The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 67
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The Annexation of Texas
Later Jones himself was charged with desiring to prevent
annexation. This endorsement on Houston's note became an
XIII. THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1844 DETERMINES
The campaign of 1844 is said to have begun in 1840. To the
surprise of the country, Martin Van Buren, the Democratic
candidate in 1840, was defeated by the Whigs, who supported
William Henry Harrison and Tyler. The Democrats thought
it good strategy to continue to back their defeated candidate,
so that the,nomination of Van Buren in 1844 seemed to be a
foregone conclusion. It was well understood in Whig councils
that Henry Clay would finally receive his reward and succeed
Harrison. He had earned the chance and had been a receptive
aspirant for many years. Harrison's death and Tyler's succes-
sion threatened Clay's hopes, while Tyler's raising of the annex-
ation issue ultimately sidetracked Van Buren's nomination and
defeated Clay for the presidency.
Just before the Whig national convention in Baltimore, Clay
published a letter declaring that he did not favor immediate
annexation of Texas. About the same time an officious friend
asked Van Buren's views, and he answered at great length.
Since 1837, when he rejected Memucan Hunt's overtures, he
had convinced himself that annexation would not violate the
Constitution, but he was not ready to act until Mexico recog-
nized Texan independence and made peace. Clay's views were
accepted even by southern Whigs in the national convention, and
he received the nomination on May 1, 1844. Van Buren already
had nearly enough votes pledged to nominate him, and many of
the instructed delegates were on the way to Baltimore when
his statement appeared. Those from the South knew that his
attitude was opposed to the, wishes of their states, but there
was not sufficient time to hold new state conventions and get
other instructions. The traditional two-thirds rule of the Dem-
ocrats offered a way out. After a few ballots, delegates com-
placently decided that they had fulfilled their instructions and
switched to James K. Polk, of Tennessee, the first "dark horse"
in a national convention. Polk was known to favor annexation
and to have the support of Jackson, the old warrior in the
Hermitage. After the ninth ballot Van Buren's name was with-
drawn, and the convention stampeded to Polk.
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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/m1/83/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.