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Thu Nov 8, 2018, 05:50 PM

The Plan to Sell Texas to Great Britain, with a hint of treason

In 1843, a New England lawyer almost managed to sell Texas to Great Britain. A convinced abolitionist practicing law in what was then the independent Republic of Texas, Stephen Pearl Andrews got it into his head that, in an attempt to free Texas’s slaves, he would invite a foreign power into North America and hand over a massive chunk of it. Andrews’s attempt to free Texas’s slaves by way of an invitation to foreign interference illustrates the strange bedfellows created by “the slavery question” in the nineteenth century. Andrews, in his quixotic vision, in his idealism, ambition, and occasional crankery, was an exemplary nineteenth-century American figure.

Andrews spent his late teens and early twenties teaching at a girls’ school in New Orleans opened by his brother and sister-in-law, where he was exposed to the reality of slavery. He grew close to a man named George, a slave at the Andrews’s school, who went about his work with a cheerful attitude until, one night, confiding as to the true nature of his condition. George’s reports of his own sorry treatment at the hands of his owners, from the everyday indignities to whippings, left Andrews with “a profound impression… of the tremendous power of that great national machinery of oppression, American Slavery.” That impression never left him.

In 1841, Andrews hatched a plan to make his political and moral beliefs a lived reality: He would convince Great Britain to buy up all the land in Texas on the condition that they free Texas’s slaves. The idea was not as outlandish as it might sound. In 1833, Great Britain had done something similar in abolishing slavery on its plantations in the West Indies. There, slaveholders were paid a total of $20 million sterling in recompense for their lost property, though they retained the land. And Texas had already reached across the Atlantic for economic aid. The South Carolina politician James Hamilton had recently attempted to borrow $5 million from European nations in support of Texas.

By the exchange of British money for Texas land, slaveholders could be reimbursed for the loss of their slaves and slavery could be abolished; [British] emigrants would pour into a ‘free soil territory’ and under the protection of the British flag expediency would be made to serve principle.

Obviously, Andrews failed but fascinating that this "negrophilist" was greeted by several mobs during his campaign from plantation to plantation and public meetings, included one that had a rope ready for the meddler.

More at https://daily.jstor.org/plan-sell-texas-great-britain/?utm_term=The%20Plan%20to%20Sell%20Texas%20to%20Great%20Britain&utm_campaign=jstordaily_11082018&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email

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Reply The Plan to Sell Texas to Great Britain, with a hint of treason (Original post)
Kind of Blue Nov 2018 OP
JustAnotherGen Nov 2018 #1
Kind of Blue Nov 2018 #2

Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2018, 06:49 AM

1. Kicking this up

There are angels among us now - there were angels among us then.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2018, 09:22 AM

2. Thank you, JAG!

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