The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 236
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
prevent the acquisition of territory which would be free in any
event. It is hoped that a survey of this attempt to manipulate
public opinion will throw additional light on the connection between
slavery and expansion during the period of the Mexican War.
Even before the annexation of Texas there could be heard voices
here and there which proclaimed that the anti-slavery forces had
nothing to fear from expansion at the expense of Mexico. These
pronouncements came in connection with discussions on annexa-
tion. While the question was still pending, General Thomas J.
Green, a prominent Texan, expressed himself on the subject. While
Green was an ardent supporter of slavery and made no apologies
for the institution, he confessed that the day would probably come
within a generation when "either from individual interest or public
policy, the white and black man can no longer occupy the same
soil." The general undertook to show that by annexing Texas and
other portions of Mexico there would be secured an ideal location
for establishing the presumably freed negroes when it became
necessary to remove them from the settled portions of the United
States.' It may be contended that Green was merely trying to
reconcile the anti-slavery element in the United States to the idea
of expansion. This is probably true enough. Yet at the same time
there was advanced a similar argument in Congress by a member
from a free state. Discussing the effect of the annexation of
Texas, Robert Dale Owen of Indiana, informed the House of
Representatives on January 8, 1845, that expansion would tend to
remove large numbers of slaves from the border states and aid in
effecting "peaceful and gradual emancipation" in all the states.2
V. T. Sherman, who certainly did not support the extension of
slavery and therefore cannot be accused of insincerity, was con-
vinced that the annexation of Texas would prove injurious to the
interests of slaveholders." If that were true, further expansion
would be even more disastrous in its effects on the slavocracy.
It must not be supposed that the views expressed by such men
as Green, Owen, and Sherman found general acceptance in the
United States. On the contrary, one may assert with a reasonable
1Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition against Mier
(New York, 1845), 412, 418, 433.
'-Congressional Globe (Washington, 1834-1873), XIV (and appendix),
3W. T. Sherman to John Sherman, August 29, 1845, Sherman Letters
(New York, 1894), 28.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/261/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.