Ashbel Smith to Isaac Van Zandt, January 25, 1843

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Ashbel Smith to Isaac Van Zandt, January 1843

abolition of Slavery in Texas. They propose


to accomplish this end by friendly negotiation


and by the concession of what will be deemed


equivalents[.] I believe the equivalents contem-


plated are a guarantee by Great Britain of the


Independence of Texas—disseminating duties


in favor of Texian products and perhaps the


negotiation of a loan, or some means by which


the finances of Texas can be readjusted. They


estimate the number of Slaves in Texas at 12,000


and would consider the payment for them


in full, as a small sum for the advantages


they anticipate from the establishment of a free


State on the Southern borders of the Slave holding


States of the American Union.

In July last in London, two matters were


submitted to me in conversation by a person


then and now having relations with the British


Govt. One was whether the people of Texas would


listen to and consider a proposition from


the English Government to abolish Slavery


in considerations of commissions and equivalent


advantages to be offered by that Govt[.] The second


matter was, whether Texas would not be induced


to divide itself into two states, one slave holding


the other nonslaveholding. It was argued that


but few Slaves would probably be introduced into


Western Texas by reason of its proximity to Mexico,


and that therefore it would be conceding but


little to establish “a free state” on the frontier

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Ashbel Smith to Isaac Van Zandt, January 25, 1843. English Diplomatic Correspondence, Texas Secretary of State records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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