Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 36 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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ON THE PROPOSED
District of Columbia and territories-as interfering with the right
of petition, slavery is a national establishment, and as such, every
freeman in the northern States has a direct interest and clear
right to examine it in all its bearings. With slavery as mere
slave-holding, as a " domestic institution," I do not intend, nor
affect to intermeddle. I set myself up as judge of no other person's
virtue; but the institutions of my country no man can prevent
me from discussing.
In approaching this subject, above all others, effort should ebe
made to preserve a reasonable and fraternal temper. The south
has been irritated by what they term the fanaticism of the abolitionists.
That fanaticism has largely mingled with the course
pursued by that party, is too evident to permit denial. That in
their violent denunciations of the motives of that great body of
the slave-holding class, their course has been unreasonable, impolitic,
and unchristian, it were vain to question, but it would be
well to inquire whether the violence of the south has not fully
kept pace with that of the least judicious portion of the north;
whether the fanaticism of slavery is not quite as wild, quite as
ferocious as the fanaticism of freedom.
I am no abolitionist; I have no connexion, direct or indirect,
with that sect. I am strongly attached to that great political
party which now for half a century has, with few interruptions,
ruled the destinies of the Republic; I am entirely persuaded that
the interests of the country call for the restoration of that party
to power; but detesting slavery with the natural abhorrence of
a freeman, regarding it as the greatest disgrace and the greatest
misfortune of my country, no party allegiance shall silence my
voice, or prevent me from doing that little which every man in
his humble sphere is bound at least to attempt, for the cause of
liberty and good government.
A most serious ground of opposition to the admission of Texas
is, that it must incalculably increase the slaveholding interest.
Not the southern interest; I would as lief be governed by the
south as by the east or west: on the great subject of commercial
intercourse, would far rather; but the northern man must be
false to his education, and blind to his interests, who does not,
inch by inch, and hand to hand, resist the extension of the slaveholding
power. The institution is in every way a blight and a
curse. In those districts where it exists, it has plunged the laboring
class into degradation and made labor itself dishonorable.
Requiring a ruinous investment of capital in the slaves themselves,
while it deprives the operative of every stimulus to exertion,
it makes the master idle and reckless. It has blighted the
prosperity of the Southern States, and the line which separates the
free from the slave portion of this confederacy is traced clearly
and distinctly as if by the hand of the Almighty himself. Twice
the question has been presented to the people of this country;
twice as a nation they have been called upon to decide between
slavery and freedom, and twice to their infinite shame and mis
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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/m1/36/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .