Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 38 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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38 ON THE PROPOSED
of the south, in the sight of day, and in the face of a christian
and civilized world, has declared " slavery to be a great good."
This is the bitter cup which the north has drunk to the dregs,
and now for the third, and for the last time, this question is
presented to the arbitrement of the American people.
Shall new slave territory be added to this republic . Shall the
materials of five or six slave-holding States be added to the Union 1
Shall the slave-holding power be rendered perpetual? For the
last time these questions are to be decided-if Texas is annexed
so far as:this generation is concerned, so long as the Union lasts
slavery is perpetual. The annexation of Texas is but another
name for " the perpetuity of slavery," and we who now enjoy the
rights and hold the soil of the Union, must bid farewell for ever
to the hope of relieving ourselves from the danger, the odium
and the disgrace inseparable from this pernicious institution.
The idea that the annexation of Texas can lead to the extinction
of slavery is certainly one of the most extraordinary for its
boldness, that has ever been put forth. How in the nature of
things can the addition of slave-holding States diminish the extent
or influence of that institution ? Is it likely to weaken the
bond or diminish the confidence which now binds the slave States
together 1 Is the addition of a great mart for the sale and consumption
of slaves likely to diminish the supply of the article '
Will the addition of a great cotton growing country to be cultivated
by slaves alone, be likely to diminish the slave breeding of
This is precisely the same argument used in the discussion of
the Missouri question. " It is further urged," said Mr. King, in
his admirable speech on this subject,* " that the admission of
slaves into Missouri would be limited to the slaves already within
the United States, that their health and comfort would be promoted
by their dispersion, and that their numbers would be the
same whether they remain confined to the States where slavery
exists, or are dispersed over the new States that are admitted
into the Union." And what-has been the result 1
We are not left irfthis matter to speculation alone; experiepce
has decided it; this is not the first time that we have been asked
to annex a great slave holding country on the southwest of the
republic. Texas is but a second Louisiana, and so far as slavery
is concerned, the results of the addition of the first will show us
what is likely to be the effect of the annexation of the second.
Louisiana was annexed forty years ago. Great public policy was
supposed to require its acquisition; as regards slavery, its results
have been most disastrous. In 1800, we had a slave population,
excluding nearly forty thousand in the now free States of NewYork,
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, of 650,000. In 1840 we had a
slave population of two millions and a half. Mr. Senator Walker,
who has, with great copfidence, putforth this new hypothesis
Nile's Register, vol. 17, p. 220.
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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/m1/38/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .