Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 20 of 55
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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ON TRE PROPOSED
inconveniences and privations, and sought a transfer of those
regions by negotiations, and not by conquest.
"The issue of those negociations was a conditional cession of
these countries to the United States. The circumstances, however,
of their being colonial possessions of France and Spain,
and therefore dependent on the metropolitan governments, renders
those transactions materially different from that which
would be presented by the question of the annexation of Texas.
The latter is a State with an independant government, acknowledged
as such by the United States, and claiming a territory beyond,
though bordering on the region ceded by France, in the
treaty of the 30th of April, 1803. Whether the constitution of
the United States contemplated the annexation of such a State,
and if so, in what manner that object is to be effected, are questions,
in the opinion of the President, it would'be inexpedient,
under existing circumstances, to agitate."
But supposing the power to exist, supposing that by means of
a treaty, an independent foreign State can be amalgamated with
this republic, what explanation is offered for the extraordinary
manner in which this object has been recently attempted 1 It is
alleged and not denied that this government has solicited the admission
of Texas to this Union; that this ,has been done with all
possible secrecy, and that it was the intention that a treaty to this
effect should be secretly signed and submitted to the senate for
ratification before any public opinion could be brought to bear
upon the matter.
Such a proceeding is as novel as it is dangerous. That the Executive
of this Union should, without any application from either
branch of the legislature, solicit a foreign power to enter this
confederacy; that he should do this with elaborate secrecy; that
he should do it without any urgent necessity whatever, is the
most audacious stretch of executive power that this country has
But it is far worse than audacious. To endeavor to dispose of
such a question without any consultation with the people; to
spring this trap upon the Senate, and thus in the dark to change
the whole aspect of our domestic and foreign policy, is a gross
violation of the confidence reposed by the people in the Executive.
It was not for deeds like this that the treaty-making power
was conferred upon the President and Senate. If Texas be ad,
mitted, there is but one way in which it can.be done. After an
ample discussion, after elaborate investigation, if the people of
ii this country can find arguments for its support, this darling measure
of the Executive may be carried; but to suppose that such
an object can be accomplished in silence and secrecy, that this
conspiracy against the people and their representatives can
triumph, is quite as absurd as it is audacious.
, Dogmatism is neither wise nor proper on any matters, least of
all on topics of constitutional law. But I think that on a careful
reiew f this suect it must b
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Sedgwick, Theodore. Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States, book, January 1, 1844; New-York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2387/m1/20/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .