Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 66 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 ] 66
"disturb the internal tranquillity of the States" where it exists, nor "affect
the prosperity of the Union." The object of the undersigned in introducing
the statistical information referred to was to correct this erroneous
impression, by showing, from facts drawn from unquestionable
sources, that the condition of the African race in the States which had
abolished slavery was far worse than in those which had not; and that of
course Great Britain could not consummate in the Urnited States what she
avows to be the pbject of her policy and constant exertions to effect
throughout the world, without rendering the condition of the African race
in the slaveholding States much worse than it is, and disturbing their "internal
tranquillity and the prosperity of the Union."
That such was the intention of the undersigned he hopes will be evident
to Mr. Pakenham on a reperusal of his note; and not, as he supposes, to
" expound the subject of slavery," or to "defend it as it exists in the
United States." He is the more solicitous to correct the error into which
Mr. Pakenhlam has fallen in this particular, because the intention which
he attributes to the undersigned would be incompatible with the principle
which regulates the United States in their intercourse with the rest of the
world; that is, to leave all other countries, without interference on their
part, to regulate their own internal relations and concerns as to each other
may seenl best, without permitting any to interfere with theirs. He could
not, consistently with this well-established principle of their policy, permit
any question belonging exclugively to the internal relations or concerns
of any of the States of this Union to be brought into controversy between
this and any foreign Government whatever.
The undersigned regrets that Mr. Pakenham should entertain the impression,
that the Government of the United States did not appreciate at
their fiull value the explanations of Her Majesty's Government on the sub.
ject of its policy in reference to Texas. - e would repeat; what he had
supposed had been explicitly stated in his note to Mr. Pakenham, the assurance
that this Government fllly appreciates the spirit of frankness and
good faith in which the explanations were furnished. If they have failed
to allay the anxiety which it had previously felt on the subject to which
they referred, it was bgcause they were accompanied by an avowal on the
part of Her Majesty's Government, in reference to the abolition of slavery
generally, and to Texas in particular, calculated to defeat the object which
.the explanations were intended to effect. It was not possible for the Pres.
ident to hear with indifference the avowal of a policy so hostile in its char.
acter and dangerous in its tendency to the domestic institutions of so many
States of this Union. arld to the safety and prosperity of the whole. Nor
could he abstain from declaring his regret at the avowal, consistently with
that frankness and sincerity which have ever characterized the conduct of
this Government in its intercourse with other countries.
The United States, in concluding the treaty of annexation with Texas,
are not disposed to shun any responsibility which may fairly attach to
them on account of' the transaction. The measure was adopted with'the
mutual consent and for the mutual and permanent welfare of the two coun tries
interested. It was made necessary in order to preserve domestic institutions
placed under the guaranty of their respective Constitutions, and
deemed essential to their safety and prosperity.
Whether Great Britain has the right, according to the principles of international
law, to interfere with the domestic institutions of either country,
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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/m1/66/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .