Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 40 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
sentation-fifteen hundred thousand slaves are now actually represented
in Congress. Shall we then be told that a continuation
of the same policy will have a wholly different effect 1
In 1840 the slaves in the old original slave States amounted to
1,392,523. In the new slave States of Tenndssee, Kentucky, Alabama,
Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida,
they amounted to 1,086,404, so that ONE MILLION of slaves have
been added to the Republic by our own act-by the addition of
slave holding territory to the south-west.
And we are gravely informed that slavery, if left to itself, will
work its own cure. I quite agree to the proposition; but when
shall we begin the experiment 1 Is adding new slave States leaving
slavery to itself-is adding a new market for slaves-is adding
Texas, leaving slavery to itself If this institution had been
cooped up in the old States-if it had been left to the territory
on the Atlantic coast, I have not a doubt that it would long since
have disappeared. But the whole vigor of the federal government
has been regularly and systematically applied to the extension
of slave territory and slave-holding.
And after this, shall we be told that slavery will be diminished
by the annexation of Texas ? There is but one hope for that result,
and that is in limiting the confederacy to its present boundaries.
If we remain satisfied with our present possessions, the
vigorous principle of freedom must inevitably by its own action
root out slavery from amongst us. The principle of freedom is
one of perpetual growth, whilst slavery bears with it the seeds of
its own destruction; wasting the soil which it covers, and impoverishing
the race which tolerates it, it will yield silently and
inevitably to the advancing steps of freedom. It exists, and has
existed solely under the patronage and assistance of the central
government. If Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama;
if Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, had not been added as slave
States, it would already have dwindled to a span; it will now be
too feeble for the elements of freedom in the republic, unless reinforced
and re-invigorated by the addition of Texas.
The argument that Texas can by any possibility affect slavery
injuriously, is almost ludicrous, when we consider by whom it is
urged. The consideration that the annexation of Texas will extinguish
slavery is gravely presented to northern men by southern
gentlemen, who avow themselves devoted advocates and adherents
of the slave-holding interest. It is by slave holders, by
the enemies of the right of petition, by gentlemen who denounce
all agitation of this question as next of kin to treason, that we
are gravely urged to receive Texas on the ground that slavery
will be thereby extinguished. Thus it is that the prejudices and
passions of every section are to be reached; the northern citizen
is to be coaxed with the prospect of extending freedom, while the
southern statesman clutches a new slave empire in his grasp.
Mr. Walker's pamphlet, which contains a series of ingenious
appeals to whatever there is of ignorance, rejudice, or love of
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/40/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .