New British diplomat arrives in Texas
On this day in 1842, the new British charge d'affaires to Texas arrived at the port of Galveston. He was Charles Elliot, British knight and retired naval officer. After entering the Colonial Service, he had served in Guiana and China. He was censured for not adequately representing British mercantile interests in China during the Opium War. In 1842 he was reassigned to duties in the Republic of Texas. In this post he advocated abolition of slavery, worked for the establishment of free trade, and emphasized the importance of peace with Mexico. He became a personal friend of Sam Houston and Anson Jones, and worked with the British ambassador to Mexico for an armistice between Texas and Mexico in 1843. He was instrumental in negotiating the release of some of the prisoners from the Mier expedition. He opposed Texas annexation by the United States, and when Texans voted for annexation he was recalled. Afterward, Elliot was successively governor of Bermuda, of Trinidad, and of St. Helena. He died in England on September 9, 1875.