Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 64 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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[ 341 ] 64
pleased yesterday to address to him, containing observations on a despatch
from Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the
undersigned, of which the undersigned had the honor, at the request of
the late Secretary of State, Mr. Upshur, to furnish a copy, for the more
complete information of the Government of the United States.
Mr. Calhoun at the same time announces to the undersigned, by direction
of the President, that a treaty has been concluded between the United
States and Texas, for the annexation of Texas to this country as a part
of its territory, yhich treaty will be submitted without delay to the Senate,
for its approval.
Mr. Calhoun further takes occasion to enter into explanations as to the
motives which have induced the Government of the United States to adopt
their present policy with regard to Texas; and he concludes by presenting
certain remarks, founded on statistical information, in defence of the institution
of slavery as now established in a portion of this Republic, and in
proof of the necessity of taking measures for its preservation.
It is not the purpose of the undersigned in the present communication
to enter into discussion with Mr. Calhoun respecting the project thus formally
announced on the part of the Government of the United States to
annex Texas to the American Union; that duty will, if thought necessary,
be fulfilled by higher authority. Still less is the undersigned disposed to
trespass on Mr. Calhoun's attention by offering any remarks upon the subject
of slavery, as expounded ill Mr. Calhoun's note. That note will be
transmitted to Her Majesty's Government by the earliest opportunity; and
with this intimation the undersigned would for the present content himself,
were it not for ttie painful impression created on his mind by observing
that the Government of the United States, so far from appreciating at their
just value the explanations furnished by Her Majesty's Government in a
spirit of frankness aid good faith well calculated to allay whatever anxiety
this Government might have previously felt on the particular points to
which those explanations have reference, appear to have found arguments
in that communication in ftlvor of the conltemplated annexation of Texasthlus,
as it were, assigning to the British Government some share in the
responsibility of a transaction which can hardly fail to be viewed in many
quarters with the most seriotis objection.
All such responsibility the undersigned begs leave, in the name of Her
Majesty's Governmnent, at once and most positively to disclaim. Whatever
may be the consequences of that transaction, the British Government will
look forward witliout anxiety to the judgment which will thereon be passed
by the civilized world, in as far as shall apply to any provocation furnished
by England for the adoption of such a measure.
With the political independence of Texas not only has Great Britain
disavowed all intention to interfere, but it is a well-known fact that her
most zealous exertions have been directed towards the completion of that
independence, by obtaining its acknowledgment at the hands of the only
Power by which it was seriously disputed.
Great Britain has also formally disclaimed the desire to establish in Texas
any dominant influence; and, with respect to slavery, slie is not conscious
of having acted in a sense to cause just alarm to the United States.
From-the avowed desire of Great Britain to see slavery abolished in
Texas, it is inferred by the Government of the United States that England
is endeavoring, through her diplomacy, to make the abolition of slavery a
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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/m1/64/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .