Discourse on Slavery and the Annexation of Texas Page: 8 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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question yet hangs in suspense--shatn we become implicated
with it? But again, it is said that ," our acceptance of Texas
with its slave population, does not add to the number of slaves,
nor make their condition any worse." I answer, we do not
know that. Texas, left to herself, may throw off this fatal
chain that threatens to bind her to ultimate and eternal poverty
and decline. More of this by and bye. But I say now, if it
were certain that slavery in Texas will be perpetual, and
Annexation will not alter the case; yet what is that to the purpose?
Suppose that slavery is to be maintained in Texas;
shall we as a people consent to be partners in it? Suppose that
somebody will sell poison to a man who proposes with it to
impregnate the rivers of a whole country; shall I therefore sell
it? Suppose that thieving were legalized in Texas as it was in
Sparta; shall we therefore adopt it into our Code? Or suppose
that primogeniture were an institution of that country and
would continue to be at any rate; should we receive her with
that condition, and permit her aristqcracy to sit in our national
Senate? It could be scarcely a greater inconsistency than it is
to admit slave representation into our system of so-called
No, it must be manifest, that the question is as if slavery
had never existed in this country. In the sight of heaven, in
the sight of the nations, in this 19th century, with the profession
upon our lips that we entertain the purest ideas of liberty
in the world, we are to decide the question, whether we will
spread the broad shield of this great Republic over another
realm of human servitude. It is not whether we submit to it
as a necessity, originally forced upon us by the British government,
and that against the most earnest remonstrances of the
colonists, and actually stated by Mr. Jefferson, in his first draft
of the Declaration of Independence, as among the grievanoes
inflicted by the British King; it is not whether we submit to
it as a matter of compact among Independant States, formed in
a time of trouble and peril, formed in a less enlightened state of
the public mnind, and when a union that seemed absolutely
necessary, could be brought about in no other way; it is not
whether this institution shall exist on sufferance for a while,
an institution felt by many who are connected with it to be a
great evil, felt to be undesirable, felt to have been utterly wrong
in its original establishment; but the question is, are we prepared
now, we of the North and South together, to avouch it
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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/m1/8/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .