The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 65
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The Annexation of Texas
new in the President's argument, but he made a capable sum-
mary of all the considerations involved.
Apparently President Tyler had good reason to believe that
the Senate would promptly ratify the treaty when he so assured
President Houston in October, 1843. Ex-President Jackson
wrote Houston from the Hermitage that his friends assured
him that thirty-nine senators would vote to ratify, while only
thirty-five would be required. Six months passed, however,
after this prediction, before the treaty went to the Senate, on
April 22, 1844, and by that time the national conventions were
on the eve of nominating presidential candidates. It was an
unpropitious time to ask a senator to vote his convictions on a
controversial subject. Six weeks dragged by while the Senate
hesitated and deferred a vote. On June 8, however, a vote was
taken, and the treaty was defeated thirty-five to sixteen. Of
the thirty-five negative votes, fifteen came from Whig senators
of the slave states. Normally they would have been cast for
ratification, but Henry Clay, the Whig candidate for the presi-
dency, had declared against immediate annexation, and the
southern Whig senators followed the party, believing, no doubt,
that there would be another chance to annex Texas when the
political strain would be less tense. Even T. H. Benton, the
Democratic Senator from Missouri and a friend of Andrew
Jackson, voted to reject the treaty and explained his reasons in a
disingenuous speech that convinced nobody, probably not even
himself. Presumably, he wished to prevent Tyler from attach-
ing his name to the measure which Benton had periodically
advocated for a quarter of a century.
On June 10, two days after the vote in the Senate, President
Tyler sent all the papers concerning Texas to the House of
Representatives and asked for annexation by an act of Congress.
The date of adjournment was already set, and he knew that
Congress would not act, but he wished to leave the question
pending before the country. It had already become the leading
issue in the national presidential campaign.
XII. TEXAN DIPLOMACY DESIGNED TO EMBARRASS THE
Before signing the annexation treaty, the Texan representa-
tives, Van Zandt and Henderson, received from Calhoun Presi-
dent Tyler's pledge that he would order a strong naval force
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/81/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.