Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 51 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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d rH T 'XAS STATE NORMAL COLLit
AlNNEXATION OF TEXAS. 5
The United States assume the debt of Texas to the extent of
Ten Millions of Dollars and the public lands of Texas are pledged
for its payment.
The treaty is to be ratified within six months.
Such is the treaty-let us now see its origin, scrutinize somewhat
more closely its provisions, and then examine the alleged
necessity under which it has been concluded.
In the first place, it proceeds entirely from the government of
the United States. There is not the slightest proof that annexation
is any more desired by Texas than it is by the people of this Union.
On the 16th of October, 1843, Mr. Upshur, then Secretary of
State, writes to Mr. Van Zandt, Charge of Texas, making a formal
proposition of annexation. This offer was declined, as appears by
Mr. Upshur's letter to Mr. Murphy, our charge at Texas, dated
16th January, 1844. In this letter, written to be shown to President
Houston, the Secretary renews the proposition, in a manner of
which it is painfulto speak, when recollecting his melancholy fate.
In discussing, however, matters of this peculiarly public character,
it is impossible to keep silence from personal considerations.
The document is in every way discreditable to this nation; at one
time wheedling-at another threateiing, this government has actually
stooped to menace the feeble Republic of Texas, in case it
refused to enter the Union, " with being ground to powder in the
revolutions of the upper and nether mill-stones "-(England and
the United States.)
Mr. Murphy is told (all this, be it remembered, for the benefit
of President Houston) that if Texas refuses, " war is inevitable."
Before this attitude Texas has succumbed, and, so far as she is
concerned, the treaty is the result of a plain direct threat of war.
Nor is there any proof that her people desire it. A vote was
taken on the question in 1536, (the President's message) and it
seems only ninety-three persons voted in the negative; and this
vote eight years old is what our functionaries gravely rely on as
a proof that the people of Texas are now in favor of the measure.
No wonder that, acting on this mode of reasoning, this same letter
to Mr. Murphy (still to be read to President Houston) contains
positive and exaggerated declarations that the people of the
United States are in favor of the measure, and closes with the
most extraordinary statement " that measures have been taken to
ascertain the opinions and views of Senators on the subject, and
that it is found a clear constitutional majority of two-thirds are
in favor of the measure." This in January last, when not the
slightest means had been taken to ascertain the sense of the nation
on the subject.
So much for the origin of the treaty. It is made on our solicitation,
and is the result of the most exaggerated mis-statement
and direct menace. The instrument itself is in good keeping. It
has been concocted with utter ifldirence to the opinion of every
sound thinking, right judging man in the Union.
inki ging man
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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/m1/51/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .