Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 46 of 119
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[ 341 ] 46
A still worse effect would be produced by irritating our people against a
country that afforded to our great commercial and manufacturing rival the
means of annoying and injuring us so seriously. In self-defence, we
should take measures to redress this wrong. The commerce of the Red
river,, so important to Texas, is within our control. We have it in our
power to do more injury to the commerce, and, incidentally; to the agriculture,
of Texas, in time of peace, than all the other countries of the world
combined; and, for the same reason, we can benefit her in equal degree.
It is not to be supposed that we shall feel any hesitation on this subject, if
Texas shall reject our overtures, and throw herself into the arms of England.
Instead of being, as we ought to be, the closest friends, it is inevitable
that we shall become the bitterest foes. In this feeling, all parts of
our country will participate. The North, which is the most influential in
the policy of our Government, will entertain it more strongly than the
South, because their great and leading interest, particularly in New England,
must fall a sacrifice to this hostile policy on the part of Texas.
But this is not all. If Texas should refuse to come into our Union,
measures will instantly be taken to fill her territory with emigrants from
Europe. Extensive arrangements for this are already made, and they will
be carried into effect as soon as the decision of Texas shall be known.
These emigrants will bring with them European feelings and European
opinions. Emigration from the United States will cease; at all events, the
people of the Southern States will not run the hazard of subjecting their
slave property to the control of a population who are anxious to abolish
slavery. Texas will soon cease to be an American State. Her population,
her politics, and her manners, will stamp her as European. This fact
alone will destroy, the sympathy which now exists between that country
But the first rneas[ire of the new emigrants, as soon as they shall have
sufficient strength, will be to destroy that great domestic institution upon
which so much of the prosperity of our Southern country depends. To
this, England will stimulate them, and she will also furnish the means of
accomplishing it. I have commented upon this topic in the despatch to
Mr. Everett. I will only add, that if Texas should not be attached to the
United States, she cannot maintain that institution ten years, and probably
not half that time.
You will readily perceive that, with such causes as these at work, a long
continuance of peace between that country and the United States is absolutely
impossible. War is inevitable. England will be a party to it from
necessity, if not from choice; and the other great Powers of the world will
not be idle spectators of a contest involving such momentous results. I
think it almost certain that the peace of the civilized world, the stability of
long-established institutions, and the destinies of millions both in Europe
and America, hang on the decision which Texas shall now pronounce.
What has she to hope in this conflict of stronger Powers ? She will find
herself between the upper and the nether millstones, ground to powder in
It seems to me that a wise people cannot long hesitate between the alternatives
now presented to 'rexas. 'On the one hand, she may have a
quasi alliance with the strongest Power in the world, on whose protection
she must make herself dependent. The history of all such alliances betwe,en
strong and weak nations is enough to admonish her of the fate
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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/m1/46/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .