Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 65 of 119
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65 [ 341 J
..nntion. to the c cknoweJ.dginnt of the independence of Texas by Mexico.
If Mr. Calhoun will have the-goodness to refer once more to the copy
of Lord Aberdeen's despatch, which lies before him, he will find the following
exposition of the intentions of Great Britain on this point, which
the .undersigned flattered himself would have been sufficient to forbid any
such inference: " With regard to Texas, we avow that we wish to see
slavery abolished there, as elsewhere; and we should 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,
with either party" (either Mexico or Texas) "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 fully at liberty to make their own unfettered arrangements with
each other, both in regard to the abolition of slavery and to all other
The undersigned takes advantage of this opportunity to renew to the
Hon. Mr. Calhoun the assurance of his high consideration.
Hon. J. C. CALHOUN, 4'C.
DEPARTAMENT OF STATE,
Washington, lpril 27, 1844.
The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has the honor
to acknowledge the receipt of the answer which the Right Hon. Mr. Pakenham,
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Her Britannic
Majesty, was pleased to make to his note of the 18th instant, relating to
the despatch of Lord Aberdeen, of which a copy was left with the late
Secretary of State, Mr. Upshur, by his request.
He regrets that Mr. Pakenham has fallen into an error in supposing
that the undersigned intended, by introducing the statistical facts in reference
to the comparative condition of the African race in the States of this
Union where slavery has been abolished and where it is still retained,
with the accompanying remarks, " to expound the subject of slavery,"
and to " defend it as it exists in the United States."
If Mr. Pakenham will have the goodness to recur to the note of the undersigned,
he will find, on a reperusal, that his intention in introducing the
details, instead of being that which he attributes to him, was to correct
what the undersigned believed to be a misconception on the part of Her
Majesty's Government, as set forth in Lord Aberdeen's despatch. His
lordship seems to be of the impression that the objection of the United
States was not to the policy of Great Britain in reference to abolition, as
avowed by him, but to the means which might be resorted to for its accomplishment;
and that, if slavery should be abolished in the United
States, by the influence -and exertions of Great Britain, without using what
he is pleased to call secret" or " undue means," it would be an act o'
humanity to the African race, and in its consequences would neither
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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/m1/65/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .