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Sustained transmission with high likelihood or confirmed exposure within communal settings and potential for rapid increase in cases. Emergency Notifications. Cardinal Flight Plan. Resources for learning online here. Illness Reporting Form. The events of and kept the citizens of San Antonio in a perpetual state of alert.

Three of those events, John Brown's raid, the Texas troubles, and the election, centered on slavery; the two former had no existence without slavery and the latter's importance would have been vastly different without the institution. Thus, much of what afflicted the city was bound up with the institution of slavery; therefore, a look at the institution in San Antonio is necessary.

Because San Antonio was a city in a southern state, becoming American in San Antonio included embracing that most distinctive of all southern institutions, slavery. But as San Antonio was unique as an American city, it was also unique as a southern one, and the institution of slavery in San Antonio would be stamped with the uniqueness of the city.

But why would an institution that was neither numerically large nor economically ificant be important in San Antonio? Those who owned the slaves were the part of the answer. Slaveholders, though a small minority in San Antonio, were generally wealthy and powerful people; thus their ideas concerning slavery carried much weight in the city. Slaveholders in San Antonio were far wealthier than their non-slaveholding neighbors.

So while slavery was of little economic importance in the city, those who owned slaves in the city had great economic importance. Another important aspect of slavery in San Antonio though difficult to prove was that immigrants from the free states were listed among the slaveholders, and by becoming slaveholders they admitted that the South, in its most controversial difference with the North, was correct.

While it was true that not many non-southern natives owned slaves, the percentage of non-southern he of household who owned slaves was slightly greater in San Antonio than the percentage of southern he of household who owned slaves, and the percentage grew during the 's.

Non-southerners in comprised Initially the Herald proclaimed the impossibility of Yankees becoming southerners. It is useless to say that Northern men become Southernized after their removal. It is impossible for them to feel as we do. They are not to the manor born. They cannot feel hostile to their old homes, to their relatives and friends. They must always be strangers to that sectional, Southern love and enthusiasm which would constitute the all important element in the great crises.

However, the writer left the door open by admitting that there were "some worthy exceptions to these rules. French, who later become mayor and was a Yankee immigrant, remarked that most northerners were ignorant about life in the South. The editor of the Herald agreed and believed that if Yankees ever came to Texas they would never leave. If they would come among our people and see the freedom of thought and action, the general intelligence and thrift characteristic of our giant young State, the scales would fall from their eyes, and they would bid adieu forever to the land of flint rocks, freezing winds, and "free negroes" and end their days among the beautiful savannas of Texas.

In another article the Herald writer noted that "the great majority of Northern men who have come among us, and have made the South their permanent home, have become the advocates of slave labor, and many of them among the largest slave holders. It was not a far stretch, then, to assume that since the South was correct concerning the greatest difference between the sections--as proved by Yankee slaveholders--it was also correct in all other differences between the sections.

Though not noted with the same interest, immigrants of foreign nativity were also numerous among the slaveholders. Among those groups most associated with animosity to slavery, the Hispanics and the Germans, six slaveholders from each were found in the census. Included among the German slaveholders was state senator Gustav Schleicher. Further proof of slavery's importance was the inordinate amount of time and effort given to slavery by the city government.

Beginning in and continuing to numerous slave codes were enacted to control the city's few slaves. The first city ordinance aimed at the slaves actually placed few restricts on them; it was merely a curfew, which could be obviated if the slave had a pass from the master. To insure that slaves were not caught unaware, a warning bell was rung fifteen minutes prior to the curfew bell--the fifteen minutes was no great imposition since there was nowhere in San Antonio that one could not reach from any other point in San Antonio within fifteen minutes.

Slaves caught outside after curfew were to be kept "in the calaboose" until their master paid a five dollar fine. If the fine were not paid, the slave would be worked by the city as payment. The clause was not stringent, especially since a slave need not obey it if the master allowed an exception.

This ordinance was followed a few months later by an ordinance that defined "home. However, even this restriction allowed the slave to sleep outside the home if the slave's master provided a pass for the slave deating the place and duration of residence away from home. The punishment for violating the first part of the code was a fine of five dollars to be paid by the master, or the slave would pay for the punishment by being whipped. The second section of the ordinance prohibited, without exception, the right of a slave to rent his own place. The third section of the ordinance prohibited slaves and free blacks from opening an eating or rooming establishment unless given express consent to do so by the city council, an unlikely event.

Violations of this section of the ordinance were punishable by a ten dollar fine to be paid by the master of the slave. No further slave ordinances were passed for more than a year, when the city added three further restrictions to the lives of the slaves. No one was allowed to sell them liquor, they were not allowed to sell anything, and they could not carry weapons in town--all with the exception that these things could be done with permission from the master.

Punishment for violations was a fine of five to twenty dollars for anyone selling liquor to the slave, a fine of five to twenty-five dollars for buying from the slave, and a fine of from one to ten dollars levied against the master of the slave carrying a weapon without permission or a thirty day incarceration for the slave. The relatively mild slave codes--codes that largely left control of the slave up to the master--were made more severe and allowed less leeway for masters following the Texas troubles.

The new slave ordinance lengthened the of hours in which slaves had to be off the city's streets. The curfew from April to October now began at p. If the owner refused to pay the fine, the slave was to receive up to twenty lashes with a whip or to provide labor for the city for up to five days. If the master arrived and wanted the slave whipped, the fine was dropped but the master had to pay one dollar for the whipping.

The only exception was that a slave could be out during the hours of curfew if he had a pass from the master. Unlike the ordinance, however, the pass was only good for one day and had to state the purpose of the slave's outing. The lives of the slaves of San Antonio, never one of freedom of course, were more severely restricted in other ways as well.

Slaves could not live separately from their masters and no provision was made for the owner to give his consent for such activity. Nor could a slave visit or even "hang around" a liquor selling business. Other provisions were focused on the master, though the slave might still bear the punishment. A slave was not allowed to "hire his or her time, or to go at large and trade as a free person. Although a slave could not hire himself out, a slave could be employed by other than his master but only with the written permission of the master, and the permit was valid for no more than a week.

Those wanting to employ a slave had to do so directly from the master or from an agent, but if from an agent permission in writing from the master had to be obtained. ly there had been no restrictions on slaves assembling, but by the new ordinance no more than five slaves could gather, with two exceptions: if the owner allowed the slaves to gather or at worship services. If more than five slaves were gathered, except at worship services, an owner had to be present.

This was especially true for dances; a master had to be present and had to have written permission to hold the dance from the mayor. Two sections of the ordinance were aimed at slaves and free Negroes. No one from either group could keep a weapon; nor could he play cards. One section of the ordinance remained the same as the ones--the city would provide the service of administering a whipping that consisted of up to thirty-nine lashes for only one dollar.

Not only were the slave ordinances made more strict, the city council also established a night watch for the city, and citizens were warned to secure their property at night. A night watch had been established once before in the city--during the political turmoil of the city council established a night watch--but it met with such opposition that it was repealed. The fear of incendiaries, however, insured that there was no such opposition this time.

Two aspects of the stringent revisions stood out. Only two of the eight councilmen owned slaves, and nothing occurred in San Antonio to warrant the new slave codes. No fires were set, no wells poisoned, no secret slave society uncovered, and no abolitionists unearthed. Such action based on so little proof itself proved the importance of slavery to the city leaders.

Slavery was also often a subject of the newspapers of the city; regular reading about slavery made it an important aspect of the lives of the citizens despite the fact that few of them owned slaves. Shortly after the firing on Ft. Sumter the editor of the Ledger and Texan noted that the "question of slavery is the only question between us, all others are incidental and subsidiary It is the negro and the negro alone that underlies our undying hostility. Though each party had the same stand on slavery, each flailed away at the other on the issue. The Democrats accused the Know-Nothings of softness on slavery and the Know-Nothings tried to prove that the Democrats were abolitionists by linking them to the Germans and the Germans to abolitionist Adolf Douai.

Throughout the decade the paper also carried advertisements of owners seeking runaway slaves, and the Texas troubles were also widely carried in the papers. Thus slavery as a topic was seldom long missing from the city press. Another aspect of slavery that enhanced its importance was the opposition to it. The most outspoken opponent of slavery in San Antonio was Douai. His importance was not so much his opposition to slavery but the assumption that he represented many other Germans who, though too afraid to speak openly against slavery, were nevertheless ready if the opportunity arose to aid in a slave escape, a slave revolt, or quietly increase in s until they were powerful enough to establish a free state of Western Texas.

Allied to the Germans in their opposition to slavery was, it was believed, the majority of Hispanic citizens. Though they did nothing overt to help the slaves, they wanted to see slavery end and would support the Germans in establishing a free state with San Antonio as its major city. This belief was enforced by the Hispanics' penchant for displaying no distinction of race. Benjamin Lundy noted this in the s. In speaking to a free black in San Antonio who was a blacksmith, Lundy learned that the Hispanics gave him "the same respect as to other laboring people, there being no difference made here on of color.

He noted that the Hispanics of San Antonio "consort[ed] freely with the negroes, making no distinction from pride of race. The perception of opposition made slavery, and the need to protect it, more important. The final factor that made slavery important in San Antonio was simply the southern mentality that believed slavery was good and that blacks, free or slave, were inferior. The first was shown in the Herald's attitude toward the disposition of Africans aboard the ships of slave runners that were captured by the U.

Though a supporter of the Houston Democrats, and therefore opposed to the reopening of the slave trade, the paper nevertheless disagreed with the government's policy of sending the Africans back to Africa.

The question was not one of economics but of morality. What was best for the Africans? Returned to Africa the slaves would be condemned to a life of subsistence and savagery which when ended would only lead to a worse existence in the fires of Hell. Life in the South, which the Herald thought should be the destination of the captured Africans, would instead provide material well being and civilization which would be followed by the eternal bliss of Heaven for the Christianized slaves.

Why was this course not followed by the Federal Government? Because those in charge of the government were opposed to slavery; but their misguided opposition did not alter the goodness of the institution of slavery. The primary factor that made slavery good was that it gave an inferior race a place in American society. But while slavery was the greatest proof of inferiority, free blacks were also considered inferior.

While free blacks in San Antonio were regulated far less strictly than were the slaves, they were still more circumscribed in their affairs than all other "free" inhabitants of the city.

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