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: 46 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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expose what seem to me their erroneous conceptions in several
respects, I shall freely discuss it, in the manner which
befits my relation to those whom I shall be understood particularly
to address. I allude to what may be denominated
the commercial view of the subject, proceeding upon the supposition
that the annexation of Texas will result in many advantages
to our merchants, ship-owners, and manufacturers.
I must say again, that, in my judgment, this aspect of the
case is far less worthy of consideration than any other, and I
am free to confess that there are reminiscences and associations
connected with it which make it repulsive to me. It
reminds me at once, and it requires me also to remind you,
of what I omitted to state in my former reference to the unfortunate
compromise incorporated into the Constitution for
the continuance of the foreign slave-trade. I merely stated
that the compromise was the result of a bargain between the
North and South; but what the North gained by the bargain,
and sought to bargain for, I forbore to mention. I have
therefore now to present a commercial view of that measure.
When the question upon the slave-trade first arose in the
Convention, Massachusetts and the other Northern States
were disposed to cooperate with Virginia in prohibiting it
by the Constitution ; and at first the secession threats of
Georgia and South Carolina were unheeded by them. But
presently, as soon as the Convention proceeded to consider
and act upon that section in the reported draft of the Constitution
which requires "the assent of two thirds of the
members present in each house " to pass a navigation act,
it appeared that the Southern States had it in their power to
retaliate upon the Northern, by insisting upon this provision,
which might virtually deprive the North of all the anticipated
benefit of such acts. The interest of navigation the South
saw to be exclusively a Northern interest, and they seemed
to regard it as no object for them to secure to their Northern
neighbours an advantage over the European ship-owners, who
otherwise might transport their products and furnish their
necessary supplies. They had also many vague and indefinite
apprehensions of the danger that might result from making
it practicable for a bare majority, without their concurrence,
to pass navigation acts; and it appeared, that, if they
adhered to their purpose, they might carry votes enough with
them to retain this restraining clause in the Constitution.
The North, seeing their chief interest to be thus in jeopardy,
became alarmed, and cast about for the means of warding off
the impending injury. I blush now to add the remark, that
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/46/?rotate=270: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.