Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 31 of 55
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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS. 31
v On the other hand, if the numerous ports and long line of sea
coasts of Texas are to be defended as a portion of our own frontier,
a vast increase must be made to oir fortifications, and a very
considerable one to our military and naval establishment. Texas,
as a neutral, would be, in case of a war with England, far more
serviceable than as a portion of our own territory, and that she
would be a voluntary ally, is, in our judgment, in the last degree
improbable. We seem to forget that there must be limits to our
dominion; in case of war, Great Britain will always endeavor to
enlist in opposition to us our southern neighbors, be she Mexico
or Texas, a policy far easier to be pursued with Mexico, already
alienated from us, than with the people of Texas, claiming the
same origin with ourselves. In case of a war, it were far better
to have Galveston and Matagordas in neutral hands than in our
The annexation of Texas, instead of strengthening the Union,
weakens it, just so far as it adds a great line of frontier to be occupied
and defended. A friendly or neutral republic on our border
is of vastly more importance to us in every military point
The leading, indeed, the only considerable inducement held
out in Mr. Walker's pamphlet, is the prospect that Texas will furnish
a great market for the mining and manufacturing productions
of the northern and middle States. The mrost elaborate production
of his treatise consists of an effort literally to purchase
the support of the North. A trifling inconsistency may be noticed.
Texas, as a mart for slaves, is to assist in draining the old slave
States, and in extirpating the institution. As a market for the products
of the free States, it is indefinitely to augment their resources,
indefinitely to increase their productions. It would be
,desirable to know why the same cause is to produce effects so
different. But Mr. Walker has, in some respects, rightly appreciated
the character of our people. During the fifty-five years of
independent existence, under our present form of government,
three have been consumed in war; nearly two entire generations
have been devoted exclusively to the pursuit of material acquisition.
There can be no doubt that in some respects, profound peace
and advancing luxury have exercised an injurious influence upon
the national character. That " fierce spirit of liberty" which,
seventy years ago, Mr. Burke so beautifully depicted as equally
our glory and our strength, scarcely breathes in us with equal
vigor. The spirit of party and the love of gain are the two master
impulses that agitate our bosoms; and two foes more dangerous
to human virtue, and more injurious to national character, are
not to be named. Political divisions, growing out of great national
questions, are the life-blood of a free people; party spirit,
sectional cabal, selfish intrigue, destroy the very existence of publicvirtue.
The pursuit of.wealth, as leading to independence, is
the most honorable occupation of peace. The mere acquisition
of property for the gratification of appetite or the satisfaction of
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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/m1/31/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .