Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 11 of 54
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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Holmes has pronounced the annexation of Texas to have been
the settled policy of the government. It has been so during
the last twenty years, but there has been a difference in the
nature of that policy at different periods, which those who
now advocate it very sedulously conceal from the public view.
In order that we may arrive at a true judgement of the
facts, let us look at them a little more closely.
The treaty with France, by which Louisiana was ceded to
the United States, left the Western boundary of that territory
very uncertain. When the question came up for settlement
with Spain, which had the control at that time over the
neighboring country of Mexico, it became the duty of the
representatives of the two governments to argue it in that
manner which should be most for the interest of their respective
nations. The Americans claimed the Rio del Norte as
the boundary, which would embrace all the country now called
Texas, and more; whilst the Spaniards, on the other
hand, insisted upon a line running North from the Gulf of Mexico
to the River Missouri, at about the ninety-third degree of
longitude West from London, which would have taken off a
part of what are now the States of Arkansas and Missouri, and
much of the Western Territory. As is usual in such cases,
an intermediate line was ultimately agreed upon by the treaty
of 1819, the third article of which, fixed the boundary at the
River Sabine, up to the thirty-second degree of latitude,
thence North to the degree of latitude where such a line
would strike the Red River, thence westward along this river
to the one-hundredth parallel of longitude west from London,
thence north to the Arkansas River, thence along this river
to its source in latitude forty-two degrees north, and thence
westward along that parallel to the Pacific Ocean. In the
annual message of President Monroe to Congress, of the 7th
December, 1819, this was distinctly announced as a compromise,
in the following words:
"On the part of the United States, this treaty was evidently acceded
to in a spirit of conciliation and concession . . . For territory
ceded by Spain, other .territory of great value to which our claim was believed
to be well founded, was ceded by the United States, and in a
quarter more interesting to her."
Now if we consider that the Floridas were the territory
ceded by Spain, a territory for the sake of gaining which it
may be remarked Mr. Jefferson himself whose authority has
been much relied upon in this connexion, always stood ready
to surrender the claim on Texas, we think it will scarcely be
maintained by any one who will cast a glance upon the map,
that this treaty was not, so far at least as territory is con
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/11/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .