Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 44 of 55
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446 ON THE PROPOSED
has been created or nourished, how far their degraded position is
or has been owing to the existence of slavery, and to the continual
action of the federal government in behalf of that institution,
are questions which perhaps it is impossible, certainly unnecessary
But, at all events, what has this to do with annexation or
with slavery l The white race is the predominant interest on
this continent; and it is in behalf of the whole race, and for its
effects upon the white race, that the freemen of the north oppose
and denounce slavery. It is as degrading white labor, as affecting
white freedom, that we of the north detest the institution.
The free blacks are fading from the land; slavery nurses and extends
the evil; slavery but augments the dangers with which
emancipation, sure to come at last, will have to contend, and the
degradation of the free blacks furnishes humanity only with
another reason against the extension of that race, which, on this
continent, at least, seems born only to furnish food for oppression.
The consequences of emancipation would, in Mr. Walker's
opinion, lead to a general rush of the freed blacks from the south
upon the northern States. This is another bugbear, to frighten
the timid spirits of the north. What single reason is there to
suppose that the emancipated slaves would pour themselves upon
the freed States . Is it likely that these children of the torrid
zone would seek the inclement climate of the north 1 The mere
animal instincts furnish an insuperable obstacle. What possible
inducement, if freed at the south, would they have to seek starvation
at the north No one reason can be assigned for supposing
that the blacks would leave a climate suited and agreeable
to their constitutions, and for the productions of which their
labor is necessary, to perish of idleness, cold and misery in the
free States 1 There is evidently much greater reason to suppose
that in such an event the free blacks of the north would precipitate
themselves on the south; they would find there a great mass
of their brethren, a more congenial climate, and labor to which
their constitution is suited.
But who is it that talks of immediate emancipation . and what
has immediate emancipation to do with the annexation of Texas .
With the exception of a few blind fanatics, it is impossible to find
any at the north so ignorant as to misunderstand the constitutional
guarantees, or so immoral as to wish to violate them.
The right of petition, slavery in the District of Columbia, and
above all, the extension of the slave-holding power, do indeed
greatly agitate our minds. But with the question of immediate
emancipation, we very well know that we have nothing to do.
We very well know that this matter is left to the jurisdiction
of ihe States themselves; to them most properly and safely
left; and immediate emancipation is only-a chimera raised by
tkom who wish to cover with the odium of abolition every man
wi> has enough of sense and courage to express his abhorrenee
I t .fav.ry. . -r .
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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/m1/44/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .