Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 36 of 119
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to prevent. In a sht;-' time, Or Sout:wter Saltes, a e',d in deed th-e wIole
valley of the ?Miisssippo, would be fi!eed with Engiish goods, smuggled
across the border, and oc cupingv the place o: an equal number, now furnished
by the Ameriecan lmanfacturer. tus tle home m ,arket, also,
would to a great exten- be los; to American sriil and industry. In the
mean time, importations wiould cease, at least To the amount of all the excess
of the sm,1l'n!oed articles over the usual supply furished b the AmerJican
manufacturer. ''The revenue would su1ffer to thle mil aCount of the
duties upon all the smuigled : rticles, and our navigV. g interest would
suffer in proportion.
That the designs of Engla-id are s sh as I have spose, here i
fear, very little reason to doubt. Her statesmen h.ave uniformtly claimed
for her a right to interpose in the politics of the Arnericas, so as to preserve
what she is pleased to call "the balance of power" among their
several States. She claims to have a coammercial ascendency in the Gulf
of Mexico, and professes to feel her honlor as well as her interest committed
to maintain it. This we learn from hter Parliamentary debates, and
the declarations of her public leading men, tfrom 1S30 down to this time.
Why, then, should we doubt her present purposes, since, independent of
all other proofs, the measure nowx proposed is, best of all, calculated to sustain
these high anid long-chlerished pretensions? We should well deserve
the fate her policy is preparing for us, if we should disregard the admonitions
which wxe have received from past events, and which we are daily receiving
from daily occurrences, and quietly lookinig on, and, unresisting,
witness the consummationl of her designs.
It is not to be supposed, that if domestic slavery should be abolished in.
the United States antd Texas, it could long be maaintained in Cuba. England
has as strong ia motive to destroy the competition of slave labor in that
island as in any other part of ihe world ; and she is not free from the suspicion
of having already attemupted it. Spain, in her distracted condition,
would scarcely be able to hold out against the pressure of England and
the example of the lnited States. In that state of things, the value of the
islaild as a colonyv would be very little to Spain. Enoglad is her creditor,
and she has never -shown herself backward in. enforcing all her claims it
that character. Withl ti:ese advantages, the transfer of Cuba to her would.
not be at all surprising, nor ;n anr manner out of t ae cusual coluse of English
policy. She would thus hold the key of the Gulf of Mexico, and
woruld effectually control its trade, even if she shfould fail to engross it.
Butt it is not to be supposed that the abolition of slavery in the United
States would be submitted to. That institution exists in twelve of our
States, and in the Territory of Florida It has existed in some of them from
an early date after they were established as colonies; and in all of them
since their State Governments were formed. It is now so interwoven with
the institutions of those States-with- their legislation, their habits, their
feelings, and their social character-that the abolition of it would be, in ef
fect, a revolution. In 1act, it could not be acconpi shed by any means
short of revolution, and tie total overthrow of ail the present political
systems of Ihe slaveholding States. It is idle to debate it as a question oC
philanthropy or of policy. Whether for good or for evil. the institution ;i
fixed upon us; and we cannot shake it oi0, nor permi.t it to be disturbed br
a foreign Power, without in tro duci g ai g t an o- wor e evil the end of whvich
'10 human sagacity czan i ore ~e. We mit :e,o ,nt.arda intdeed. i f we ca:
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/36/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .