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    Mexican border disputes regarding runaway slaves

    [Slavery]. Ramon Musquiz Autograph Letter to Santiago Vidaurri. Eight integral pages, 6.5" x 8.75", in Spanish, September 3, 1855. Musquiz writes regarding a confrontation over runaway slaves on the border with Texas. He says, in part and in translation:

    "I just returned from the border where I learned that Mr. Lanberg...brought a small force gathered at the expense of four property owners to whom he offered to return the negroes they say we have down here, and as the Mexicans do not admit foreigners, they stayed on the other side, I think with some hope...they wanted to kill him because he had not kept his promise to them, but they had sent word that they would return in three or four weeks with a force of 800 men, and then they would make him pay for his unreliability....even though the foreigners are braggarts and can be run off...the major part of the Negros are at this point and we would be those who feel the brunt of it."

    Mexico had outlawed slavery in 1829 and slaves in Texas who escaped the plantations would head south to the border where they could attain instant freedom. Mexico consistently refused to sign treaties regarding the return of fugitive slaves to the U. S. and, in fact, embraced runaways, believing it weakened the U.S. economy. Despite the passing of several resolutions forbidding Tejanos from interacting with the local enslaved population, Hispanic Texans ran a southern version of the Underground Railroad with routes leading throughout Texas to liberty in Mexico.

    In 1828, Ramon Musquiz was appointed political chief of the Department of Texas by the governor of Coahuila y Tejas and served until 1834. He was favorable to the many U.S. citizens immigrating into Texas by helping them keep their slaves and by protecting them against hostile Indians. Despite his friendliness to Texas, his loyalties remained with Mexico and he assisted with the negotiations between the Mexican Army and the Texian Army in San Antonio. Present at the Alamo, he helped identify the Texas dead.

    The right and lower edges are chipped, with minor loss of text in places; text is bold and easily legible.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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