Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 32 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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f ON TIIE PROPOSED 1
luxury, poisons the springs of private virtue. These two ills combined,
waste our country, and our national and commercial existence
bears on every hand-the impress of their terrible ravages.
It is these spirits, and especially the latter, that are now called
to the aid of this new measure. Every consideration of national
faith and national justice is coolly set aside, that the manufacturers
of the East, the farmers and miners of the middle States,
may reap more abundant profits.
There can be no doubt that if Texas becomes a great and prosperous
country she must be a large consumer of the products of
the free States. There is no doubt that, as a rival power, her
competition may seriously affect the planters of the Carolinas
and of Louisiana. It must do so in any event. But are these the
only considerations, are they the leading considerations to govern
the conduct of a wise or of a christian people l No spirit is so
surely self-destructive as that which grasps at gain without stopping
to inquire as to the means that are to be used. The mere
pursuit of riches, unchecked by moderation, unchastened by
principle, is sure t6 be visited by the judgments of the Almighty.
The American race was planted in this western world not merely
to clear forests, dig canals, construct railroads, plant cotton,
grow sugar and amass wealth. For higher and nobler objects
were, we fondly hope, the foundations of this vast empire laid.
To hold up to the world the spectacle of a great, free self-govern.
ed country, bearing for its motto equality and justice, a refuge
for the oppressed of the old world, a warning to tyrants, and an
incitement for the brave and good of every age; these were the
objects for which the desolate shores of America were sought;
for which the men of the revolution labored. And has it all resolved
itself into an increase of the dividends of Lowell, or an
augmented profit upon the mines of Pennsylvania
"All this," said Mr. Burke, in that profound speech on conciliation
with America, which if listened to might have changed
or checkel the destinies of two Empires-" all this I know well
enough will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of
vulgar and mechanical politicians who have no place among us
-a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross
and material, and who therefore, far from being qualified to be
directors in the great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a
wheel in the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly
taught those ruling and master principles which in the opinion of
such men as I have mentioned have no substantial existence, are
in.truth every thing, and all in all. Magnanimity in politics is
not seldom the truest wisdom, and a great empire and little minds
go ill together."
We have not the slightest doubt, however, that Mr. Walker
has greatly exaggerated the growth and value of Texas. He supposes
it to increase with the rapidity of Louisiana. We see no
reason to believe that its advance will in any assignable proportion
keep pace with it. The vast difference between the rowth
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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/m1/32/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .