Texas Involvement in Slavery

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One of the most unique

situations during the period of the Civil War in America was

the involvement of the state of Texas in the Confederacy.

Although it was once its own Republic separate from the

United States of America through annexation, Texas was not

entirely unique when it came to the institution of slavery. Just

like in all other southern states, slavery, and the use of slave

labor, was a major factor of the states agricultural economy.

During the years around and through the Civil War, Texas

became a home for many transient southerners in search of

sanctuary from the almost enviable furthering of

emancipation. Long before the war, Texas had been the

stomping ground for runaway slaves enroute to Mexico and

in search of freedom. The state of Texas was not only one of

the new frontier territories toward the west but it became

one of the final places in America were slavery was

practiced. Because of its geography much of Texas

remained untouched and unsettled. Many adventurous

plantation owners felt it necessary to keep news of the war

and emancipation from their slaves as much as a year after

the end of the war.(Campbell 249) The topic I have chosen

for my research to discuss the history of slavery in Texas

during the years of the Civil War. How the institution was

altered because of the Civil War and the process by which

emancipation was handed to black -Texans is the focus of

my report. I would like to uncover how and why slave labor

was used to both protect the state, the Confederacy and the

institution that held the future of the American Negro forever.

Well before the beginning of the Civil War, Texas and some

of its surrounding territories were property of Spain just like

its southern neighbor, Mexico. Soon after realizing their

particular suppression by Spain, Mexico fought for, and won

its independence from its mother country. Mexico now had

control of their country and the territory of Texas. As more

Americans moved west and into Texas it became evident

that there was going to be a continued clash between

Mexico and the white frontiersmen who quickly flooded

certain areas. The American government wanted to purchase

this valuable land but eventually it was taken by American

frontiersmen where it was declared its own realm. Fearful of

the loss of power if allowed into the Union, Texas expressed

in 1836 the right to join the Union under the condition that

Texas would have " free and unmolested authority over their

slave population"( Goodell P.278) Unable to come to an

agreement with the rest of the United States, Texas became

recognized as independent from the United States of

America. Although it was separate from the rest of the

United States politically, Texas was becoming more and

more similar to the rest of the South as Northerners moved

into the state and brought their position of anti-slavery with

them. Worried about the future of slavery in Texas, many

slave owners petitioned the immigration of Northerners and

expressed concern that the state might be overrun by pro-

abolitionists. Texas had a history richly imbedded in slavery

and there was little opposition from many of its original

inhabitants. Before long, continued tension between the

Northern states and the slave states began to strengthen as

more people in the North began to desire that the entire

country move towards complete emancipation. Many

citizens and leaders in Texas approached the legislature in

Texas to provide reasoning as to why Texas should continue

to be a slave state. Many of these Texans quoted the bible

as a reference and reasoning as to why it was "right" that

they continue to use "heathen" and "inferior" blacks as labor

for the superior "white dominant" masters. Like all whites in

the South many in Texas feared slave uprisings and...
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