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: 12 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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principles and her policy have been settled in advance.
From its inception, she has denounced and declared her
determination to resist the project for the annexation of
Texas, as, in any form of legislative or executive action,
beyond the competency of the government, and opposed
alike to the wishes, the interests, and the rights of the people.
From her watchtower upon the ramparts of the Constitution,
she discovered the first movements of this secret conspiracy
against liberty and humanity, and gave the alarm to
the country. Before it was avowed, she recognized its
design, and, in unappeasable hostility to this design, she
uttered her protest against it. Once and again, without distinction
of party, by the joint action of a Whig House of
Representatives and a Democratic Senate, with the approbation
successively of a Whig and a Democratic governor,
she has formally placed this protest upon the records of
every department of her government, and has caused it to
be deposited in the archives at Washington. Coupled with
this protest is the solemn pledge that-she will not submit to
a violation of the Constitution by the exercise of such undelegated
power as must be assumed to give effect to the
annexation of Texas, and that she will regard the annexation,
whatever may be its form, and under any circumstances,
as not binding upon her.
Such, before the country, and before the world, such as
it will appear upon the page of history, was the position of
Massachusetts, which she saw fit to assume with a full and
clear view of all the principles and consequences involved
in it. It was no question of expediency which she undertook
to decide ; but, in all its height, and depth, and length,
and breadth, a question of principle. She did not ask herself
what she could do to maintain the principle which she asserted
; -to assert the principle involved the duty of maintaining
it, and she trusted in her ability to perform her duty.
Let none now suppose that it was then too soon to determine
her course ; it was the very moment for calm, serious,
and unprejudiced deliberation. It was the only moment
when the question could be considered on its merits alone;
and if vigilance is the security of liberty, and promptness of
action the proof of vigilance, to have seen the danger that
was then visible, and to have done nothing to avert it, would
have been - unworthy of Massachusetts.
Shall we retreat from our first position ? Has a change of
circumstances effected a change of principles, or a change
of our purpose to adhere to them ? Has it become a ques
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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/m1/12/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.