Part 5, Note 6
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Galveston Tri-Weekly News, September 4, 1856, September 6, 1856,
September 11, 1856. The idea that Mexicans had instigated the rebellion may have
been induced by an incident that occurred in Fayette County some six years
earlier. In the fall of 1850, three Fayette County slaves were accused of
conspiring to steal horses and escape to Mexico. One of the three, whose name is
given as Talbot, had escaped some years earlier and lived in Mexico for about
two years, then, in April 1850, voluntarily returned to servitude in Texas.
Certainly Fayette County's slaveowners, and those in Colorado County, quickly
deduced that Talbot's sojourn in Mexico had given him "ideas," that those ideas
were dangerous to their interests, and that his presence in the community was a
contaminant (see Texas Monument, October 16, 1850). As they no doubt saw
it, their slaves had little reason to be unhappy with their lot in life, and
would not have considered rebellion without some pernicious outside influence.
(The Texas Monument of February 26, 1851 quotes a report from a
publication identified as the Western Texan that an incident very similar
to that that occurred in La Grange, occurred in Columbus. We must regard this as
false. Probably, the Western Texan had its cities confused.)
The citizens of Washington County, having read about the plot in Colorado County, were soon convinced that their own slaves had similar designs. In September, they met in Washington, read a few letters from their fellow slaveholders in Colorado County, and agreed to impose stricter limitations on the movements of their slaves (see Washington American, September 10, 1856, September 24, 1856).