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: 53 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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come a free cotton-growing country ; that, if the Constitution
of the United States cannot pursue them as fugitives, our
slaves will escape into it, and prove that they can become
free laborers ; and that the free-labor cotton of Texas will
then be supplied to the foreign market at a lower rate than
the slave-labor cotton of the United States. If our slaveholders
believed that Texas without slavery could not raise
cotton, why did they not leave her tc her fate, when, in
1829, the Mexican government abolished slavery ? Every
one should understand the case sufficiently to bear in mind
that it was the fact that Mexico had become a free country,
and the belief that the cotton-plant would thrive in
Texas under the cultivation of her free laborers, and that
slavery could not long be sustained in their neighbourhood,
that alarmed the slave-holders, and gave the first impulse to
the project of annexation; and every cotton manufacturer
should now see and feel that in the success of the project
the gain of the slave-holder is his loss ; that the application
of free labor to the cotton culture, under such circumstances
as to demonstrate that it is practicable and expedient, and,
by reason of the competition, to make it unavoidable to introduce
it into the Slave States, is a result which he should
be especially solicitous to accomplish; that therefore, on the
score of interest alone, - not to urge it upon him on any
ground of principle, - and looking only to one of its indirect
consequences, he should be an opponent of the annexation
I feel that I have proceeded far enough, though but a
single step, in speaking of the connection between cotton
and slavery. All that cotton requires for its cultivation and
manufacture is human labor and skill, singularly diversified
and beautifully combined. For this labor and skill, in every
stage succeeding the growth and gathering of the crop, it is
indebted to freedom ; the saw-gin, the throstle, the mule,
and the power-loom are all the inventions and appliances of
free genius and labor. The slave is required, the slave
can be employed, only upon the plantation ; but let me say
that the time has come when men of common sense are or
should be convinced that the slave is not needed and should
not be employed even there; that his place may be better
supplied by a freeman ; and that the master, if he consult
his interest or his duty, need not look beyond his slave to
obtain a freeman. Let me venture to say that the time has
come when the free negro - even the fugitive from slavery
who has the good fortune to remain in safety - is seen to
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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/m1/53/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.