Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 33 of 55
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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.
of the free and slave States is too familiar to require remark.
Louisiana does not owe her rapid growth to her own resources:
she has been fed by the whole valley of the Mississippi. Slavebolding
Louisiana may thank heaven that she is the outlet of a great
free country. Where is the population of a similar kind that
is to nourish Texasl The rivers of Louisiana take their origin
in the densely peopled, industrious States of the north. The
rivers of Texas rise in uncultivated mountains. The products of
the free States pour downwards to Louisiana. The population of
Texas must struggle upward from the sea-coast prairie to the
hills. A mere cotton and sugar-growing country, in the latitude
of Morocco, nourished by no back population, at present consisting
of a mere strip of fertile land along the sea, destitute of good
harbors,* and above All " birth strangled" by slavery, is deficieat,
in our judgment, in some of the first elements of greatness. It
may indeed have a rapid, as it were a convulsive growth, at the
start, like Mississippi and Alabama, and will slacken in its career
from the same causes. This is not a matter in which it
becomes one to speak with confidence, but there seems abundant
reason to doubt whether the promised consumption of
Texas has not been greatly overrated, and whether we are not
asked to barter our birthright for a mess of pottage.
Mr. Walker writes so much like a partizan in this matter, with
so much excitement and under so great and evident a bias, that I
confess, with perfect respect to his motives, I greatly doubt the
accuracy of his statements. To seduce Pennsylvania, we are told
that Texas " has no mines of coal or iron"t This is material
every way. If without coal or iron, Texas is one of the feeblest
countries on the globe, she must be for ever a mere cotton growing
district. But it is not so: all the accounts concur in stating
that she possesses both. Newell says, p. 172, iron ore is foun
in abundance in the east, north, and middle parts of Texas; and
' bituminous coal also on the upper Colorado equal to that of
Pittsburg." Kennedy says, vol. i. p. 117, " iron ore is distributed
in profusion throughout Texas ;" and p. 118, i coal, both bituminous
and anthracite, abounds from Trinity River to the Rio Grande,"
so that Pennsylvania may not find it such an excellent bargain
after all, and may peradventure catch a rival instead of finding a
But we are told by Mr. Walker that the annexation of Texas
is essential to the existence of the present tariff. For a slaveholding
advocate of slavery, and a Southern opponent of the tariff,
to urge the measure upon the ground that it will be prejudicial
to slavery and beneficial to the tariff, is certainly what
"Galveston," says Mr. Kendall, (vol. 1 p. 20.) in a commercial point of
view, is the most important place in Texas, yet no vessel larger than an ordinary
sloop of war can cross the bar at the highest tide. The harbor is considered far
from.safe, yet is one of the best on the entire coast from the Rio Graade to the
Globe edition of Mr. Walker'sLetter, p. 21.
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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/m1/33/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .