Black Designs on the Republic of Texas
The Politics of Disruption
240. [TEXAS ANNEXATION]. JOLLIVET, [Thomas-Marie-Adolphe]. Documents Américains, Annexion du Texas, Émancipation des Noirs, Politique de l’Angleterre, par M. Jollivet, Membre de la Chambre des Députés. Paris: de l’Imprimerie de Bruneau, Rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs, 33, 1845. 40 pp. 8vo (21 cm), original grey printed paper wrappers, title within typographical border, lower wrapper plain except for type ornaments, bound in modern burgundy paper boards, gilt-lettered spine label. Other than a bit of light staining to blank margins of lower wrap and last few leaves, fine.
First edition. Harper 172:331. Howes J178. Rader 2108. Raines, p. 128. Sabin 36415. Streeter 1588: “As it gradually became known in French political circles that Guizot was planning unstinted support for England’s policy ‘to uphold the Independence of Texas against the encroachments of the United States, even at the risk of a collision with that Power’ (Quotation in Smith’s Annexation of Texas, p. 394, from instructions to the British representative in Mexico in December, 1844), there was great outcry in French political circles.... The article on Jollivet in Larousse’s Grand Dictionnaire Universel refers to him as a publicist and ‘famous Negro phobe’ and cites various of his writings.”
This is the first blast in a triple salvo that this prominent French agitator fired against abolitionists in England in 1845 (see Streeter 1588A, 1588B). This pamphlet prints three separate documents. The first document, from John C. Calhoun to William Rufus De Vane King, U.S. minister to France, recounts Calhoun’s belief that England’s abolitionist policies are based on her desires to break up the U.S. and to ensure her commercial dominance in the trade of such commodities as sugar, coffee, and cotton. Calhoun points out that since England no longer uses slaves, her relative output compared to other countries that do use them is fairly small. In this scheme, the Republic of Texas, because it is a slave-holding country, is anathema to British interests. The second item in this pamphlet is a letter from South Carolina governor J. L. Hammond to Reverend Thomas Brown of Glasgow, in which Hammond refutes an abolitionist letter sent to him by Brown’s congregation. In it, Hammond argues that Brown has no understanding of slavery and that, in fact, slaves in his state are better off than the average English farm worker. The third piece is an address by Henry Clay made on February 7, 1839, in which he predicts that the slavery question could indeed divide the country but that the continuation of slavery is the only way to ensure the country’s survival.
Jollivet (1799-1848), an influential French politician of the time involved in colonial policy and anti-abolition efforts, was caricatured in an 1833 lithograph by the great French satirical master, Honoré Daumier. King, the U.S. minister to France mentioned above, was instrumental in convincing the French government not to interfere with the annexation of Texas. ($500-1,000)
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