Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 34 of 55
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34 ON THE PROPOSED
the lawyers call using the license of counsel to its full extent;
and we may well be permitted to doubt whether arguments so
urged against the known prejudices and interests of the advocate
are entitled to the merit of sincerity. Can they claim any
other merit X
If indeed the independence of Texas could so far affect the tariff
as to compel Congress to approach the revenue line of duty,
that of itself would, in our minds, be the strongest possible argument
against annexation. Such a result would be received with
delight, not only by the southern interest to which Mr. Walker
so exclusively belongs, but by all those at the north who look forward
with anxious desire to the moment when the shackles shall
be struck off the limbs of trade, and in the expressive language of
Franklin, "exchanges shall be as free among all nations, as between
the counties of England."
The annexation of Texas urged upon us for the support of the
present tariff! This is indeed a potent argument, addressed by a
democrat, a southern and a planter, to the manufacturers of Lowell!
The fraternal tie which binds them is well known to be strong;
and we, who for years have been struggling to establish but a partial
freedom of trade, are called upon to yoke in with the manufacturers
of the east in the support of a system that we have ever
denounced as unequal and unjust. The argument is as insulting
to our reason as it is odious to our feelings.
But how stand the facts 1 Mr. Walker's argument is briefly
this. That Texas, as a neutral power, will be flooded with the
manufactures of England: that no system of custom-houses will
be sufficient to command the line of the Sabine, the Red River
and the Arkansas, and that thus the whole west must be deluged
with her productions. How stands the case on our northern boundary
1 For thousands of miles, rivers and inland seas divide
us from the colonies of England. Has the tariff been found ineffectual
on that frontier 1 is it not perfectly notorious that the
woollen and iron ranufactures of England are so bulky in proportion
to their cost, that smuggling on any great scale is out of the
question, and that although England has all Canada for her depot,
the amount of contraband articles introduced into the country is
altogether insignificant. And yet, what England cannot effect
with the help of the St. Lawrence, the lakes and Canadas, she is
'to effect by penetrating the wilderness of the south-west, without
dep6ts or communications-without, indeed, at present, any internal
. Mr. Walker tells us, in so many words, that unless Texas is
. r te-annexed," the commerce of the country will be transferred from
. -. New-York and the ports of the North; to the free ports of Texas."
That is,to say, that New-England, New-York, Pennsylvania, and
the Great West, now supplied through New-York, Boston and
Philadelphia-and into which vast territory neither Canada, the
St. Lawrence nor the Lakes enable England to smuggle any thing
worth naming-that these same States will be supplied with cou
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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/m1/34/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .