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am told a great many are introduced there and held without that formality.  There is a general desire to hold slaves, and it is permitted by common consent, no one being willing to prosecute for the violation of the law.  It is the opinion of all the Texanos with whom I have conversed on the subject that the new government of Texas must sanction the holding of slaves as property.[23]

In Mexico, persons becoming debtors and unable to pay are held to service until the debt be paid, at wages prescribed by law.  They are,

for a married man, $6 per month.
A single, man, 4 per month.
Boys 10 to 14, 2 per month.
Boys 14 to 21, or marriage, 3 per month.

Females get $1 per month less in each class.  These prices are evidently insufficient for the support of the person; and thus, when one becomes bound to service for debt, he is a hopeless slave for life, as the debt will continually increase.  Thus many families become enslaved, and are held by the large proprietors as part of their estate.  They are generally bought and sold with the land, sometimes sold individually, by the debtor procuring some one to pay his debt.  He then changes masters and serves him who paid for him.  Some estates in Mexico are said to have several thousand of these debtor slaves on them, and instead of dying in despair or repining at their lot, they are said to be submissive and content, and much attached to their masters.  The practice has obtained but little in Texas.[24]

A heavy fall of rain and a severe thunder storm occurred in the night.  Equal to the storms in Virginia in July and August.

On going to bed at 12 o'clock found on my bed a packet, which had been forwarded from Vicksburg, containing two letters from my wife and one from my daughter.  The latter and one from Mrs. Gray were dated November 8.  They had been sent per Jere Morton, by him carried to Mobile, and then brought back here.  Sent by Hudgins to Vicksburg, who went up the river as I came down, and now returned by him.  The other was dated December 7, 1835.

Wednesday, January 6, 1836

Fine, clear day, but muddy streets.  It is now cool and most delightfully pleasant.  Not cool enough to make a greatcoat or fire necessary. 

The meeting of the friends of Texas took place at 7 o'clock p.m. in the large bar room at the City Hotel.  The room was as full as it could hold, but the wealth and respectability of the city was not there.  A large portion of the meeting consisted of the lodgers in the hotel.  Chairman, Mr. Christy;[25]  secretary, J. H. Caldwell.[26]

The Commissioners from Texas, Messrs. Archer, Wharton and Austin, were


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas