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: 35 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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retain the power over his slaves, that he shall thereby lose
the power over himself. I have but little doubt, that, fifty
years ago, the judgment of nearly every slave-holder in
Kentucky was convinced that the continuance of slavery
was against his interest, and that his conscience admonished
him that it was against his dutj; and yet I have as little
doubt, that, with a perverted understanding and a seared
conscience, many such a one went to the polls, and, with
all the overbearing and contemptuous air of a slave-holder,
refused by his vote to cease to be one.
Nearly fifty years have passed away, and the decision of
Kentucky remains unreversed. She has seen and she has
felt the error of her decision. Looking, of course, with a
jealous eye on her young rival, she has seen OHIO, with no
advantage but that which makes the difference between a
Free and a Slave State, far outstripping her in the rapidity
and magnificence of her growth ; -her population almost
doubling at every decennial census, - a scene of beauty
and grandeur overspreading her territory, - enterprise attracting
and accumulating capital and investing it in every
form of improvement, -education diffusing intelligence, industry
crowned with plenty, - science erecting its observatory,
- and the arts reviving in their classic glory.
She has seen, too, by the side of OHIO, instinct with her
spirit, because free like her, the younger INDIANA,- the
first settlers still living on her soil, and yet the number of
her free citizens already exceeding that in Kentucky; and
by her side ILLINOIS, -a free population rushing across
her prairies, and the wealth of her mines already in the
grasp of free labor; and beyond these, resting on the bosom
of the Lakes, and fed by the streams of life and business
which flow into them, the new-born MICHIGAN, and WIscONSIN,
a giant yet in embryo. All this astonishing and almost
magical result of freedom Kentucky has been compelled to
witness, as she has looked abroad in the direction of the Free
States; while, turning backward to Virginia and Tennessee,
she has seen the contrast which they exhibit, and has at the
same time felt it to her heart's core, in the humiliating consciousness
of her own condition.
Still, warned and rebuked as she has been by her observation
and experience, suffering incessantly the ill effects of
her mistaken policy, Kentucky has all the while been unwilling
and has seemed to be unable to relieve herself. Her
unwillingness and her inability are alike explained by the
progressive increase of slavery, which has thus far proved
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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/m1/35/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.