The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 34
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
towns and from voters in areas that would benefit from federal in-
These generalizations about the nature of Whig support in Texas
are largely tentative. They are in agreement with the generally ac-
cepted idea that the Whig party in the South was composed of con-
servative unionists, and that it was led by urban commercial inter-
ests. There is less support for the belief that a majority of planters
supported the party. The slaveholdings of most of the identified Whig
leaders were not extensive. It is evident, however, that Texas Whigs
drew support from many farmers with medium to large holdings in
real estate and slaves, especially in Harrison County." In any case,
it can be proven that Texas Whigs were more numerous and active
in 1848 and 1852 than Sam Houston, and indeed most accounts, would
have us believe.
52The generally accepted views of the southern Whigs come from Cole, Whig Party
in the South, and Charles G. Sellers, Jr., "Who Were the Southern Whigs?" American
Historical Review, LIX (January, 1954), 335-346. Sellers disagrees with Cole's explanation
of the states' rights origins of the party, but their interpretations of the party's composi-
tion by 1850 do not differ significantly. Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution:
Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (New York, 1956), 30, states that 88 percent of slave-
holders in 186o held fewer than twenty slaves. Thus Texans holding more than twenty
slaves in 1850 would easily be considered to have medium to large holdings.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/50/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.