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

Page 4

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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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