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: 39 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.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
avowed it to be an object of that great compact " to secure
the blessings of liberty." We commenced our political existence
by calling ourselves republicans. At the formation
of the Constitution, slavery, as a relic of the colonial system
of Great Britain, was slightly infused into the existing organization
; the foreign slave-trade was a legal traffic in Georgia
and South Carolina, and there were more than half a
million of slaves in all the States. Experience had then
proved the evils of slavery; except in the two States just
named, it was discountenanced by public sentiment; and
the conviction prevailed, that its abolition must be a natural
and necessary result of the change of government. But the
slave-holders were not prepared at once to carry into effect
the Declaration of Independence, to justify the preamble to
the Constitution, and to prove themselves republicans; and,
rather than to offend them by contending for an abstraction,
there were enough in the Free States, then as now, who
chose to leave slavery to die-of itself, rather than to attempt
to strike the blow by which it might be destroyed. Upon
this pretext, an easy consent was given to the t" compromises
of the Constitution," including the right to import slaves for
twenty years. "Let it alone so long, and slavery will die
out," was the lullaby of the anti-abstractionists of that day.
"Although slavery is not smitten with an apoplexy," said
Mr. Dawes in the Massachusetts Convention, " it has received
a mortal wound, and will die of a consumption." The
experiment was then and thus first tried ; and it soon appeared
that the case of the patient was entirely misunderstood
; that no mortal wound had been given, but that, on
the contrary, resuscitated, nourished, and protected by the
Constitution, slavery had obtained a lease of life that might
only expire with it. It was seen, too, that the provision for
importing slaves into Georgia and South Carolina, which
were the Texas of that day, had secured to slavery its principal
stronghold,- had then given, what has been so well described
as again needed, " a Gibraltar to the South " ; and
that it would have been far better that those States had not
been annexed to the Union, rather than that the country
should have suffered such lasting injury and irretrievable
disgrace from the concessions which they extorted*as the
condition of annexation.
The fact to which I have just adverted is so important, that
I desire to ask your attention still more particularly to it.
Before the formation of the Constitution, the foreign slavetrade
had been expressly prohibited by all the States except
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
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/m1/39/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.