The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920 Page: 15
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Texas Annexation Sentiment in Mississippi, 1835-1844 15
Language could not be more explicit than this. The questions
of slavery and annexation are linked together in a manner that
almost approaches solemnity. Hence it is not surprising to find
that in the exciting political campaign of the following year the
argument upon which more stress is laid than any other by the
spokesmen of the Democratic party within the State, is that the
annexation of Texas is of supreme concern to the South if that
section is to retain its power in the councils of the nation. Other-
wise, what safeguard would the South have for the preservation
of its huge property rights, menaced as they now were by the
rising tide of abolitionism ? The bulk of the Whig party in Mis-
sissippi naturally put consideration of political expediency above
their real desires in regard to annexation. The sentiment of the
party in the State is accurately reflected in the statement of one
of their leading journals on the eve of the Presidential campaign
of 1844: "We go for Henry Clay, Texas or no Texas."34 On
the other hand, there were those in the party who claimed to up-
hold a purer tradition of Whiggery than many of the rank and
file who had come to accept unreservedly the doctrines of a pro-
tective tariff and internal improvements; and members of the
State rights group of the party voiced sentiments in regard to
slavery similar to those proclaimed by the Legislature of Missis-
sippi in 1837 and in 1843, and which had come to be generally
accepted in the South. Thus we find one styling himself a "Whig
of the country" writing as follows: "The true Southern men
will know that in him [i. e., in Calhoun] they have a true and
undoubted friend who will stand by them in every emergency, and
one, too, who does not believe slavery to be 'a great moral evil,'
but, on the contrary, maintains it the true condition of the negro
race, and that it is a blessing to the master and the slave.""3
Long before this Calhoun had become the undisputed leader of
the plantation interests of the South; and to "the great champion
of the South and Southern interests" those men of Mississippi
turned who believed "the Oregon and Texas questions to be of
deep and lasting moment to the South and West, upon the issue
of which rested the perpetuity of Southern domestic institu-
'The Constitutionalist, May 15, .1844.
"Woodville Republican, July 15, 1843.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920, periodical, 1919; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/m1/21/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.