The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XXV JULY, 1921 No. 1
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY
THE ANNEXATION OF TEXAS AND THE MISSISSIPPI
DEMOCRATS'
JAMES E. WINSTON
The shelving of Van Buren at the Baltimore convention in 1844
and the selection of Polk as the leader of the party committed
to the immediate annexation of Texas was, as is well known, pri-
marily the work of a group of Mississippi politicians led by Robert
J. Walker. The action of these delegates in thus violating their
instructions, on the whole, met with the full approval of their con-
stituents.2 With truth Walker has been styled "the architect of
1The writer desires to acknowledge his obligation to the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History, where most of the material upon
which this paper is based was obtained. The admirable organization of
this valuable collection, and the never failing courtesy of the Director,
Dr. Dunbar Rowland, combine to render the student's task an unusually
pleasant one.
2By both the Democratic and the Whig journals within the state the
nomination of the ex-president was confidently expected, though a lead-
ing Whig organ declared the leaders of his party had been looking for
an excuse for three years to drop Van Buren. By some the defeat of
Governor Runnels as far back as 1835 was cited as evidence of "how
heavy a weight Van Burenism is for a candidate in Mississippi." At the
Democratic state convention held in Jackson on January 8, Van Buren's
only competitor for the leading place on the ticket was John C. Calhoun,
who received only one-third as many votes as his competitor. The nomi-
nation of Van Buren was made unanimous and to Polk fell the second
place on the ticket, an honor which had been accorded him four years
before. It is true the more radical Democratic organs threatened to bolt
the ticket in the event of Van Buren's nomination, but this was solely
on account of his opposition to immediate annexation; the more conserva-
tive journals, while regretting his attitude upon annexation, urged the
party leaders to stand by the nominees of the national convention. "The
South must not alienate the Democracy of the North." It should be
noted that the odium which Van Buren is said to have incurred in the
South is reflected, so far as Mississippi is concerned, only in the prints

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/. Accessed September 2, 2014.