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: 23 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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I differ in opinion from some, whose judgment I am apt to
respect, and whose motives I can justly appreciate. Opposition
to slavery in 3iassachusetts they pronounce to be an
abstraction; and they admonish us for the thousandth time
that we have nothing to do with it.
The slaves, it is said, are not upon our soil, - all are free
and equal here. The evils of slavery are in other States,we
are not affected by them, and are not responsible for
them. We have all the blessings of freedom, and our free
labor is only the more productive, since slaves have neither
the intelligence nor skill to supply many of the wants of their
masters, whose resort must be to our manufactories and
workshops. Even the annexation of Texas, it is intirnated,
in its practical results, will only extend and strengthen
the alliance between the American growers and manufacturers
of cotton, and will secure to us, rather than to our
European rivals, the monopoly of the markets which the
opening of that fertile and spacious country must afford.
As to slavery, - they say further, - an evil as it is, its continuance
and extension depend not so much upon political or
moral causes and influences, as upon the laws of trade and
the value of labor ; and, for our comfort, we are assured that
upon economical principles it must gradually die out; that
the grain-growing slave-holders, unable any longer to sustain
a competition with free labor, must at once change their operatives;
and that, simultaneously, it may be, with the annexation
of Texas, we shall behold an exodus of the entire
slave population from Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky, at
least, and shall continue to see slavery gradually receding
elsewhere, until it disappears.
Such, as well as I can comprehend it, is the theory of the
anti-abstractionists; and we, who disagree with them, are
appealed to, with an air of confidence, to refute it. The
task, perhaps, is not so difficult as is supposed.
I undertake to say, then, in the first place, that in Massachusetts,
with all her freedom and prosperity, we have been
and are compelled to see and feel enough of the evils of
slavery, as it exists in other States, in its political, moral, and
social influences, to make it of importance to us, in the most
practical sense of the term, - to make it our duty, upon republican
and Christian principles, -to seek its abolition.
Politically considered, slavery must be traced back to the
formation of the Federal Constitution. By recurring to the
transactions of that period we shall readily ascertain, that,
not then content to withdraw itself from notice as a municipal
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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/m1/23/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.