The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 44
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44 The Soutiwestern Historical Quarterly
2. Early Attitude toward the Slavery Controversy
Yet Texas could not escape entirely the great controversy agitat-
ing the Union just before the compromise of 1850. Her representa-
tives in Congress took part in the struggle there, and the people at
home were not entirely silent.
The earliest evidence that I have found in regard to the atti-
tude of Texas toward the situation at that time is a series of reso-
lutions adopted by a county convention which met at Galveston,
January 31, 1848, to select delegates to the state convention,
which was to choose the four Texan delegates to the national
convention at Baltimore.4 These resolutions maintained that any
legislative interference on the part of the federal government with
the domestic policy of the citizens of the United States living in
any of the territories would not be in the true spirit and meaning
of "needful rules and regulations," and hence would be uncon-
stitutional; that all acquired territory belonged to the states of
the Union for their common use and benefit; that until a territory
should be admitted to statehood, the citizens of all the states had
a right to emigrate thither with their property and there enjoy
it; and that it would be inexpedient for the Texas delegates in
the national convention to support any candidate from the non-
slaveholding section of the Union who did not advocate the opin-
ions expressed in these resolutions.5 The convention specifically
endorsed a resolution offered by Senator Dickinson of New York
in December, 1847, favoring expansion, and denying the power
of Congress to impose on any territory required restrictions "in-
consistent with the right of the people thereof to form a free
sovereign state, with the powers and privileges of the original
members of the confederacy;" but it repudiated his second resolu-
tion, that questions of domestic policy should be left to the terri-
torial legislatures." The discussions to which these resolutions
4Galveston News, February 2, 1848.
'The committee that framed and signed these resolutions was composed
of F. H. Merriman, Louis T. Wigfall, John Warren, W. Richardson, and
I. S. Savage.
6"Resolved, That the true policy requires the government of the United
States to strengthen its political and commercial relations upon this con-
tinent, and the annexation of such contiguous territory as may conduce
to that end, and can be justly obtained; and that neither in such acquisi-
tion nor in the territorial organization thereof can any conditions be
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/50/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.