Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 45 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.
It is too late to attempt to make these false issues. The people
of the north, for a while, were deluaed by them; the day
has now, thank God, gone by. The question now is not whether
the abolitionists are fanatics, nor as to the consequences of immediate
emancipation, but whether slavery and the slave-holding
power shall be perpetuated by the direct agency of the federal
government. This is the question that the christian freemen of
the north, that the christian freemen of the south must decide,
with a just view of their responsibility to that religion which
they profess, and to that civilized world of which they are a
part. Not the north alone does this matter by any means affect.
The south has a far deeper, more direct, more vital interest in
opposing the annexation of Texas than any that we of the free
States can pretend. There are in the slave States multitudes of
high-rmided right judging men, who,perceive the fatal effects
of slavery, and earnestly desire its extinction. Let these men
think well before they abandon the last nope of freeing themselves
and their children from the burthen of this incubus.
If the preceding numbers of these papers have established what
it was undertaken to maintain, it has been shown that the annexation
of Texas cannot be effected without an exercise of power,
at the best very doubtful, and which has been denied by some
of the ablest statesmen this country has ever produced-that
whether it is followed by a war with Mexico or not, it is equally
a departure from our original and well-established policy with
respect to foreign nations, and must give to this country an attitude
of aggression in regard to its feebler neighbors-that finally
it must prodigiously aggravate the evils of slavery.
If I have succeeded in carrying the mind of the reader with
me thus far, it only remains to inquire what will be the probable
effect of this measure upon the union of these States-the probable
effect, for he must be presumptous indeed who affects to
speak with confidenee of the ultimate destinies of this western
hemisphere. We can only argue from the existence-of certain
causes to their probable effects.
And at the outset it is proper to remark that the results of this
measure will be neither to-day nor to-morrow. If the friends
of annexation triumph, the calm and deliberate temper of the
north will prevent any immediate outbreak, and we shall be
told with abundant airs of triumph, how much we have miscalculated
and overrated the effects of this dreaded step. But the
destinies of nations are not decided in a day, nor yet in a generation.
This republic has existed fifty years. Fifty years is
scarcely a moment in the life-time of empires. If we rightly
apprehend the probable consequences of the annexation, they
will be slow, but they will be certain, and as disastrous as
In the first place-another shock will be given to our faith in
the 'Constitution, and to the value of constitutional law. The
_Costittion is the corner-stone of all our instituionsand with
___Co. ' ...... ..................
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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/m1/45/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .