Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 30 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
been already answered. This country never ought to permit, and
never will permit Texas to be held or occupied by England in any
way. The idea is utterly inadmissible, though even in that case
the present theory seems altogether unwarrantable. The name
of Jackson has been invoked to support it; and certainly the
opinions of that statesman on a military question, connected
with the defence of the west, are entitled to the greatest deference.
But, with all that deference and respect, it is impossible to see
any plausible ground for this apprehension. It seems the last spot
in the whole extent of our territory likely to be thus attacked,
and the most defensible against any invader, hardy enough to approach
it. The difficulty of landing, in the first place, any very
large body of men at any point on our coast, where they have to
be followed by ordnance and provisions, is a very serious one.*
How is any tolerable commissariat to be maintained on the line
of two hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Red River I
How many days would a hostile army be occupied in marching
through this wilderness 1 While, on the other hand, what are our
resources for defence, and how should we, in the meantime, be
occupied during the advance of the invaders? Down the Ohio,
the Missouri, the Mississippi and its tributaries, would pour the
troops of the West. Boats, supplies, every thing twould be at their
command, and the moment the invader crossed our boundary he
would find himself far from his own ships, without any base of
operations, in the midst of a hostile population, and in front of a
force of any required numbers. Burgoyne's experiment in 1778
was not half as chimerical, nor met with nearly as certain a fate,
as would any such attempt. As to the dangers of servile insurrection,
if they exist, and that they do exist, is one of the pernicious
consequences of the " domestic institution," the peril would
be the same if the British troops were landed at the Balize or at
Mobile. But certainly no British general in his senses will march
two hundred miles in the rear of our country, for the pleasure of
meeting there the riflemen of the West. There is not so strong a
portion of the Union at the whole line of the Mississippi: a population
inured to hardships, wonted to arms, and possessing rapid
means of communication, may defy tlie force not merely of
England, but of the world. But look at history and experienceon
our northern frontier, Great Britain has colonies for a thousand
miles, fortifications-dep6ts and waters on which she can
move with rapidity and in great bodies, and vet what has she ever
done there to annoy us? Plattsburgh and Saratoga answer the
question. The truth is, that this country never can be occupied
by an European force. As regards conquest or occupation, it is
*In 1809. the whole British force in the Peninsula was only 23,000 men. Napier,
vol. 1, ap. No. 40. In 1811, it leached to 57,000. In 1812, to 48,000; Napier,
vol. 2, 'ap No. 20; and this, it must be recollected, was the greatest effirt
that England has ever made, and upon a country within a few days' sail of
her own ports with Portugal for an ally and the paniu opatioa s aui
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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/m1/30/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .