George W. Terrell to Ashbel Smith, February 13, 1845

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George W. Terrell to Ashbel Smith, February 1845

He then asked me what were the principal commodities

Texas would be able to export provided the tariff duties

upon her products were reduced. I told him that

at present her chief article of export to England would

be cotton — to the West Indies — provided these ports

were opened to us on favorable terms — we could send

large quantities of beef, pork and lumber of various

kinds; and in a very few years we would export

sugar, tobacco and grain in considerable quantities.

His lordship then remarked that in regard to their

West India possessions he presumed there would be little,

if any, difficulty in coming to a satisfactory agreement.

With regard to England there would be more, as by

existing treaties they could not reduce the duties upon

the cotton of Texas without making a corresponding

reduction on that of the U.States; if however Texas

was prepared to grant to England an equivalent — a

quid pro quo — and let into her ports British

manufacturers, at a lower rate of duties, then

perhaps it might be done. That in regard to sugar

he supposed I was aware that they had laid a tariff

of discriminating duties upon that produced by slave

labor and that made by free labor. I told him I

was aware of that fact, but that according to the

provisions of our treaty the products of Texas were to be

admitted into British ports upon the same terms with

those of the most favored nations — which would

place it upon an equality with Venezuela, and enti-

tle us to a heavy discrimination in our favor over

the Brazils, Cuba &c. His lordship said he had not

recollected this feature in the treaty — but readily adm-

ited [sic] it would have that effect. He then repeated

that I could lay the matter before him, when it

suited my convenience — and he would act upon

it in the manner already designated.

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George W. Terrell to Ashbel Smith, February 13, 1845. English Diplomatic Correspondence, Texas Secretary of State records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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