Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 35 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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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS.
traband goods through Texas, lying from four hundred to one
thousand miles to the south. Can any more preposterous proposition
be started 1 And the argument is just as false in regard to
the southern as to the northern States.
The tariff, unfortunately, is vastly too strong to be overthrown
by smuggling; nothing but an enlightened and liberal legislation
can accomplish it; and its opponents have as little to hope from
the annexation, as its friends to dread from its independence of
But the worst argument of the friends of annexation is yet to
come. We are told (Mr.Walker, p. 16) that if Texas is not annexed,
the south and south-west must separate from the north
and unite with Texas. The sordid, anti-national and unpatriotic
character of the movement cannot be better understood than by
this argument. The south, unless gratified in this point, will
unite with Texas to prevent free trade and perpetuate slavery.
If this be the issue, in God's name, so be it. We have heard this
cry of disunion so long, that it has begun to lose its ter'rors. If
the south prefer Texas to the north, let them try the exchange.
But it is absurd. The south cannot separate from the north. The
mere agricultural portion of the country cannot separate from
the manufacturing and commercial. Nor does the south desire
it. Deceived and inflamed by party leaders, they are often unwise,
violent, and unreasonable. But the south, bone of our bone,
and flesh of our flesh, will not persist in any course of conduct
dangerous to their material interests, at war with every true national
feeling, and fatal to liberty.
We have yet to consider the effects of annexation on the Institution
If Texas is to be annexed, it is as forming one or more slave
States that she is to come in. At the very first view of this
part of the subject, it is a striking fact, that the whole vigor and activity
of the movement comes from the south. You may find at the
north, individuals here and there in favor of the measure. Many
who, with our usual lukewarmness upon political topics, would
consent rather than have the trouble of' opposition; but were it
left to the north alone, the annexation of Texas would be the last
topic to agitate us. The whole pressure, as we have said, proceeds
from the south. What common interest unites the southern
members of this confederacy in demanding the exercise of
powers so doubtful, against the settled policy of this government,
and at the imminent hazard of embroiling us with foreign states I
What other interest can it be than the strict alliance proceeding
from that baneful institution which forms the ground-work of
their whole social organization l What other tie can it be than
that slavery, which many among them have openly declared
shall rule the destinies of our common country 1
It is only with slavery as a political institution that these paragraphs
have any thing to do-as a basis of representation, as affecting
our national legislature-as controlling the fate of the
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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/m1/35/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .