Origins of Slavery in Texas

     Eugene Barker was chairman of the University of Texas Department of History from 1910 to 1925 and was among the first three professors chosen for the university’s distinguished professors honor in 1937. A native of Riverside, Walker County, Texas, he was also managing editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and director of the Texas State Historical Association from 1910 until 1937. The University of Texas named the Barker Texas History Center (dedicated in 1950) for him, marking the first time that such an honor had been accorded a living member of the faculty.
     For the July 1902 edition of the
Quarterly, professor Barker wrote a piece about "The African Slave Trade In Texas." Here's an excerpt:

"Indeed, under some name, negro slavery, it may be said, was absolutely essential to the development of Texas. The land was a wilderness upon which single laborers could make but hopelessly little impression, and free labor was not available, even had the colonists possessed the money to pay for it. Moreover, the most fertile soil lay in the bottoms of the Brazos, Colorado, and Trinity—where, to this day, the virulent malaria necessitates almost exclusive use of negro labor—and thus another argument, if such were needed, was furnished for the use of slaves. Even such men as Stephen F. Austin, who were personally opposed to the institution, recognized and bowed to the necessity."

 

 

Further reading about slavery in Texas:

Texas  Slave Codes
Texas Slavery Project
Runaway Slaves
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Slave Narratives
Slavery In Texas (for 7th grade history teachers)
About Slave Owners In Texas
Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas
On Texas Time