Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 43 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.
when carefully examined, they prove little or nothing for the
case. The first and second tables (page 12) go to show that the
number of deaf and dumb, idiots and insane, in the non-slaveholding
States, is 1 out of 96, in the slave States 1 out of 672, and
among the whites 1 in 561. What does this prove 1 This physical
difference is owing, no doubt, mainly to the fact that the
northern climate is unsuited to the Africans. But the most valuable
conclusion to be derived from it is, that the whites are worse
off than the negro slaves; and the only legitimate inference is,
that the free laborers of the north should turn blackamoors, and
hoe cotton under an overseer on the banks of the Pedee.
Who doubts that the free blacks are worse off than the slaves 1
The one race is oppressed morally, but their physical comforts
are in the main cared for. It is the interest of their masters that
they should be well fed and well housed. The other is oppressed
both physically and morally-they are degraded and overwbelmed
with prejudice-no matter whether deserved or undeserved, the
result is the same.
As to insanity, no doubt the free blacks are more afflicted
by it than the slaves. Of course it must be so. Mental action
leads to mental disease. Who can doubt that insanity is
more prevalent in England than in Russia-among freemen than
among slaves. Insanity is one of the privileges of freedom.
The third table (page 12) is made to show that the number of
negroes, deaf and dumb, blind, idiots, insane, paupers, and in prison,
in the non-slave-holding States, 1 out of every 154, or 22 to 1
against the free blacks, as compared with their Slaves. Now, here
the paupers and prisoners are evidently included for the purpose
of swelling the proportion, and it is equally evident that it is most
absurd to embrace them. We all know that the minor crimes on
the plantations in the slave States are not punished by law. Petty
thefts, petty broils, which fill our prisons with free blacks, are
there punished by the overseer. So that the prison statistics do
not furnish the slightest guide to a correct result. Again, where
are all the old, infirm, and helpless slaves who burden the plantations
and destroy the profits of southern labor 1 What is a slave,
to all intents and purposes, but a pauper-fed by another, clothed
by another, and who labors not for himself I Mr. Walker quietly informs
us, page 12: " There are no paupers among the slaves." True
enough, they are all paupers-two millions and a half of paupers.
Here, again, is a palpable confusion of facts, arranged with the
effect of completely perverting the mind and producing a false
But we may well ask what has all this to do with the annexation
of Texas ? The wretched condition of most of the ftee
blacks at the north is a matter with which we are familiarwhether
owing to climate, to prejudice, or to natuial differences,
they are undoubtedly considered in the free States as a Helat
a^ee, and the natural consequences have made themselves appa-
re t itheirmierv ad intir crimes. How far that pre
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/m1/43/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .