Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 9 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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opinion, expressed in my message at the opening of Congress, that it is time
it had ceased. The Executive, while it could not look upon its longer
continuance without the greatest uneasiness, has nevertheless, for all past
time, preserved a course of strict neutrality. It could not be ignorant of
the fact of the exhaustion which a war of so long a duration had produced.
Least of all was it ignorant of the anxiety of other Powers to induce Mexico
to enter into terms of reconciliation with Texas, which, affecting the
domestic institutions of Texas, would operate most injuriously upon the
United States, and might most seriously threaten the existence of this happy
Union. Nor could it be unacquainted with the fact, that although foreign
Governments might disavow all design to disturb the relations which exist
under the Constitution between these States, yet that one, the most powerful
amongst them, had not failed to declare its marked and decided hostility
to the chief feature in those relations, and its purpose, on all suitable occasions,
to urge upon Mexico the adoption of such a course in negotiating
with Texas as to produce the obliteration of that feature from her domestic
policy, as one of the conditions of her recognition, by Mexico,
as an independent State. The Executive was also aware of the fact, that
formidable associationls of persons, the subjects of foreign Powers, existed,
who were directing their utmost efforts to the accomplishment of this object.
To these conclusions it was inevitably brought by the documents
now submitted to the Senate. I repeat, the Executive saw Texas in a
state of almost hopeless exhaustion, and the question was narrowed down
to the simple proposition, whether the United States should accept the
boon of annexation upon fair and even liberal terms, or, by refusing to do
so, force Texas to seek refuge in the arms of some other Power, either
through a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, or the adoption of
some other expedient, which might virtually make her tributary to such
Power, and dependent upon it, for all future time. The Executive has full
reason to believe that such would have been the result, without its interposition,
and that such will be the result, in the event either of unnecessary
delay in the ratification, or of the rejection of the proposed treaty.
In full view, then, of the highest public duty, and as a measure of security
against evils incalculably great, the Executive has entered into the negotiation,
the fruits of which are now submitted to the Senate. Independent
of the urgent reasons which existed for the step it has taken, it might
safely invoke the fact, which it confidently believes, that there exists no
civilized Government on earth, having a voluntary tender made it of a
domain so rich and fertile, so replete with all that can add to national greatness
and wealth, and so necessary to its peace and safety, that would reject
the offer. Nor are other Powers, Mexico inclusive, likely, in any degree,
to be injuriously affected by the ratification of the treaty. The prosperity of
Texas will be equally interesting to all, in the increase of the general commerce
of the world: that prosperity will be secured by annexation.
But one view of the subject remains to be presented. It grows out of
the proposed enlargement of our territory. From this, I am free to confess,
I see no danger. The federative system is susceptible of the greatest
extension compatible with the ability of the representation of the most distant
State or Territory to reach the seat of Government in time to participate
in the functions of legislation, and to make known the wants of the constituent
body. Our Confederated Republic consisted originally of thirteen members.
It now consists of twice that number, while applications are before
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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/m1/9/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .