Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 29 of 119
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29 [ 341 ]
Their endeavors had met with very great difficulties; and he was unable to
say that there was an immediate prospect of obtaining the recognition of
the independence of Texas on the part of Mexico; but it was with great
pleasure that he was able to say that, probably, the first step to this had
been obtained, namely, that an armistice had been established between
the two Powers; and he hoped that this would lead to the absolute acknowledgment
of the independence of Texas by Mexico. The armistice
was an important step to obtain; and he need hardly say that every effort
on the part of Her Majesty's Government would lead to that result which
was contemplated by his noble friend. He was sure that he need hardly
say that no one was more anxious than himself to see the abolition of
slavery in Texas; and if he could not consent to produce papers, or to
give firther information, it did not arise from indifference, but from quite
a contrary reason. In the present state of the negotiations between the
two countries in question, it would not contribute to the end they had in
view, if he then expressed any opinion as to the state of those negotiations;
but he could assure his noble friend, that by means of urging his negotiations,
as well as by every other means in their power, Her Majesty's ministers
would press this matter.
"Lord Brougham observed that nothing could be more satisfactory than
the statement of his noble friend, which would be received with joy by all
who were favorable to the object of the anti-slavery societies."
The language attributed to Lord Brougham is perfectly explicit and
plain. He is hostile to slavery upon principle, and anxious to abolish it
every where. He is, however, particularly desirous to abolish it in Texas,
because the abolition of it in that country will, in his opinion, necessarily
lead to the same result in the United States. He was undoubtedly apprized
of the fact that negotiations had been contemplated by the British
Government, and were probably then in progress, with a view to the abolition
of slavery in Texas; he expresses a strong interest in tl-eir success,
and desires to know the nature of the instructions which had beent given
to the British minister, and what probability there was that the negotiations
woild lead to the desired result. Lord Aberdeen, decliinig to qrive the
information asked for by Lord Brougham, because it might be injurious to
the negotiations to do so, assures him that Her Majesty's ministers will press
them earnestly, and leave no efforts unexerted to bring themn to a successful
termination. Whether or not the language attributed to Lord Aberdeen
was meant to extend be d beyod the sinle fact of the liberation of the
slaves of Texas, may perhaps admit of doubt. But it is fairly susceptible
of a much more extended construction. Lord Brougham had spoken of
the abolition of slavery in the United States as a necessary and prominent
consequence of the abolition of it in Texas; and Lord Aberdeen assures
him that every effort on the part of Her Majesty's Government would lead
to that result which was contemplated by his noble friend. It is quite clear
that the abolition of slavery in the United States was the most important
"result" contemplated by Lord Brougham; and it is not unreasonable to
suppose that it was then most prominent in the mind of Lord Aberdeen.
It was evidently so understood by Lord Broughlam himself; for he declares
that the statenment made by Lord Aberdeen was perfectly satisfactory, and
that it wiould be "received with joy by all who were favorable to the obJect
of the anti-slavery society." That object is universal emancipation.
Lord Aberdeen said nothing to indicate that he had been mnisunderstood,
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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/m1/29/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .