groups of white persons, many of them of considerable
importance and influence, together with such friends as they could
ally with them, while interested primarily in the granting of
exceptions from the law of February 5, 1840, only to particular
free Negroes, were to storm the next Congress with such an
avalanche of pleas that they not only restored the free Negro
to his previous status, but embarked the Republic upon a more
liberal policy than it had thus far pursued.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/221/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.