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An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865 Paperback – October 1, 1991


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An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865 + Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands + Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821-1861
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Product Details

  • Series: Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Pr (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807117234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807117231
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In the popular mind, Texas conjures up images of the Old West and freedom of the range. Campbell reminds us that Texas grew from Southern roots entangled in human bondage. By the Civil War, Texas had a slave area equal to Alabama and Mississippi and a slave population comparable to Virginia. In the first comprehensive study of slavery in Texas, Campbell offers useful chapters on the law, the domestic slave trade, Indian relations, labor, family, religion, and more, but his book is especially welcome because it pulls the focus on bondage away from the Chesapeake and the Carolinas to show slavery's expansive and adaptive power in the developing West. Slavery knew no bounds, as Lincoln always understood. Recommended for college and university libraries.
- Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Mexico lost Texas by vacillating over slavery."
"Texans revolted against Mexican rule in order to protect slavery."

Both of these inflammatory simplifications were advanced by contemporary writers in Spanish and English, according to Randolph Campbell, the author of this excellent state history. Campbell is never guilty of oversimplification, though he is to be commended for keeping his scholarly language simple enough for non-professional historians.

It's true, as Campbell demonstrates amply, that Mexico vacillated in extending its abolition of slavery to include Texas. Mexico had freed its small population of slaves immediately after independence, but in the 1820s, when Americans began to move into Texas with slaves, Mexico's oft-changing governments were both unable and unwilling to take effective action. But did Mexico lose Texas, or did the American Texans ever truly intend any loyalty to Mexico? Campbell is careful to give thoughtful consideration to both hypotheses.

Certainly Mexico's too-late attempts to restrict American immigration, with or without slaves, and to impose effective customs and duties were the immediate precipitants of the Texan rebellion. But Campbell makes it very clear that the slave-holding leaders of the Anglo-Texans regarded the security of their slave ownership as the highest priority in their relationships with Mexico. Once Texas gained its independence, the passage of a constitution that established slavery as a permanent and privileged institution, and the immediate efforts to recruit slave-owning settlers from the American South, clearly expose the underlying motivations of their betrayal of their hosts.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Gray on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Professor Campbell brings to light the institution of slavery of slavery in antebellum Texas. Many Texans have no idea of the significant role that slavery played in its beginnings as a nation and a state. Campbell uses hard evidence to support his work (newspapers, census, private letters, first hand accounts, etc.).
This work goes into detail about the lives and dealings (literally) of slaves. Several anecdotal instances are given for just about every aspect of slave life. Texas slavery also reflects the slavery practices of other southern US states, so this is handy to have for a study of American slavery in general.
Professor Campbell's book is indeed steeped in historical scholarship, but it is nevertheless pleasant to read and easily understood. I highly recommend this book for students(or those interested in) Texas history, the American Antebellum South, or slavery in 19th century America.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rick Ford on July 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be everything I expected it to be. While doing the research for slavery reconciliation legislation in Texas, I was repeatedly pointed to Professor Campbell and this work for an accurate depiction of slavery in Texas. Because Texas history is glazed with legendary figures and romantic western lore, its complicity in protecting slavery has been quieted. This work is greatly needed so that we will not forget the truth of our past.
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