Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 7 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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7 [ 341 ]
taken, has never been reversed; and now, by the action of her constituted
authorities, sustained as it is by popular sentiment, she reaffirms her desire
for annexation. This course has been adopted by her, without the employment
of any sinister measures on the part of this Covernment. No intrigue
has been set on foot to accomplish it. Texas herself wills it, and
the Executive of the United States, concurring with her, has seen no sufficient
reason to avoid the consummation of an act esteemed to be so desirable
by both. It cannot be denied, that Texas is greatly depressed in her
energies by her long-protracted war with Mexico. Under these circumstances,
it is but natural that she should seek for safety and repose under
the protection of some stronger Power; and it is equally so that her people
should turn to the United States, the land of their birtl. in the first instance,
in pursuit of such protection. She has often before made known her
wishes; but her advances have, to this time, been repelled. The Executive
of the United States sees no longer any cause for pursuing such a course.
The hazard of now defeating her wishes may be of the most fatal tendency.
It might lead, and most probably would, to such an entire alienation of sentiment
and feeling, as would inevitably induce her to look elsewhere for aid,
and force her either to enter into dangerous alliances with other nations, who,
looking with more wisdom to their own interests, would, it is fairly to be presumed,
readily adopt such expedients; or she would hold out the proffer of
discriminating duties in trade and commerce, in order to secure the necessary
assistance. Whatever step she might adopt, looking to this object, would
prove disastrous, in the highest degree, to the interests of the whole Union.
To say nothing of the impolicy of our permitting the carrying trade and
home market of such a country to pass out of our hands into those of a
commercial rival, the Government, in the first place, would be certain to
suffer most disastrously in its revenue by the introduction of a system of
smuggling, upon an extensive scale, which an army of custom-house officers
could not prevent, and which would operate to affect injuriously the
interests of all the industrial classes of this country. Hence would arise
constant collisions between the inhabitants of the two countries, which
would evermore endanger their peace. A large increase of the military
f6rce of the United States would inevitably follow--thus devolving upon
the people new and extraordinary burdens, in order not only to protect them
from the danger of daily collision with Texas herself, but to guard their
border inhabitants against hostile inroads, so easily excited, on the part of
the numerous and warlike tribes of Indians dwelling in their neighborhood.
Texas would undoubtedly be unable, for many years to come, if
at any time, to resist, unaided and alone, the military power of the United
States; but it is not extravagant to suppose that nations reaping a rich harvest
from her trade, secured to them by advantageous treaties, would be induced
to take part with her in any conflict with us, from the strongest considerations
of public policy. Such a state of things might subject to devastation
the territory of contiguous States, and would cost the country, in
a single campaign, more treasure, thrice told over, than is stipulated to be
paid and reimbursed by the treaty now proposed for ratification. I will
not permit myself to dwell on this view of the subject. Consequences of a
fatal character to the peace of the Union, and even to the preservation of
the Union itself, might be dwelt upon. They will not, however, fail to
occur to the mind of the Senate and of the country. Nor do I indulge in
any vague conjectures of the future. The documents now transmitted
along with the treaty lead to the conclusion, as inevitable, that if the booa
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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/m1/7/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .