Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 49 of 119
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49 [341 ]
design, either with reference to any peculiar influence which we might seek
to establish itn Mexico or-in Texas, or even with reference to the slavery
which now exists, and which we desire to see abolished in Texas.
- With regard to the latter point, it must be and is well known, both to the
United States and to the whole world, that Great Britain desires, and is constantly
exerting heiself to procure, the general abolition of slavery throughout
the world. But the means which she has adopted, and will continue
to adopt, for this humane and virtuous purpose, are open and undisguised.
She will do nothing secretly or underhand. She desires that her motives
may be generally understood, and her acts seen by all.
With regard to Texas, we avow that we wish to see slavery abolished
there, as elsewhere; and we shoulld rejoice if the recognition of that country
by the,Mexican Government should be accompanied by an engagement
on the part of Texas to abolish slavery eventually, and under proper
conditions, throughout the Republic. But although we earnestly desire
and feel it to be our duty to promote such a consummation, we shall not'
interfere unduly, or with an improper assumption of authority witIl either
party, in order to ensure the adoption of such a course. We shall counsel,
but we shall not seek to compel, or unduly control, either party. . So far as
Great Britain is concerned, provided other States act with equal forbearance,
those Governments will be filly at liberty to make their own unfettered
arrangemenlts with each other, both in regard to -the abolition of
slavery and to all other points.
Great Britain, moreover, does not desire to establish in Texas, whether
partially dependent on Mexico, or entirely independent, (which latter alternative
we consider in every respect preferable,) any dominant influence.
She only desires to share her influence equally with all other nations. Her
objects are purely commercial; and she has no thought or intention of
seeking to act directly or indirectly, in a political sense, otn -the United
States through Texas.
The British Government, as the United States well know, have never
sought in any way to stir up disaffection or excitement of any kind in the
slaveholding States of the American Unfon. Much as we should wish to
see those States placed on the firm and solid footing which we conscientiously
believe is to be attained by general freedom alone, we have never
in our treatment of them made any difference between the slaveholding
and the free States of the Union. All are, in our eyes, entitled, as component
members of the Union, to equal political respect, favor, and forbearance,
on our part. To that wise and just policy we shall continue to adhere;
and the Governments of the slaveholding States may be assured
that, although we shall not desist from those open and honest efforts which
we have constantly made for procuring the abolition of slavery throughout
the world, we shall neither openly nor secretly resort to any measures
which can tend to disturb their internal tranquillity, or thereby to affect
the prosperity of the American Union.
You will communticate this despatch to the United States Secretary Qf
State, and, if he should desire it, you will leave a copy of it with him.
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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/m1/49/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .