Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 41 of 119
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41 [ 341 ]
lordship made observations which warranted them in saying that the British
Government would guaranty, if necessary, the interest of a loan which
should be raised and applied to the abolition of slavery in Texas, but not
of a Texan loan for any other purpose whatever. It appears, however, from
the statements contained in my despatch No. 62, that the member of the
committee who gave this information to Mr. Snmith was in an error-Lord
Aberdeen havingc assured me thi ththe suggestion relative to a loan for this
purpose had not received the slightest countenance from him. My written
nemorandum of the conversation, in which this assurance was made, having
been submitted to Lord Aberdeen, there can be no room for misapprehension
on mny part. Lord Aberdeen has since repeated the same statement
Mr. Smith, in consequence of the circumstances above stated, asked an
interview with Lord Aberdeen, and subsequently addressed a written communication
to him on the subject. Mr. Smith very properly doubts whether
he ought to furnish me a copy of this correspondence before it has been
made public by the Texan Government. Appreciating, however, the motives
which prompted my inquiry, and considering the subject as one of
interest to the United States as well as to Texas, though possibly in a less
degree, Mr. Smith informs me that he shall transmit to the Texan consul
at London copies of his note to Lord Aberdeen on the abolition of slavery
in Texas, and of Lord Aberdeen's reply, with a request to that gentlenanto
submit the same, if I desire it, to my perusal. Mr. Rate, the Texan
consul, accordingly called upon me for this purpose. The reply of Lord
Aberdeen to Mr. Smith states that Mr. Smith does the British Government
no more than justice in forbearing to impute to them any design to interfere
with the internal concerns of Texas in reference to slavery; but adds,
that it is not a matter of surprise to Lord Aberdeen that individuals having
that object in view should have recourse to any measure which they deem
calculated to promote it.
Mr. Smith acquaints me, further, that he has written full accounts to his
Government of the interview above alluded to with Lord Aberdeen, and
of such other facts relating to the efforts making in England for the abolition
of slavery in Texas, as, on diligent and scrupulous inquiry, he could
ascertain. He adds, that he shall transmit by the next steamer copies of
these accounts to Mr. Van Zandt, the Texan charge d'affaires at Washington,
who will make such use of them as, in his discretion, he shall judge
best. I have no doubt that Mr. Van Zandt will feel himself authorized to
make you fully acquainted, for the President's information, with the purport
of these communications.
I had a long interview with Lord Aberdeen, at his request, on the 6th
instant, principally in reference to the Oregon question, as you will have
seen from another communication by this steamer. Before I left him,
however, the conversation turned upon the subject of the abolition of slavery
in Texas. I told him he must not be surprised at the interest taken
in the subject in the lJnited Slates, when he remembered that Texas and
the United States were border countries, and the necessary effect of the
abolition in Texas on slavery as existing in the Union. He replied, that he
felt the delicacy and importance of the subject, repeated the. allusion made
n the former interview to the state of public sentiment in England, and
said, that while it could not be expected of Her Majesty's Government
to hold a language or pursue a policy at variance with opinions which they
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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/m1/41/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .