Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 51 of 119
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.
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51 [ 341 ]
States of this Union what she avows to be her desire to do in all countries
where slavery exists. To hazard consequences which would be so dangerous
to the prosperity and safety of this Union, without resorting to
the most effective measures to prevent therm, would be, on the part of the
Federal Government, an abandonment of the most solemn obligation imposed
by the guarantee which the States, in adopting the Constitution, entered
into to protect each other against whatever might endanger their
safety, whether from without or within. Acting in obedience to this obligation,
on which our federal system of Government rests, the President
directs me to inform you that a treaty has been concluded between the
TUnited States and Texas, for the annexation of the latter to the former as a
part of its territory, which will be submitted without delay to the Senate,
for its approval. This step has been taken as the most effectual, if not the
only means of guarding against the threatened danger, and securing their
permanent peace and welfare.
It is well known that Texas has long desired to be annexed to this
XUnion; that her .people, at the time of the adoption of her Constitution,
,expressed, by an almost unanimous vote, her desire to that effect; and that
she has never ceased to desire it, as the most certain means of promoting
her safety and prosperity. The United States have heretofore declined to
meet her wishes; but the time has now arrived when they can no longer
refuse, consistently with their own security and peace, and the sacred obligation
imposed by their constitutional compact for mutual defence and
protection. Nor are they any way responsible for the circumstances which
have imposed this obligation on them. They had no agency in bringing
.about the state of things which has terminated in the separation of Texas
from Mexico. It was the Spanish Government and Mexico herself which
invited alnd offered high inducements to our citizens to colonize Texas.
That, from the diversity of character, habits, religion, and political opinions,
necessarily led to the separation, without the interference of the United
States in any manner whatever. It is true the United States, at an early
period, recognised the independence of rexas; but, in doing so, it is well
known they but acted in conformity with an established principle to recognise
the Government defacto. They had previously acted on the same
principle in reference. to Mexico herself, and the other Governments which
have risen on the former dominions of Spain on this continent.
They are equally without responsibility for that state of things, already
adverted to as the immediate cause of imposing on them, in self-defence,
'the obligation of adopting the measure they have. They remained passive,
so long as the policy on the part of Great Britain, which has led to
its adoption, had no immediate bearing on their peace and safety. While
they conceded to Great Britain the right of adopting whatever policy she
might deem best, in reference to the African race, within her own possessions,
they on their part claim the same right for themselves. The policy
tshe has adopted in reference to the portion of that race in her dominions
,rmay be humane and wise; but it does not follow, if it prove so with her,
that it would be so in reference to the United States and other countries,
whose situation differs from hers. But, whether it would be or not, it belongs
to each to judge and determine for itself. With us it is a question
to be decided, not by the Federal Government, but by each member of
.this Union for itself, according to its own views of its domestic policy, and
*without any right on the part of the Federal Government to interfere in
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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/m1/51/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .