The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
SOUTHERN OPPOSITION TO THE ANNEXATION
ELIZABETH HOWARD WEST
Evidence has recently come to light which has a tendency to
dispel the once prevalent impression that the South unanimously
called for the recognition and annexation of Texas "as soon as the
subject was presented." It is possible, even probable, that a
majority of Southerners did favor the annexation of Texas during
the whole period when the matter was under discussion; yet it
is now clear that the demand was not universal.
It has already been pointed out1 that "in his message to the
South Carolina legislature near the end of the year 1836, the
retiring governor, George McDuffie, protested strongly against
any action in behalf of Texas. ."
Indication of widespread opposition is found in a letter of
William H. Wharton, minister of Texas to the United States,
written from Kentucky on December 11, 1836, to Stephen F.
Austin, Texan secretary of state :
In regard to our annexation both friends and foes bit-
terly oppose it. . . . Our friends by which term I mean those
of Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, etc. (for I have seen and
conversed with no others as yet) oppose our annexation, on the
grounds that a brighter destiny awaits Texas. That she would
be more happy and prosperous and glorious as an independent na-
tion than as a portion or tributary of this. That in such a situa-
tion she would soon complain of and be oppressed by high Tariffs
and other Northern measures. That we would be driven to nulli-
fication, secession, etc., and be thus involved in a worse revolution
than we are now engaged in. That we should go on as we have
commenced conquering and to conquer and never pause until we
had annexed all or the best portion of Mexico to Texas, thus es-
tablishing an independent government which would rival this in
extent, resources, and population.
'Garrison, "The First Stage of the Movement for the Annexation of
Texas," in American Historical Reviewo, X, 72-96 (October, 1904). Dr.
Garrison cites as his authority Niles' Register, LI.
2Garrison, Diplomatic Correspondence of the Republic of Texas .,
1, 152, in American Historical Association Report, 1907, II.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/. Accessed March 1, 2015.