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[237] his entire official life. On the 25th of November, he wrote to the President of the United States, recalling to his mind an interview he had with him, when in Washington a few weeks before, in which he had advocated the policy of an exchange of prisoners. No action having been taken by the Government on the question, he wrote about it to the President. He was confident of the justice and expediency of making an exchange: it would be both convenient and humane. The letter concludes, ‘I earnestly hope that immediate measures may be taken to effect exchanges, and that the hearts of the people may not be sickened by hope deferred.’

About this time, a private conference was held in this city, by some of our most practical, experienced, and influential business men, favoring an armed expedition to Texas. The Governor entered warmly into the scheme, and, on the 27th of November, wrote to Captain G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, calling his attention to the subject, and drawing an outline of the objects to be gained. A demonstration was to be made on the coast of Texas. The force, when landed, was to proclaim martial law, and, when the proper time arrived, to free all the slaves, ‘compensating loyal owners if necessary.’ The results would be, first, we flank the entire rebellion; second, we open a way for cotton; third, we cut off future annexations in the interests of rebels, and demonstrate to foreign nations that this war is to stop the spread of slavery; fourth, it would prevent loyal men from leaving Texas, and would encourage foreign emigration, and would demonstrate that cotton can be raised without slaves; finally, it would ‘leave the question of slavery in the cotton States for philosophical treatment, unless it becomes necessary to settle it under the war power before the present war is ended.’ The letter concludes as follows:—

These points are urged, not in the interests of abolitionists, but by leading commercial men and capitalists, as fairly coming under the necessities and rules of war. Martial law proclaimed, events will no doubt educate the people and the next Congress to a wise solution of all the questions which may afterwards arise in connection with slaves and slavery, in an exceptional State or dependency like Texas.

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