Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 49 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.
trolled by the prejudices, or, if you please, the fanaticism of freedom,
would be feebly checked by a slave-holding Sen'ate; and, in
such a state of things, how much the Constitution would be regarded
in the conflict of violent and contending parties, repeated
experience leaves no room for question.
The annexation of Texas must be, in our judgment, fatal to the
perpetuation of this Union-not that it will result in any violent
outbreak, but that such a state of temper will be produced as to
render the harmonious action of the government impracticable.
Fifty years, it must be remembered, have vastly changed the
relations of the members of this confederacy, both as regards
themselves and foreign powers. The Union was the result of a
common interest and a common apprehension; to these, nobler
impulses were added; but the debates in the convention render
it manifest that nothing but the timidity of the free States induced
them to make those great compromises of principle so apparent
in the federal charter.
These original causes are greatly iveakened. The northern
States, densely peopled with a hardy and industrious race, connected
in every direction by railroads and canals, self-dependent and
independent, are no longer compelled to seek refuge in the arms
of other States. A common interest still attracts them to the
Union, a pride in the great names of the revolution binds them to
it; but no necessity retains them in the confederacy. The fear of
foreign domination is obsolete. The free States have in themselves
at this moment, in their commerce, their agriculture and their
manufactures, all the elements of independent empire. Is it wise
to say to this people that slavery is perpetual 1 Is it wise to declare
that we have perpetually incorporated with the republic a
system which oppresses one race and degrades another; which
degrades labor, engenders violence, stifles opinion, and is as
odious to freemen as it must be hateful to God 1
For one, I do not wish to see the experiment tried. I do not
wish to see the religious opinions, the feelings, the prejudices of
the northern States tried to this extent. Such treasures as we
possess are not thus to be trifled with.
It is not necessary to deny that under some circumstances it
might be pleasing to contemplate the annexation of Texas to our
own dominion. If there were no constitutional difficulty, if it
involved no violation of faith as regards Mexico, no extension of
slavery, nothing could in that case be more agreeable to an
American Statesman than to see the great area of this republic
enlarged, it would be a new triumph of the Anglo-Saxon, an
extension of freedom, the progress of a purer christianity.
There can be no doubt, whether it is to be effe-cted by our
government, by the people of Texas, or by some yet more desperate
adventurers, that the descendants of the indomitable race
from which we spring must possess this continent from the
Atlantic to the Pacific. The feebler people succumb to the more
powerful, such has been the invariable cotrse of empire in either
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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/m1/49/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .