Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 24 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 THE PROPOSED
all countries, and we shall pay bitterly for our acquisition. A
war with Mexico would be in many respects worse than a war
with England herself. In the latter we should have at least a
chance of winning laurels and prizes; with Mexico no glory can
be earned and she has scarcely a dollar afloat-while the privateers,
the legalized pirates of all mankind would sweep our commerce
from the seas.
If Mexico submit, or succumb, after a fruitless resistance, how
manifest is it that we are committed to a career of conquest.
We are already told that the "young Eagle of America is pluming
itself for its returning flight." Who shall say where that
flight will stop 1 The unsettled spirits of the west, finding their
first efforts crowned with complete success, will at once turn
their eyes upon the fabled treasures of Mexico herself; and we
become involved in a struggle the consequence of which no man
can predict. Nor does the violent or aggressive character of the
measure much depend upon its being consummated with or without
the assent of Mexico, unless that assent be freely, fairly and
voluntarily given. If yielded under a threat, if that Republic despair
of resistance, the act is precisely as violent, oppressive and
overbearing as if done under our guns.
But unless the annexation is effected with the consent of Mexico,
a contest with that power is inevitable; and this simply because
the western boundary of Texas is entirely unsettled. Texas, the
independant State, is no more Texas, the province of Mexico,
than the United States of 1844 are the thirteen colonies of 1776.
Texas now claims, as we have already said, to the Rio del Norte.
As a province, she did not touch that river. This will be seen by
a reference to the map of Mexico in Mr. Ward's work, and also
to Austin's map of Texas. In adding Texas, therefore, we do
not only take one province of Mexico; we take, in fact, three
other provinces. We take parts of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, and
Santa Fe, or New Mexico. The late Santa Fe expedition, so
well described by Mr. Kendall, aptly illustrates this matter.
Santa Fe is a great Mexican depot. But Santa Fe lies to the east
i of the Rio del Norte, and therefore, according to the new limits
of Texas, belongs to her, and to occupy it was the object of the
expedition just spoken of. In taking Texas, therefore, we take
Santa Fe., We not only take Texas, but the conquests of Texas.
We add to our dominions one hundred and fifty thousand souls
now willing subjects of the Mexican confederacy.* And this is
done under the name of Texas; this is done under the plea of
original discovery; under the term of re-annexation. Away with
these miserable subterfuges. If we have the avidity, let us have
the port of conquerors; let us not go out to rob in the garb of a
special attorney; a national compound of Dick Turpin and Oily
Gammon, uniting plundering and pettifogging in a new motley
K endall's Santa Fe, vol. i. p. 16.
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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/m1/24/?rotate=90: accessed February 15, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .