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: 51 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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within the country, therefore, rather than to extend the
country for the sake of increasing slavery, is the true dictate
of a commercial policy.
I have still to notice another suggestion, too frequently uttered
to do credit to our general sagacity, and only serving
to expose an influence which all must regret to be obliged
to regard as operative in this case. In vague terms, it is intimated
that Texas will be a vast cotton region, that the Free
States are to be filled with cotton manufactories, and that it
will be a master stroke of policy to obtain for our future use
a monopoly of all the cotton which the continent can produce.
There are also some who have deluded themselves by
a syllogism, and who boldly go so much further as to say,
that, as the cotton manufacture is, or is fast becoming, our
principal interest, and as slavery has produced cotton, and is
necessary to produce it, it is essential to the cotton manufacture,
and therefore all-important to us, to secure all the cotton
land we can, and also to secure and retain slavery with
it. If this indeed were so, how difficult should we find it
to discover any mode of escape from the all-absorbing vortex
of iniquitous and accursed prosperity to which we should be
hurrying ! How easy would it be to read the seeming
design of Providence in ripening the harvest of which we
had sown the seed in our first political sacrifice of moral
principle, - in our first consent to sustain slavery !
I have already reminded you that the fatal permission to
Georgia and South Carolina, to import slaves for twenty
years, was given principally through the agency ofllassachusetts,
just at the period when the culture of cotton had taken
its first start, and when this importation of slaves seems to
have been the necessary instrumentality by which it was to
be extended. Very shortly afterwards, Massachusetts almost
seems to have contributed her further agency in removing
the only obstruction to the profitable employment of
slaves in this culture by the invention of the saw-gin, through
her citizen, Eli Whitney. With the slaves to cultivate it,
and the saw-gin to clean it, the supply of cotton soon began to
increase, and has continued to increase in a rapidly augmenting
ratio, until, in contrast with the fact, that in 1784 an import
of eight bags into Liverpool was seized by the customhouse
on the ground that cotton was not the produce of the
United States, the slave region is now furnishing an annual
supply of upwards of two millions of much larger bags, the
value of which at the present depressed prices falls not
much short of seventy millions of dollars, - constituting the
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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/m1/51/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.