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negotiator to Spain in her contest with Mexico, together with the powerful subsidiary motive of hostility to the southern and western sections of our country. Americanus exposes the evils to the United States of this surrender under twelve distinct heads. Two of them of particular interest to this section of the country, that it brings a non-slaveholding empire in juxta-position with the sluveholding South-west, and diminishes the outlet for the Indians inhabiting the States of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.”
A Baltimore paper, speaking of the essays of “Americanus,” says,
“ One of the reasons that he assigns for the purchase of Texas is, that five or six more slaveholding States may thus be added to the Union. Indeed, he goes farther than this in one of his calculations, and estimates, that NINE MORE States as large as Kentucky,' may be formed within the limits of that province.”
A Charleston paper treating of the same subject, observed, " It is not imposssible that he (President Jackson) is now examining the propriety and practicability of a retrocession of the vast territory of Texas; an enterprize which could not fail to exercise an important and favorable influence upon the future destinies of the South, by increasing the votes of the slaveholding States in the United States Senate."
Judge Upsher, of Virginia, afterwards Secretary of State under President Tyler, remarked, the same year, in the Virginia Convention, “If Texas should be obtained, which he strongly desired, it would raise the price of slaves, and be a great advantage to the slaveholders of that State.” Mr. Doddridge, in the same debate, asserted, “The acquisition of Texas will greatly enhance the value of the property in question.” Debates, p. 89. Mr. Gholston, of the Virginia Legislature in 1832, said, “Ile
believed the acquisition of Texas would raise the price of slaves fifty per cent. at least.” Virginia being a breeding State, these gentlemen were anxious to obtain Texas as a new and extensive market for their staple commodity. To stimulate the action of the Government, rumors were set afloat of the intentions of Great Britain to possess herself of Texas ; an artifice practised without intermission from 1829 to the day of annexation. The following from the New Orleans Creole, of 1829, is a specimen : A rumor reached us by the last packet from Mexico, that a company of British merchants had offered to advance $5,000,000 to the Mexican Government on the condition that the Province of Texas should be placed under the protection of Great Britain.”
President Jackson entered fully into the views of the slaveholders, and on the 25th August, 1829, Mr. Poinsett was instructed to offer five millions for Texas. Although this bid so greatly exceeded the former, it was promptly rejected. The offer was, according to a Mexican journal, followed by another : “When he (Poinsett) found his offer objectionable, he further insulted the nation by proposing a loan of ten millions (as a pawnbroker would) upon the pawning of Texas until repaid, which insidious proposal was meant to fill the country of Texas with Anglo-Americans and slaves, and to hold it after in
event.” The failure of Mr. Poinsett to obtain from Mexico a stipulation to surrender fugitive slaves, gave a new stimulus to the efforts of the slaveholders to possess themselves of Texas
INDEPENDENCE OF TEXAS.
The insurrectionary efforts under Long and Edwards having failed, the Colony under Austin having yielded as yet no aid to the slaveholding interest in the United States, all hopes of acquiring Texas by purchase being now abandoned, and no pretext for war with Mexico existing, the slaveholders, as a last resort, determined to effect the separation of the Province from the Mexican Republic, as a necessary preliminary to annexation. Coming events were thus shadowed forth in an article published in 1830, in the Arkansas Gazette :
No hopes need be entertained of our acquiring Texas (by purchase) until some party more friendly to the United States than the present, shall predominate in Mexico; and perhaps not until the People of Texas shall throw off allegiance to that government, which they will no doubt do, so soon as they have a reasonable pretext for doing so. At present they are probably subject to as few exactions and impositions as any people under the sun. It will be observed that the writer takes for granted that we shall acquire Texas, as soon as the American settlers shall have a pretext for revolting from Mexico. At a Congressional election held about this time in the State of Mississippi, the following interrogatories were addressed to certain of the candidates--—" Your opinion of the acquisition of Texas, and how-whether by force or treaty; and whether the law*
• Passed by Mexico in 1830, and repealed in 1883
preventing the emigration of Americans is not evidence of apprehension that that province wishes to secede from the Mexican Government, and whether, if requested, we ought to give the seceders military assistance ; and what would be the effect of the acquisition of Texas upon the planting interest ?"
“ The South,” said the Mobile Advertiser at this time, " wish to bave Texas admitted into the Union for two reasons; first, to eqnalize the South with the North ; and secondly, as a convenient and safe place calculated from its peculiarly good soil and salubrious climate, for a slave population.” The same year, Mr. Samuel Houston of Tennessee, disclosed to a friend (Robert Mayo, M.D.), who communicated the intelligence to the President, that he was organizing an expedition with recruits from the United States, for the purpose of wresting Texas from Mexico; and soon after it was announced in a Louisiana paper, that Houston had gone to Texas, the editor adding, we may expect shortly to hear of his raising his flag."
One mode of effecting a revolution was to enlist the pecuniary interests of as many American citizens as possible in the independence of Texas. Vast grants of land had been made by the State Legislature to a few individuals. These grants were of course worthless till sold out in parcels. Many of the patentees resided in the United States, and joint-stock companies were formed for the sale of these lands. Three of the most notorious of these companies, viz.: “The Galveston Bay and Texas Company,” * The Arkansas and Texas Company,” and “The Rio Grande Company," were established in New York. Care was taken to enlist prominent politicians in these companies; and great efforts were made to distribute the scrip, or certificates of partial purchases, as widely as possible. This scrip was of little value while Texas continued under the government of Mexico, but in case of independence followed by annexation might prove a fortunc to the holder. In this manner, a powerful pecuniary interest was excited in the free States in behalf of Texas. *
The plans of the conspirators in Texas were aided in 1832, by the withdrawal of the Mexican troops, in consequence of one of those political revolutions with which the Republic had been frequently afflicted since its independ
In this state of things, fresh emigrants found no difficulty in entering the territory with their slaves. The colonists, however, experienced an obstacle to their views in their union with Coahuila, in as much as their representatives were in a minority in the joint Legislature. The first step, therefore, to independence, was the dissolution of the connection between the two provinces. For this purpose, the colonists in 1833 organized themselves into a distinct and separate State. This organization was in direct and palpable violation of existing laws. The Mexican Congress refused to recognize the separate State of Texas. A small body of troops was sent into the insurgent territority, and driven out. The standard of re. bellion was raised. Texan agents traversed the United States, addressing public meetings, enlisting troops, and despatching military supplies to the revolted province. On the 2d March, 1836, the insurgents issued their declaration of independence, and fifteen days after adopted a Constitution establishing PERPETUAL SLAVERY.
* After the Texan revolution, an alderman of the New York Corporation introduced a resolution, overflowing with patriotism, and calling upon Congress to acknowledge the independence of Texas. The surprise occasioned by this extraordinary attempt in a civic body to influence the foreign relations of the national government, was dissipated by the discovery, that the mover of the resolution was secretary to one of the Texan land companies
t of the fifty-seven signers to this declaration, fifty were emi. grants from the slave States, and only three Mexicans by birth, and these, it is said, largely interested in Texan land specu. Jations.