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: 16 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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pledged in the joint resolution, will be alleged to require the
prompt and uncomplaining adoption of both these measures.
What we have to do, therefore, is here and everywhere to
resist such a construction of the joint resolution, and such
an inference from it. We, indeed, go further, and deny the
validity of the joint resolution, and reject it altogether as unconstitutional
and void. But, odious as it is, the joint resolution
does not preclude deliberation and the free action of
Congress upon the measures resulting from it, but distinctly
refers to them as involving the final action in the case, and
leaves this action to be as free and uncontrolled as in any
other case of legislation whatever.
A vast responsibility, then, remains with the representatives
of the people ; and the people have their usual rightthe
right which is the foundation of all others in a democratic
government-to form and express their opinions for the instruction
of their representatives. We have a right, especially,
to claim of our representatives that the rights of the States
and the people, palpably violated by the joint resolution, shall
be respected and recognized anew ; and, under the circumstances,
it clearly becomes us to anticipate the meeting of
Congress by the preparation of a solemn PROTEST, which
shall authoritatively forbid the violation of the Constitution,
and in the name of a free people shall remonstrate against
all further proceedings for the extension of slavery.
Surely in Massachusetts, if nowhere else, the preparation
and presentation of such a protest is a step which must be
taken to sustain the dignity of her past course, and to place
her in a suitable attitude for future action. It will be, at
least, the proper completion of the record of her proceedings
on the subject ; and she is fortunately in a situation to strike
this last blow for the Constitution and Liberty by the hands
of champions equal to the occasion and worthy of herself.
As if it were to meet this crisis, the "Defender of the Constitution
" is again the representative of Massachusetts in
the Senate ; and upon the floor of the House of Representatives-
if Heaven shall spare his life and vigor - there
will once more stand forth in her behalf the " brave old
man" who has borne the brunt of every battle against Texas
and slavery, and is ready to spend his last breath in uttering
his last warning against the surrender or the overthrow
of the rights of freemen. Let the protest of Massachusetts,
declaring her principles and avowing her determination to
maintain them, - attested by the signatures of all her citizens
who, for such a purpose, are not afiraid to proclaim themselves
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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/m1/16/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.