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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