The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 45
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Beginnings of Secession Movement in Texas
gave rise show that the sentiment which they expressed was by
no means unanimous. A Mr. Megginson, in giving his reasons for
refusing to serve as a member of the committee that drew up the
resolutions, said that the great questions of the day were those
involving the preservation of the constitution and the protection of
slavery. So far as he could see neither the Whigs nor the Dem-
ocrats could be depended upon to defend slavery, for both parties
in the North were fighting it. He could see no use in sending
delegates to the national convention; the four men from Texas
could accomplish nothing there, and the people of Texas would
not be benefited in any manner by sending delegates. A Mr.
Sherwood declared that he had never found more than three or
four individuals who pretended to defend the institution of
slavery in the abstract; that the people in the No~rth and the people
in the South had the same feelings on the subject; that it was
an institution prejudicial in its operation to the best interests
of the country; that it was an evil which had been introduced
without the fault of that generation; that the only apology offered
for its continuance was the difficulty of abandoning it; that, more
than this, the South had up to that time always agreed with the
North that Congress had absolute control over the territories, and
that it was then inexpedient to change that view. Louis T. Wig-
fall and Ashbel Smith on the other hand, defended the principles
embodied in the resolutions. The latter maintained that no one
could contend that the right to establish or abolish slavery was
conferred upon Congress, and that neither Congress nor a terri-
tory could abolish slavery within the borders7 of such territory.
constitutionally imposed, or institutions be provided for, or established, 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
"Resolved, That, in organizing a territorial government for territory
belonging to the United States, the principles of self-government upon
which our federated system rests, will be best promoted, the true spirit
and meaning of the Constitution observed, and the confederacy strength-
ened, by leaving all questions concerning the domestic policy therein to
the legislatures chosen by the people thereof." Henate Journal, 30th Con-
gress, 1st Session, 1847-1848, page 48.
'These resolutions and discussions were considered of such importance
in showing the attitude of Texas toward the question agitating the pub-
lic mind in 1848, that they were reprinted in 1855, when the controversy
over the matter began to move the Texans to action.-Galvesion News,
October 30, 1855.
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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/m1/51/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.