Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 19 of 119
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19 [ 341 ]
without the most strenuous efforts on our part to arrest a calamity so se,rious
to every part of otur country.
If such an attempt were confined to the " abolitionists of Texas," it
would scarcely merit grave consideration. Their numbers, it is believed,
are very small; and the state of public opinion in that country is by no
means favorable to the sticcess of their enlterprise. But if it be a fact that
it has engaged the attention of Lord Aberdeen, and that he has pledged
the co-operation of the English Government to a certain extent, it possesses
an importance which demands our serious attention. It cannot be supposed
that England means to limit her designs to the emancipation of a
few thousand slaves. She would have ulterior objects far more important
to her, and far more interesting to us.
We might probably consider this as part of a general plan by which
England wouild seek to abolish domestic slavery throughout the entire continent
and islands of America, in order to find or create new markets for the
products of her home industry, and at the same time to destroy all competition
with the industry of her colonies. In the great staples of sugar and cotton,
her colonies of tl-e East and West Indies are untable to compete with the
slave labor of the United States, Texas, and Brazil. Experience has shown
that those articles cannot be produced to any considerable extent on the
continent of America by the labor of white men ; atid of course, if slavery
can be abolished boi tlhat continent, the great rivals of her colonial industry
will be removed. This fact affords an explanation, for which we should
seek elsewhere in vain, of many of her most important measures. No
other adequate motive can be found for her determiined and persevering
course in regard to domestic slavery in other countries. This view of the
case should never be lost sight of in forming our opinions of the object and
probable tendency of all her movements upon this point.
It is an important thing to England to obtain an influence over the policy
of Texas; and the present situation of that country offers her every
encouragement to make the attempt. Pressed by an unrelenting enemy on
her borders, her treasury exhausted, and her credit almost destroyed, Texas
is in a condition to need the support of other nations, and to obtain it upon
terms of great hardship and many sacrifices to herself. If she should receive
no countenance and support fromr the United States, it is not an extravagant
supposition that England may and will reduce her to all the dependence of
a colony, without taking upon herself the onerous duties and responsibili..
ties of the mother country. The aid which it is said she now offers toward
the abolition of slavery, although probably not the first, is a very important
step; it will be followed by others, which will not fail to establish for her
a controlling influence for many years to come. The United States have a
high interest to counteract this attempt, should it be made. Texas is already
an important customer to us. Being herself exclusively and almost necessarily
agricultural, she must depend on other countries for nearly all the
manufactured articles of every sort which her people need. Her sympathies
are now with us, and her geographical position enables her to trade
with us more advantageously than with any other country. Should her
Government be settled upon terms which will leave her free and independent
in fact as well as in name, her population, and consequently her productive
industry and her trade, will increase rapidly; her territory will
soon be filled with people who will be liberal purchasers of our manufactures,
without offering the slightest competition with that branch of our
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/19/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .