- Dec 2011
Early TX history has some other unfortunate ties to slavery. The famous pirate Jean Lafitte and his brother operated an illegal slave trade along the upper gulf coast. As importing slaves to the US had become illegal, they developed a system of landing in Galveston Bay before later sale to owners in Louisiana and Mississippi. While commonly referred to as a Pirate, Jean Lafitte did not really do much of that high seas robbery stuff. He was mostly an onshore slave trader.Slavery was generally profitable in moist and wet East Texas and not so much in the rest of Texas. Southern planters were interested in East Texas lands. The problem for Mexico and for the Spaniards before them, was that very few Mexicans were interested in settling in Texas. The Comanche were potent, marauding natives who were quite successful in fending off settlers. They roamed far south and deeply into Mexico. The Mexican government wanted the Americans to settle the land and to serve as buffers between themselves the Comanche and Apaches. This was only partially successful.
Texas, at the time of the Texas Revolution was mostly empty. I doubt there were more than 40-50,000 people in the whole area of Texas at the time, which, if you understand the geography of the place, was like a drop n the ocean.
San Antonio, where the Alamo is located in the heart of downtown, was the only real city in Texas at the same. The remaining settlements were just tiny by comparison. San Antonio is where six outstanding Spanish Colonial Missions are located. Some of these missions were originally located on the banks of the Mississippi to keep the French out, but they were difficult to sustain and eventually pulled back to San Antonio.
The Mexican government turned the other cheek towards settlers who brought slaves with them, and turned the other cheek when it came to the settlers' de facto refusal to convert to Catholicism. Culturally, the American settlers were not on the same page as either the Spanish or the Mexicans and eventually this fact made the Mexicans nervous. They had reason to be.
Yes, slavery was mostly an east TX thing. Primarily because settlers from the US were mostly an east TX thing. It is correct to point out that the settlement line for settlers from the US was not really further than Temple or Waco and then down the Brazos. There were a few 'Coloradoans' but they were really stretched thin.
During the Mexican rule, slavery in TX was a legal sham. Something about signing a lifetime contract in lieu of being owned.