Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 47 of 55
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ANNEXATION OF TEXAS. 47
It is as auspicious to freedom as it is ominous to the perpetuation
of slavery. When the abolitionists first commenced their
career, the violence of the South, the action of the federal government
then in the firm hands of Jackson, and the timidity of
the North all conspired to produce a state of things as alarming
as it was short lived. The abolitionists were hunted down; they
were made the victims of every species of mob-violence, the
mails were stopped, gag-rules forced through Congress, and the
whole tide of freedom was turned backward. But this state of
things, in its nature, could not long last: men of all parties and
of no party came to the rescue-Adams, Leggett, Channing
bearded the popular lion, and from that time a reaction became
manifest. The abolitionists became politicians, and now in the
three leading States of Massachusetts, New-York and Ohio, they
number nearly fifty thousand voters. And this party belongs to a
highly respectable class of the people. They have property and
character. They may be fanatics if you please, but they are at
any rate orderly and virtuous citizens.
The operation of causes, commonly called political, are' not to
be lost sight of. The anti-slavery party is now a very small minority.
But it is bound together by the strongest tie, and it is a
curious fact that, while we habitually talk of the influence of
majorities, it is by resolute and determined minorities that the
most important questions are daily decided. A short retrospect
will bring this very forcibly to the mind of any person familiar
with our political history.
Hostility to slavery has largely infiltrated itself into both the
political parties; prominent democrats have denounced slave
rule on the floor of Congress, while their opponents are still
more zealous. This state of things has been greatly accelerated
by the unreasonable violence, the overbearing and the menace of
the South. And how can it be otherwise The interests, the
feelings, the prejudices of the North are all in favor of freedom.
The example of England, the taunts and scoffs of all that is liberalin
Europe, urge on some, while the voice of religion carries conviction
to others, Thus is growing and swelling at the North a
spirit of hostility to slavery which threatens immediate collision,
and which nothing but extreme good temper, conciliation and
forbearance on the part of the South, could possibly silence or
allay. It is not now abolition-fanaticism with which they have
to contend. It is a growing, it promises soon to be a unanimous
conviction on the part of eight millions of freemen, that slavery
is incompatible with freedom; and that they are bound in every
constitutional way to limit its influence and oppose its extension.
What will be the feeling of this population when told that
slavery is rendered perpetual; that the child just born cannot
look forward to extremest old age with any hope of seeing it:
abolished, and that we and our descendants, so far as human ken:
can go, must through all time bear the thame and odium of this,
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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/m1/47/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .