Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 5 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.
This country, in the year 1835, formed a part of the state of
Coahuila and Texas,t and as such belonged to the Republic of
Mexico. It differed, however, materially in its population from
the rest of the Union to which it belonged, having long been an
object of interest to the southwestern states, and having received,
commencing in 1821, the period of Moses AuTstin's grant, a
very considerable American or Anglo-Saxon population. That
population was at the outset of a very desperate character. In
August, 1817, Mr. Chew, Collector at New Orleans, writes to
Mr. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, of " the most shameful
violations of the slave act, as well as of our revenue laws,
practised by a motely mixture of freebooters and smugglers established
at Galveston." (State papers, vol. 9, p. 351.)
The contest between Texas and Mexico is familiar to all. The
early hopes entertained by mankind for the freedom and prosperity
of that portion of Spanish America were blasted by the convulsions
which commencing in 1828, terminated only in the ignorant
military despotism established by Santa Anna in 1833. The
Texan revolution commenced in 1835, and terminated in less than
a year, with the battle of San Jacinto. Vehement appeals have
been made to us to sympathise with the Texan revolution as a
struggle of kin to our own, and to join our feelings in unison
with those of American blood, struggling in the great cause of
freedom. This might be more easily done if it were possible to
Visit to Texas; Texas, by Kennedy; Texas and the Texans, by H. S. Foote;
The Texan Immigrant. If any one desires a full view of the speculation and
knavery to which the country has given rise, the latter work will abundantly enlighten
,f Whether Texas was or was not entitled to an independent existence under
the Mexican government was one of the questions first agitated in their revolution.
In 1833, Texas requested admission into the Mexican Confederacy as a
sovereign state. The request was refused, and this was one among the numerous
causes of discontent. Colonel Austin, on the 8th of September, 1835, in a
speech delivered by him, spoke as follow's:
"Under the Spanish Government, Texas was a separate and distinct province.
As such it had a separate and distinct local organization. It was one of the
unities that composed the general mass of the nation, and as such participated
in the war of the revolution, and was represented in the Constituent Congress
of Mexico tliat formed the Constitution of 1824. Tis Constituent Congress, so
far from destroying this unity, expressly-recognized and confirmed it by the law
of May 7th, 1824, which united Texas with Coahuilk provisionally, under the
especial gilarantee of being made a state of the AMexican confederation as soon
as it possessed the necessary elements. That law and the federal Constitution
gave to Texas a specific political existence, and vested in its inhabitants special
and defined rights, which can only be relinquished by the people of Texas acting
for themselves ns a unity, and not as a part of Coahuila, for the reason that the
union with Coahuila was limited, and only gave power to the state of'Coahuila
and Texas to govern Texas for the time being, but always subject to the vested
rights of Texas. The state, therefore, cannot relinquish those vested rights, by
agreeing to the change of government, or by any other act, unless expressly
authorized by the people of Texas to do so; neither can the general government
of Mexico legally deprive Texas of them without the consent of this
people. These are my opinions."-(Texas and the Texans, by H. Sluart Foote,
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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/m1/5/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .