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: 6 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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ject by which the fatal blow was to be struck at the Constitution,
and the Union to be endangered. Still the Senate
had not acted, and it seemed to be the abandonment of the
last hope of the republic to doubt the wisdom or distrust
the firmness of the great majority of that conservative body.
They. had resisted the first attempt of the Executive, when,
in a mistaken reliance upon their cooperation, he had subinitted
the treaty for ratification; and the pledge of their
character was given to the country, that now, when the treatymaking
power had been set at naught, in a case involving an
insult to their dignity and an invasion of their rights and of
the reserved rights of the States which they represented, they
would not shrink from their highest duty. Yes, when the
Convention met in January, the Senate had not acted; and I
well recollect that a respected friend, who did not appear in
his proper place upon that occasion, stated, as a reason for his
absence, that he deemed all popular action uncalled for and
inexpedient, since the Senate might be trusted to sustain itself.
I well recollect, too, to what persuasion most of us
yielded, not to give to our proceedings the character which
they might properly have assumed, if the Senate was not to
be relied on, and if no hope remained but in a special and
emphatic exercise of the sovereignty of the people.
The Convention adjourned ; and it soon became manifest
that the attempt would be persevered in to undermine the
last bulwark of the Constitution, - that the Senate was in
danger, - and that the Senate was overthrown ! For every
other cause than this, it had again and again maintained the
Constitution and saved the country. It had often stood between
a domineering Executive and a subservient House of
Representatives, and had stayed the arm of usurped power,
and asserted alike its executive and legislative independence.
It had always guarded the honor of the nation in its
relations to foreign governments, and had faithfully adhered
to every treaty stipulation, and every obligation of good faith
and comity. But it was reserved for the Senate to prove itself
unequal to this last encounter with the insidious foe of
our republican institutions, and to exhibit the humiliating
spectacle, not only of the prostration of its proper dignity,
but of the sacrifice, by its own hands, of the rights of the
States committed to its charge, upon the unhallowed shrine
of the Moloch of slavery ! In the Senate, as in the House,
by adroit management, by pretence and subterfuge, by executive
promises and party denunciation, and, in the end, by
the same detestable conjunction of slave-holding Whigs and
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/m1/6/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.