Address on the annexation of Texas, and the aspect of slavery in the United States, in connection therewith: delivered in Boston November 14 and 18, 1845 Page: 11 of 56
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 Special Collections.
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Texas has acceded to the terms proposed by Mr. Donelson,
and she has been assured by him, in conformity with his instructions,
that the faith of the government is pledged to the
fulfilment of the contract on our part, and that her admission
to the Union, upon presenting her constitution, will be "a
matter of course." On her part, all the proceedings of her
government were submitted for ratification to a convention
of delegates of the people ; and even the doings of the
convention are yet to undergo the popular revision. But
on our side, we are told, the people have no duty to perform,
and no right to exercise ; the election of Mr. Polk to the
presidency was our vote upon the Texas question, and the
action of the government has been reduced to a simple and
single act of anomalous legislation. The whole question
was settled, the door was shut, the voice of the people was
stifled, the power of the people was crushed, when the
President was clothed with the power conferred by the joint
resolution, if that is to be construed as not affording to the
people any opportunity, any right, through their representatives,
to express their dissent from it. Yes, I repeat it,the
joint resolution, with its extraordinary provisions, and
construed as it has been, made the President in this case a
monarch; and he has shown the spirit and wielded the
power of a monarch, transcending at will its nominal limitations,
and exhausting all the attributes of despotic sovereignty,
in preparing for the exigencies of peace or war, as
circumstances might seem to require.
But will the people submit to such usurpation ? Are they
satisfied with a change of government and a change of
country ? Is it enough that despotism wears the mask of
democracy, and is the certain and unlimited gain of slavery
a compensation for the equally certain and unlimited loss of
liberty ? If the Slave-holding States, in the spirit of their
peculiar institutions, shall acquiesce and triumph in such an
issue, are the Free States ready to submit and abide by it ?
Are their hearts open, are their arms outstretched, are they
eager to give the pledge in advance to cherish and defend
Texas as a sister State, - and are their love of union and their
love of country such, that principle and duty, consistency
and honor, all go for nothing, when the opportunity is afforded,
by the worst of means, of making their country
more magnificent, and their patriotism more expansive ?
These, fellow-citizens, are proper questions for our consideration;
and Massachusetts, it should be presumed, is
prepared to answer them. Upon this whole subject her
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Phillips, Stephen C. Address on the annexation of Texas, and the aspect of slavery in the United States, in connection therewith: delivered in Boston November 14 and 18, 1845, book, January 1, 1845; Boston. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2361/m1/11/: accessed May 1, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.