The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the extremists in his advocacy of annexation. A Whig in pol-
itics until the Texas question became an issue in the canvass of
1844 and for a number of years a law partner of Sergeant S. Pren-
tiss in New Orleans, he now became one of the most energetic ad-
vocates of the election of Polk and Dallas. Small in numbers,
IIuston and his following made up what may be termed the ir-
reconcilables of the Democratic party so far as their attitude
toward annexation was concerned.
In military affairs Huston had acted on the principle that "a
short fight and long negotiation is not the way to gain a profit by
victory."41 He now proceeded to put the opponents of immediate
,annexation on the defensive by an aggressive campaign in which
extreme measures were urged in the event of annexation failing
-of achievement. In a democratic meeting held on July 3 at
Natchez-the home of the "purse-proud speculating aristocrats"-
.addresses were delivered by Huston and Quitman, in the course
,of which the former vehemently attacked England's supposed
;abolitionist designs in Texas. The acquisition of Texas was de-
picted as being of vital importance to the South, necessary to
the peace and security of the Union. Clay's letter upon the sub-
ject of Texas was assailed, and his election denounced as a great
national evil; for deny it as they might, emancipation was one
of the great objects of the Whig party.42 In an open letter ad-
"MS. Dept. Archives and History.
"2Free Trader, June 19, July 3, 31, 1844.
As was to be expected, this change of front on the part of one who
for twenty years had been a follower of Clay led to bitter attacks being
made upon Huston by the Whig journals of New Orleans and of
Mississippi. These charged him with being a speculator in Texas lands,
and made "the most infamous insinuations and slanders" as to General
Huston's motives in advocating annexation. They made light of his argu-
ment that annexation was necessary to strengthen the South against the
North, ridiculed his "blood-red efforts to be eloquent" as well as his
speeches in which he saw "prefigured the lusty strides of John Bull."
Democratic organs within the state took up the cudgels vigorously in
his behalf, praised his speeches as "ardent and effective specimens of
elocution," and declared he had been actuated by principle in abandoning
an old and personal friend. Stress was laid upon the fact that he had
renounced a highly lucrative law practice to aid Texas, returning from
that country a poor man. It was added somewhat naively that his entire
landed interest in Texas could be had for a good saddle horse and $500
in gold. While the estimates assigned for his losses in Texas by partisan
journals were doubtless exaggerated, the fact remains that large sums
were laid out by him in equipping armed emigrants at the time of the
Texas revolution. Vicksburg Sentinel, June 24. 1844; Free Trader, May
29, July 3, Aug. 4, 1844; Woodville Republican, May 25, 1844; Inde-
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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/m1/20/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.