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: 20 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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At the time of the formation of the Constitution, Mr. Madison
entertained and avowed the apprehension that the chief danger
to the Union would arise, not, as some supposed, from
the disparity in political power between the large and small
States, but from the essential difference in character and in
interests between the Free and Slave-holding States. With
all the manifestations of our national growth and greatness,
the experience of the country has shown that the union of
the States has been always imperfect; that there has been a
bitter ingredient in the cup, -a canker at the root of our
prosperity; and, in confirmation of the prophetic apprehension
of Mr. Madison, it is easy to see, that, from first to last,
the element in our institutions so adverse to union has been
slavery. In peace or war, upon almost every question which
has produced a serious division of opinion and feeling, this
result may be traced to a renewed disagreement between the
Free and Slave-holding States. Seldom with respect to our
foreign affairs, and still more seldom in regard to the domestic
policy of the government, have they acted together with
any cordiality. In the discussion of questions affecting their
relative interests, the point with the North has necessarily
been, what will make firee labor more productive, and with
the South, what will make slave labor more secure; and, by
adhering to these points, the two sections of the country
have only proved, over and over again, that they cannot occupy
common ground, that the coexistence of freedom and
slavery does not produce a coalition of interest, or sentiment,
or feeling, but that in all these respects they must gradually
become more and more alienated from each other, until their
differences shall be merged in a desperate struggle for power.
Of such a struggle the annexation of Texas is the anticipated
result; a result, of course, which must give the victory
to the South, and subject the North to all the consequences
of an inglorious and injurious defeat. In these new
relations of victors and vanquished, with the Constitution
trampled down between them, how can the Free and Slaveholding
States be expected to approach each other in a spirit
of union? What must be the prospect before them, if they
shall attempt to remain together, but that of increasing animosity,
constant discord, and of a certain and not far distant
rupture? How can union be practicable, or even desirable,
under such unpropitious circumstances?
Still, as long as the Union, such as it may be, can last,
what, with Texas annexed, will be the country in which we shall
live, and, with the Constitution sacrificed to slavery, under
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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/m1/20/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.