Excerpt from Slavery in Early Texas, Vol. 2
So ends the first chapter of the history of this institution in Texas. It was settled beyond controversy, by the constitution of 18 36, that Texas should remain open to slavery.
There is little evidence of the existence in ... Texas of any form of the slave trade during the period covered by this paper. No complaint was made by Almonte of the violation of the law of July 13, 1824, and none was mentioned by Alaman as having been made by Teran. Austin's private papers, so far as I know, reveal but one instance. On the occasion of his settle ment with the heirs of Joseph H. Hawkins, his partner in the first colony, Austin presented a statement to their agent, in which he expressly disclaimed all responsibility for the loss of a vast sum in the negro speculation of which John Botts had the management, and definitely asserted that it had nothing to do with the colony.1 It seems that Botts had brought thirty or forty slaves to Texas in 1822 or 182 3, at least some of whom were the property of Hawkins, and after disposing of them had declined to render an account to the heirs.2 These are the only references that I have seen to any kind of specula tion or trade in negroes prior to 1830.
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