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: 48 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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an addition to our present country. On the contrary, the
country, as it is, is large enough, and altogether too large,
for all our imaginable commercial wants and uses, for ages
to come. Our population must increase twenty and perhaps
a hundred fold, our wealth must exceed that of Europe, the
accumulation of centuries, - before we shall begin to
have more labor and capital than can be profitably employed
upon our present territory. We do not need an enlargement
in any direction to diversify our soil and climate, to increase
our agricultural, mineral, or marine productions, to add to the
extent of our seacoast, to give us greater facilities of coastwise
or inland transportation, to complete the routes of our
railroads, to supply feeders for our canals, or waterfalls for
our manufactories. Within our present limits we possess in
abundance and variety all the resources which can stimulate
or reward the utmost possible increase and diffusion of intelligence,
skill, enterprise, and industry. For commercial
purposes, too, the world has had experience enough to teach
us that it is within a small and populous region, rather than
where a sparse population is scattered over a wilderness, that
it is where industry and wealth can be concentrated,
where labor can be most advantageously subdivided, where
merchants and manufacturers may congregate, that commerce
will be the most sure to flourish. Could our country be diminished,
rather than enlarged, in size, - could that large portion
of our inhabitants who are all the while moving towards the
frontiers, passing their lives, for all commercial purposes,
most unprofitably, remain fixed, and be steadily employed in
the pursuits of productive industry, -could our population be
kept more together, become more assimilated in character,
be brought more directly under common influences adapted
to their intellectual and moral wants, - who can fail to see that
important commercial as well as other still more valuable
advantages might be secured, and that, in fact, the extension of
territory beyond a corresponding increase of population and
wealth is one of the most fatal errors in political economy?
In the next place, if we must have more territory within
our limits, what we least need, what we should least desire,
for commercial purposes, is slave-holding territory. What
we already have of slavery has proved only a constant drawback,
a vexatious hindrance, to our commercial progress.
Our mercantile dealings with the Slave States have been a
succession of practical lessons upon the commercial disadvantages
of slavery. Commerce delights in freedom, and
can flourish only under the auspices of freedom. The mer
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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/m1/48/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.