Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions Page: 6 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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question thus opened can end here. Mr. Dromgoole of Virginia
may flatter himself that his resolution, forced through
the House of Representatives at Washington at the expense
of every privilege which makes a deliberative assembly valuable
to the people, will set it at rest for the present. But his
action, and that of his servile majority, will only tend to supply
another illustration of the evil which Massachusetts pointed
out. That cannot be a good cause which stands in need
of such aid to support it. That must be a tyrannical system
which needs the protection of silent and hurried measures to
prevent it from falling. If the eyes of this people are ultimately
to be opened, no better means can be devised for the
purpose than such as are now often and unblushingly resorted
to for the purpose of keeping them blind.
It is a remark made by Mr. Stiles, a representative of
Georgia, in a late speech of his, which has been circulated
far and wide, that " slavery and the constitution have flourished
together; their existence is the same and inseparable."
Now if it were possible to destroy in the minds of respectable
citizens all respect for that instrument, no more effectual
mode could be devised than to admit the truth of such a proposition.
For what does it imply ? Nothing more nor less
than that the frame of government which all lovers of freedom
had fondly hoped would prove the greatest protection to human
liberty ever known, had actually proved the hot-bed for
the forcing into rank luxuriance a system of tyrannical despotism
by one class over another and larger class of their fellow
beings. MIr. Stiles seems to speak as if it were conceded
on all hands that the intention of the instrument was to guaranty
the perpetuation of slavery. Yet to admit this, would be
equivalent to charging its framers with. deliberate falsehood;
for they, in their preamble, expressly declare the object of
the people to be "to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves
and their posterity," as well as " to establish justice,"
to ensure domestic tranquillity, to provide for the common
defence and promote the general welfare." Is it then true
or not true, what Mr. Stiles says of the constitution ; and if
true, how comes it to be true in the face bf so solemn a preamble,
which so directly contradicts him ? These are serious
questions, and we propose to try to answer them with
The framers of the constitution meant what they said in
the preamble. They were honest and honorable men. They
well knew the character of the task which they had undertaken.
They felt that the hopes of the people, ay, and of the friends
of liberty all over the civilized world, rested upon the suc
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Adams, Charles Francis. Texas and the Massachusetts Resolutions, book, January 1, 1844; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2355/m1/6/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .