The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 12
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the 16th, and the vote was 24 to 7.124 Of the seven opposing the
bill three were from the East and were uncompromising free-
traders, while four were from the West and in favor of continu-
ing the high tariff. The eastern members voting against reduc-
tion were Scurry of San Augustine, Edwards of Shelby, and Row-
lett of Fannin. The western members opposing it were Erath
of Milam, Head of Brazos, January of Jackson, and Paschal of
Bexar. The bill passed the Senate on January 22 by a vote of
9 to 2,125 one eastern and one western member opposing it. Ac-
cording to this bill the duties on coffee, brown sugar, salt, iron,
steel, cotton-bagging, bale rope, and twine used in packing cot-
ton, were fixed at 12 per cent ad valorem. On other articles,
with the exception of ardent spirits, wines, etc., which were to
remain as before, the duties were fixed at 17 per cent ad valorem.
This was a reduction from an average rate of 25 per cent to 15
per cent ad valorem.28
The bill had now passed both houses by overwhelming majori-
ties, and the only thing that would defeat it was the executive
veto; and on account of the majority it was confidently hoped
that the bill could be passed over the president's veto. The veto
message was sent to Congress, February 5, 1844. President
Houston said that the state of the Republic and the condition of
the finances forced him to withhold his sanction to the bill; that
the reduction of the imports could have no other result than to
weaken the currency, and general debility would result; that
direct taxes could not be depended upon; that out of $49,000 in
direct taxes levied for the preceding year only $15,000 had been
paid into, the treasury; that the receipts from customs were the
very life blood of the country; and that the time for free-trade
had not come.127 The veto message was read in both houses at
a night session the same day, and attempts were made to pass
the bill over the veto. The vote in the House was overwhelm-
ingly for passage, 34 to 4, while it failed in the Senate. It
lacked one vote of getting a majority when a two-thirds majority
1Eighth Congress, House Journal, 234.
125Eighth Congress, Senate Journal, 146.
"1Telegraph and Texas Register, February 7, 1844.
12E'ighth Congress, House Journal, 465 et seq.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/18/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.