Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 40 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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But," he says, " if it be otherwise, and the constitution only applies
to territories then attached to the Union, and delelgates no power for
the acquisition of any other territory, nor prohibits tite exercise of the
pre-existins power of eacl State, to extenid rher boutndaries, tthen there
would remnain in each State tile reserved rightt of extension, beymd the
control of Corrress, I hare wt asserted the existence ft] stucx a ri-rht in
a State; but if the clauses quottd, do not confer the authority on Co'ngress,
and the re-annexation is reftsed on that ground, tlhen the annexinlg
power, s a right to enlarge their bolindaries, wouxd ries it to any
one of tie States, and with thel consent of Texas, could bTe seer]sl.ciX
Pereivinrg, then, whavt p,ower results to the States, frtom thie denial of the
power of annexation by Con1gress, let us agitzate -no such It1ttHtion it advance
of a denial of its own authorit y y Congress, but distess the q.estion
on its merits alone."
It is quite well for 'tr. Walker, that lie does not assert
the existence of the right here spoken of-andt that, for the
very good reason, that no suchi riEhlt cant by any possibility,
be made to consist with the ialaintenance of the relative position
of the States, under the constitution. If a riglit to
enlarge her boundaries, can restlt to one of the States,
by the anntexing power, it does equally to all. Ithode Isltand
and Delaware Ihave fr more reasonable grounld for the exercise
of it, than either Louisiana or Arkansas. Tie oniy
questin r n ertion r conideratn t would be, wiere the land
shotuld be found, to whici to apply this annexing poer. It
cannot be found within the territory of t}le U nion, because
that is regarded as conimon prop)erty of all the Stlates.
Neither ctan it be found t witIlout th-at territory, bIcause tihe
consent of the owners lmust then be obtained, tiese owners
being foreign States. ThIis can only be done by negrtiation
and treaty. And the constitution expressly declares, as we
have already shown, that '1No State shall eitl ter into aony
treaty." The original object of t}is provision is ell understood.
If it had not existed, the poor In dians would Ihave
been stripped of all their lands, by tile States, long before
te United States did it for them'. Thee tenth section of the
first article contains an enumermtion of the powers denied to
tlhe States, and the treaty-misking power is one of thelm.
Can any thing in langue be plainer ? And yet there is an
indistitnct intimation in tills passage, by M1r. tWalker, of a
reserved right, wlich looks so much to uis like tta tt treat,
"1if we cannot do t t thi'ing one way, we will alino)ther-if we
canlnot do it constitutiotnally, we will do it whet her or no,'
that it iteIds explanation. Now we 1have nelver for -a moment
doubted, thattt tere was a disposition in quaso (rters to violate
tle consttution, rather than to fail of securlinlg Texas
-but we scarcely expected to find a Senator of the United
States even hint at such a thing. We hope we have
misconceived his meaning in this instance. But if we have
Here’s what’s next.
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/40/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .