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: 9 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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party allegiance, and to avoid as far as he may all political
and moral responsibility, has been prevailed upon to consent
that the President may decide to violate or maintain the
Constitution as circumstances shall require ; therefore RESOLVED,
that the President be authorized to effect the annexation
of Texas in either of the modes, constitutional or unconstitutional,
which have been proposed respectively, though not
in concurrence, by the Senate and House of Representatives.
Thus illustrated, the joint resolution, as it finally passed,
is exhibited in its true character ; in no proper sense,
scarcely even in its form, an act of legislation, and in substance
nothing more nor less than a justification in advance,
nay, a solicitation, of executive usurpation. I say, then,
let this measure be construed as a precedent,- let the
power for once thus conferred upon the President be continued
to him,-let the Senate be thus circumvented in the
exercise alike of its executive and legislative functions, - I
say it boldly, that our republican government is resolved into
a monarchy, that its most important object is defeated, that its
spirit is extinct, its life is gone.
Senator Bagby consented to the joint resolution; but, let
it be remembered, he did so with a declaration of his confidence
that the President would discard the proposal of the
House, and would manifest his respect for the rights of the
Senate. He did so, it was presumed, with the expectation
that the execution of the resolution would be reserved for
Mr. Polk, and would not be undertaken by Mr. Tyler.
When, but a few days afterwards, it was understood, that,
without a moment's delay, a special messenger had been
despatched to our Charge, to instruct him to negotiate with
the Texan government upon the basis of the proposition of
the House, who does not recollect the outcry, that Mr. Tyler
had forestalled Mr. Polk, and had violated the good faith
upon which Senator Bagby had relied ? Unfortunate Senator
! Review your devious course, and contemplate its result!
If you were honest, confess your error, and, while
you blush for the weakness through which you were betrayed,
dare now to look your betrayer in the face, and
brand him as such before the country, even though his
name should be JAMIEs K. POLK ! Yes ! yes ! it was not
Mr. Tyler who took undue advantage of the Senator's confidence
in Mr. Polk, but, as is now fully disclosed in the
correspondence of Mr. I)onelson, it was Mr. Polk himself,
backing Mr. Tyler, who, in defiance of the known opposition
of the Senate to such a course of proceeding, and
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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/m1/9/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.