The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
efficient apostle of that faith. He felt some fear of the outcome.
of republican government in Mexico, he knew that the people were
not fitted for it, but hoped they might stumble along until educa-
tion and experience prepared them for it.27 At the same time,
as a prudent man would in his position, he sometimes contemplated
a condition of anarchy or oppression that would render continued
loyalty impossible. In such a contingency, though he. shrank from
it, he favored independence; never, until shortly before his death,
annexation to the United States. As an "independent speck in the
galaxy of nations," he wrote in 1829,
Europe will gladly receive our cotton and sugar, etc., on advan-
tageous terms in exchange for "untariffed" manufactured articles.
We should be too contemptible to excite the jealousy of the North-
ern Mammoth, and policy and interest would induce Europe to let
us alone. I deem it more than probable that the great powers
would all unite in guaranteeing the Independence of little Texas.
There are many powerful reasons why it should be to their interest
to do it.2
On his attitude toward annexation there is an abundance of ma-
terial from 1830 to 1835, and there can be no doubt of his sin-
cerity.20 This conclusion does not rest alone on an interpretation
of Austin's own statements, for in 1834 Anthony Butler attributed
to him his failure to buy Texas.30 Two reasons for opposing an-
nexation Austin gives, the land system of the United States and
If that Govt. should get hold of us and introduce its land system,
thousands who are now on the move and who have not yet secured
their titles would be totally ruined. The greatest misfortune that
could befall Texas at this moment would be a sudden change by
which any of the emigrants would be thrown upon the liberality
of the Congress of the United States of the North.*1
This he wrote to his brother-in-law in 1830. A few months later
he wrote that he should "oppose a union with the United States
"Au.stin to Carr, March 4, 1829, Austin Papers.
"Austin to Wharton, April 24, 1829, Austin Papers.
2"On Austin's attitude toward independence see an article by the writer
in THE QUARTERLY, XIII, 257-284.
""Butler to McLane, July 13, 1834, Mss. State Department, Despatches
from Agents to Mexico, Vol. 6.
"Austin to Perry, March 28, 1830, Austin Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/22/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.