Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 29 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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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS. 2
spirit; that vice which Washington foresaw, and against which
his last warning was given; that which was the prominent evil of
Rome, of Greece, of Holland, of all ancient and modern Republics,
is our great calamity. This spirit of party, sordid, blind and
selfish when carried to extremes, finds its choicest aliment in the
local interests and sectional prejudices with which every country
abounds. Those interests and prejudices necessarily increase
with every extension of territory, and it is in this light that every
great augmentation of the Union becomes formidable.
With a strong and wise central administration, where such a
thing is practicable, a diversity of interests leads to strength ; in
a government ruled by party, such a diversity engenders faction.
Now in this point of view, what is likely to result from the annexation
of Texas 1 Entirely new interests are introduced into
the Union. Leaving out of view for the present the great increase
of the slave-holding class, a perpetual source of discord,
with Texas we have a great new south-western interest brought
into the government, in many respects entirely different from any
which it now contains, and which in some shape or other will
abundantly increase the sources of confusion. The interest of
the cotton-growers of the wasted plains of South Carolina cannot
be identical with those of the virgin soil of Texas, and Alabama
and Mississippi will shortly find themselves engaged in a
similar competition. The settlers upon the Rio Bravo will soon
have interests distinct from those who line the Mississippi; while
the hostility to Mexico, the trade with Santa Fe, and the increased
pressure upon the Oregon question, will all unite to distract
our national councils. Mr. Walker tells us that Texas gives us
the trade with Santa Fe-which it will be recollected not only
lies far beyond the original bounds of the province of Texas, but
is equally without her present authority.
Some strong necessity or great advantage must be shown to
counterbalance these evils. Mr. Walker says the present line
carves the valley into a " shape actually hideous." A better argument
for an artist than a statesman. It is a new exemplification
of "the sublime and beautiful." But what is the necessity ? The
first argument is one growing out of the alleged insecurity of
our western frontier. That frontier is defined mainly by three
rivers i the Sabine, the Red river, and the Arkansas. This line
approaches upon the Red river to about one hundred miles from
the Mississippi, and it is seriously urged that in case of an invasion
by England, she would march through Texas, along the Sabine,
through a desolate country, more than two hundred miles,
occupy the Red river, float down that stream to its junction with
the Mississippi, cut off the connexion maintained by that river,
and place New Orleans at her mercy.
The safety of that city is always to be regarded with a lively
sensibility, and its narrow escape in 1815 has a tendency to
keep alive our apprehensions. If this idea is urged with reference
to the acisition of Texas as an English Colony it ha
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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/m1/29/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .