The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 86
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of holding real property the same as other citizens."1 Two peti-
tions went still further. Memucan Hunt, James Reily, Robert
Wilson and others believed that Nelson Kavanaugh "should be
allowed most of the privileges of a white man, such as holding
real estate, suing and being sued and the right to swear in court.112
The traveling board of land commissioners, as one method of
granting land to the Ashworths and Birds thought that they
might "be received as Citizens under the Constitution," despite
their Negro blood.'3 The eighth Congress overstepped its bounds
by bringing the question of citizenship for Negroes to a vote
when a constitutional amendment would have been required to
settle the question. Other circumstances throw doubt upon the
sincerity of the two members of the HI-ouse who voted in favor of
the measure." At no time was there the slightest possibility of
Negro citizenship being seriously proposed.
Apart from the question of the legal right of Negroes to retain
real property granted to them by the Mexican government or
secured by purchase," was their right to share in the undivided
public domain. The constitution and a series of laws generously
distributed headrights to white immigrants, adult residents and
young men coming of age, but Negroes received nothing.6 This
exclusion from land donations was logical since the well-established
policy of the Republic at first discouraged and later prevented free
Negro immigration. These disqualifying acts threw considerable
if a thing of the kind was brought up wo[u]ld be willing to git me sum
relife. as to my character it is well known and if enything is wanted of
that kind I am prepared - please euse your best exertions and what ever
obligations it may leav me unde[r], I am yours to acer the same. yours
with respe[c]t, G. Logan." In accordance with Logan's wish, Forbes in-
troduced a bill to release Logan's lands "from State and County Tax
now due or hereafter falling due," but the bill was lost. Bill No. 2349,
File 25, Sixth Congress.
'Memorials No. 33, File 80, January 3, 1841; No. 101, File 67, no
date; No. 15, File 5, September 20, 1836; No. 52, File 1, April 25, 1838.
'"Memorial No. 1, File 52, April 25, 1838. The "right to swear in
court" was deleted, probably by the committee considering the petition.
Free Negroes always had the right to sue and the liability of being sued
which will be discussed presently.
"Memorial No. 11, File A, no date.
"House Journal, Eighth Congress, 266, 268. See Chapter V, South-
western Historical Quarterly, XL, 278-279.
"See Chapters IV and V, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XL, 169-
"Gammel, The Laws of Texas, I, 1079-1080, 1324; II, 35, 554-555, 777-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/94/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.