Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas Page: 13 of 19
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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will not be satisfied till both have disappeared from the earth.
Would any man, any liberal-minded and right-thinking man,
desire it to be otherwise ? I confess I should feel as if the problem
of history was unsolved, and must forever remain unsolved;
as if the course of a moral providence on earth was arrested and
defeated, if slavery could become the authorized, permanent,
protected and established usage of any civilized and Christian
There is an awful phrase, in familiar and unquestioned use,
and unquestioned because it is descriptive of a fact; it is the
phrase " Slave-breeding States !" And it is coolly calculated, if
Texas is annexed, that their number will be increased. Yes,
as familiarly as we speak of the cotton-planting States, or of
wool-growing or cattle-breeding districts, do we speak of the
slave-breeding States. And Virginia, the " Ancient Dominion "
of honor; a;id Maryland, chivalrous old Maryland, are willing
to be called slave-breeding States! And Kentucky and Tennessee
and North Carolina, if Texas is annexed, are to come
under the same horrible description ! Why, are the defenders
of slavery so blind as to suppose that the world can tolerate
such a thing: that the organs of human speech can utter such
a phrase without shuddering,; that they will not spit it out in
loathing and scorn! States that call themselves free, that boast
of their freedom-and their characteristic business is to breed
men for the slave market! Yes, the business is breeding.
They do not marry; they breed. Their dwellings are not
homes, but stalls and styes. They are torn asunder-husband
and wife, parent and child--and sent to far distant plantations,
in as utter disregard of their groans and tears, as if they were
bleating sheep, or lowing cattle. And these-God pity themthese
are men! And this is called "the vigintiul crop;" i. e.
the once in twenty years crop. The slave-trade that we abhor
so much? Why, this is slave-trade! It is not so bad, I
grant, as seizing and selling men who are free; and yet, in
some respects, it is worse. It is not seizing upon wild barbarians
whom we never saw before; but it is taking men and
women and children who have grown up with us, who
have breathed the same air and walked in the same fields, whose
faces have become as familiar as household things; and it is
selling and scattering them away into homeless and hopeless
bondage. Nay, and there are not wanting instances-for the
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Dewey, Orville. Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas, book, January 1, 1844; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2359/m1/13/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .