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

Page 6

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Back to exhibit

George W. Terrell to Ashbel Smith, February 1845

was put directly to me on a subject of national


policy, and I was bound to answer it according to


the truth. It is well known to be the settled policy


of the British Govt to wish the abolition of slavery throughout the


civilized world — but she will never attempt any


interference with the domestic institutions of any friendly


power, farther than her advice and counsel will


go. And you may assure your Govt that we


will not bring the subject of slavery into negotiation


at all between the two countries
. We might have


done so with propriety at one time had we wished to


do it; when we recognized your independence we


might have said to you, you must first free all


your slaves and then we will recognize you as an


independent nation — but having recognized you


with this institution in force, we would have no


right now to interfere with the subject, nor do


we intend to do so
.

This I believe was about the substance of the interview


between the Earl and myself. From this and indeed from


all that has transpired since I have been here, I am con-


vinced that the sentiments of the British Cabinet towards


Texas are of a very liberal character, and entertain no


doubt that if annexation do not take place we can


obtain a highly advantageous commercial treaty from


them. You will please therefore forward me definite


instructions as to the specific propositions I shall lay


before the Cabinet. I shall await (as I was directed to do)


instructions from your Dept'mt [department] before I take any further


action on the subject.

I have the honor to be


with very great respect


Your obdt servant


G.W. Terrell

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Back to exhibit

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.

Page last modified: April 5, 2011