Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 28 of 119
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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were in a state of slavery. This point led him to the foundation of the
question which he wished to put to his noble friend. There was very little
or no slave trade carried on with Texas from Africa, directly; but a large
number of slaves were constantly bein, sent overland to that country. Although
the major part of the land in Texas was well adapted for white labor,
and therefore for free cultivation, still the people of that country, by
some strange infatuation, or by some inordinate love of immediate gain,
preferred slave labor to free labor. As all access to the African slave market
was shut out to them, their market for slaves was the United States,
from whence they obtained a large supply of negro slaves. The markets
from whence they obtained their supply of slaves were Georgia, the Carolinas,
and Virginia, which States constantly sent their surplus slave population,
which would otherwise be a burden to them, to the Texan market.
No doubt it was true, as has been stated, that they treated their slaves tolerably
well, because they knew that it was for their interest to rear them,
as they had such a profitable market for them in Texas. This made him
irresistibly anxious for the abolition of slavery in Texas; for if it were
abolished there, not only would that country be cultivated by free and
white labor, but it would put a stop to the habit of breeding slaves for the
Texan market. The consequence would be, that they would solve this
great question in the history of the United States; for it must ultimately
end in the abolition of slavery in America. He therefore looked forward
most anxiously to the abolition of slavery in Texas, as he was convinced
that it would ultimately end in the abolition of slavery throughout the
whole of America. He knew that the Texans would do much, as regarded
the abolition of slavery, if Mexico could be induced to recognise their
independence. If, therefore, by our good offices, we could get the Mexican
Government to acknowledge the independence of Texas, he would
suggest a hope that it might terminate in the abolition of slavery in Texas,
and ultimately the whole of the Southern States of America. The abolition
of slavery in T'exas must put an end to one of the most execrable
crimes (for he would not designate it by the honorable name of traffic)
that could disgrace a people-namely, the rearing and breeding of slaves,
or the being engaged in the sale of our fellow-creatures. .He therefore
hoped that his nloble friend would have no difficulty in letting him know
'whether he could give any information as to the state of the negotiations
on this subject, or as to the nature of the instructions that had been given
to our minister in that country. If the production of such documents in
the furnishing such information was not suitable at the present moment,
he would not press his noble friend; but he had no doubt that his noble
friend could confirm his statement, and he trusted that the Government
would not lose any opportunity of pressing the subject, whenever they could
do so with a hope of success.
"The Earl of Aberdeen, in reply, said that he could state that not only
had this country acknowledged the independence of Texas, but also that
we had a treaty of commerce and a treaty for the abolition of the slave
trade with that Power. He did not believe that there was any importation
of slaves into Texas by sea, but it was true that there was a large
importation of slaves from the United States into that country. Immediately
on the negotiations being entered on with Texas, the utmost endeavors
of this country were used to put an end to the war which prevented
the full and entire recognition of the independence of Texas by Mexico.
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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/m1/28/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .