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introduction of slaves under peonage contracts which left their condition practically unchanged. Guerrero's decree and the exception of Texas have already been noted.1 Taking all this together, it appears that slavery had not been abolished in Texas, but that its gradual extinction had been provided for; that slaves were not to be introduced as such; and that in Austin's colony—the only one that was controlled by the law of January 4, 1823 —they were not to be bought and sold. The constitution of the republic of Texas annulled all this ameliorative legislation and provided for the permanence of slavery, but did not establish it.
There is a prevalent and persistent misinterpretation of American history which sees in the colonization of Texas and the resulting revolution and annexation a deliberate plan to extend the slaveholding area. The whole southwestward movement, and especially the latter phases of it, have been charged to "conspiracy." 2 This charge turns partly upon the meaning of words. In the crisis of the contest over slavery, as in any great conflict relative to the rights of man, it may be difficult to draw the line between conspiracy and confidential political planning; the color of the term "conspiracy" is derived from evil intention. To those who credit the southern leaders during the period from 1830 to i860 with sincere belief in the righteousness of slavery they will not be conspirators; to those who do not concede them such sincerity the charge will seem just. The fact, however, which makes the "conspiracy" theory completely illogical is that the political leaders in the slave states were not united in support of the southwestward movement, nor those in the free states against it. The truth is that the interests of slavery and of southwestward expansion were never fully identified.1 The "conspiracy" accusation can be best seen in its proper light by a study of the beginnings of the movement into Texas, which entirely disprove the idea that the colonists who followed Austin, De Witt, and others to Texas, or that even the empresarios themselves, went thither to establish slavery in that country, or that the Texas revolution was brought about primarily by influences working from the United States. The motives of Austin, who was the main agent in the colonizing work, are easily to be ascertained from the mass of documents he left;2 he did not concern himself about slavery in his enterprise one way or the other; he opposed the Mexican legislation adverse to slavery—unforeseen when the colony was planned —only because he was afraid it would retard the growth of his settlements. The suggestion of a separation from Mexico he repudiated even during his imprisonment by the Mexican government in 1834 j1 and it was only after the war of the Texas revolution had been nearly three months in progress that he consented to the declaration of inde'pendence for Texas. Personally, as might have been expected from his antecedents, he was at first opposed to slavery, and he did not change his views till the eve of the revolution. In the face of all this, it is idle to say that he was moved by any desire for the expansion of slavery; and, as to his colonists, the possibility of their having been agents, conscious or unconscious, in carrying out any plan to that end is wholly unsupported by the facts.2
1 On the general subject, seeBugbee, "Slavery in Early Texas," in Pol. Sci. Quarterly, XIII., 389-412, 648-668; Gammel, Laws of Texas, I., 30, 213, 424; Dublin y Lozano, Legislacion Mexicana, I., 710.
1 Jay, Review of the Causes and Consequences of the Mexican War, 10, 11, 18; Schouler, United States, IV., 250; Mayo, Political Sketches of Eight Years in Washington, 117-178. For a most extravagant form of this idea, see Adams, Memoirs, XI.,
1 See below, pp. i3o, 137,153, 301. Cf. Bourne, in Am. Hist. Review, V., 496. 'See, 0. g„ his statement printed in Gammel, Laws of Texas,
I.. 4, 5.
Nor was the Texas revolution due to a conspiracy of the slave-holders in the United States. That element, while by no means uniformly favoring the movement, undoubtedly sympathized with it on the whole and did much to aid it, but did not bring it on. It was due not to Sam Houston nor to Andrew Jackson nor to the slave-holders, but was itself an "irrepressible conflict" between two incompatible varieties of civilization, and its nature was in no way changed by its effect upon the larger conflict of a similar kind then going on in the United States. The contemporaneous documents explain it well, and he who takes the trouble to read them will find no room for the theory of a conspiracy.1
lSee Austin's "Prison Journal" (Tex. State Hist. Assoc, Quarterly, II., 183-210), entries for February 20, 22.
'Bugbee, in Pol. Sci. Quarterly, XIII., 665; Barker, in Tex. State Hist. Assoc., Quarterly, II., 319; Von Hoist, United States, II., 553, is difficult to reconcile with what he says concerning Long's expedition, ibid., 551. See also the Nation, LXXVII.,
After the revolution of 1836 Texas remained an independent sovereignty until annexed by the United States in 1845. Mexico refused to acknowledge the independence of the lost province, but made no serious effort to reconquer it. The conflict between them could no longer be properly called a war, but degenerated into a series of petty raids which served only to keep up the mutual irritation. The failure of its effort to secure annexation by the United States left Texas to provide for itself; and during the administration of President Lamar, 1838-1841, its affairs reached their lowest ebb. Without money or credit, and with practically no resources except its public lands, annoyed by Indian depredations, and threatened with invasion by Mexico, the young republic looked as if it could not stand alone much longer, but must seek the help of some great power to bear its burdens and give protection. There was never any real danger of its reconquest by Mexico; for its men were fighters who could at least defend their homes; and there were many more of them than when they had beaten the Mexicans so thoroughly in 1836. Best of all, there was in the Texans, in spite of their poverty and uninviting prospects, an indomitable spirit of self-reliance and aspiration. During this period was laid, by legislative enactment, the foundation of the public educational system without which the Texas of to-day would be as though it were not. The country known as Oregon in the forties was called, when it first began to attract the notice of Americans, simply Columbia River. The river itself, which was the most important physical feature of the region, bore on the earlier maps showing it the name "River of the West" in its lower part and "Oregan" in the upper,1 and was christened the Columbia in 1792 by Captain Robert Gray, who entered its mouth with a trading-ship from Boston and named it for his vessel.2 The popularization of the name Oregon must have been due to its occurrence in Bryant's "Thanatopsis "; and the first use of
1 See John Quincy Adams, Speech on the Right of Petition, June 16-July 7, 1838, p. 107. Cf. Von Hoist, United States, II., 554. A series of contemporary documents collected by Eugene C. Barker will be found in Southern Hist. Assoc, Publications* VII.-IX.
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