The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 5
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Annexation of Texas and the Mississippi Democrats 5
territory might depress the value of lands in the South, none but
speculators would suffer. Those who predicted disunion in con-
sequence of annexation were little better than traitors, "who would
rend asunder the Union rather than new States should exercise
the constitutional right of being admitted into the Union."'1
Whig party organs complained bitterly of the action of promi-
nent Democratic leaders, who canvassed the state from one end
to the other, haranguing their audiences upon the subject of
"democracy and Texas." In the language of their opponents, de-
nunciation of Henry Clay constituted "the weapon of their war-
fare and annexation was the burthen of their song." But while
the necessity of annexation on account of the sectional interest
involved were stressed by Huston, Quitman, Foote and others,
this was by no means the sole issue to which reference was made
in their speeches. For a number of reasons the annexation of
Texas seemed a desirable thing to the people of Mississippi just
as it did to those of other southern states. One of the Texan
commissioners to the United States referred, though with exag-
geration, to the "run mad annexation excitement in the southern
states."'2 As has been pointed out, the subject of annexation
was a theme upon which it was easy for orators to kindle enthu-
siasm among those who gathered at barbecues during the summer
months.3 "Poke & Texas, that's the thing, it goes like wild-fire
with the folks as kant rede, nor don't git no papers." Thus did a
disgusted Whig sum up the argument for the democratic nomi-
'1Mississippian, Aug. 9, 16, 1844. The two addresses are identical with
the exception of the portion dealing with Texas. The most interesting
part of both manifestoes is a section entitled, "What is Democracy?" All
the "beauties of the democratic faith" are said to flow from the mem-
orable declarations of Jefferson and his compeers that all men are created
free and equal. "Many of our opponents are opposed to poor men
voting or taking part in the administration of the government. They
estimate a man's talents and virtues according to his acres and dollars";
they would create distinctions in society, would elevate the few at the
expense of the many; in their view government is a "divine thing that
must not be touched by the rude hands of the people." On the contrary,
the upholders of the divine principle of the immortal declaration favored
universal suffrage, regardless of property qualifications. Professor Dodd
has pointed out that the last reference to the Declaration of Independence
by the Democratic party in its national platform was in 1840.
2Cf. Garrison, Dip. Cor. Tex., I, 208, 238-239, 270.
'1The largest and most enthusiastic meetings of this nature were those
held by the Whigs. Port Gibson Herald, July 4, 18, 1844.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922, periodical, 1922; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/m1/11/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.