Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 54 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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54 ON THE PROPOSED
never sought in any way to stir up disaffection or excitement of
any kind in the slave-holding States of the American Union.
Much as we should wish to see those States placed on the firm
and solid footing which we conscientiously believe is to be attained
by general freedom alone, we have never in our treatment
of them made any difference between the slave-holding and free
States of the Union. All are, in our eyes, entitled, as component
members of the Union, to equal political respect, favor and forbearance
on our part. To that wise and just policy we shall continue
to adhere; and the governments of the slave9holding States
may be assured that, although we shall not desist from those
open and honest efforts which we have constantly made for procuring
the abolition of slavery throughout the world, we shall
neither openly nor secretly resort to any measures which can tend
to disturb their internal tranquillity, or thereby to affect the prosperity
of the American Union."
Now it will scarcely be believed that this letter is the pretext
for the present treaty-because England desires and exerts herself
in the way of honorable and open counsel for the abolition of
slavery in Texas and throughout the world; because she will advise
such a course on all proper occasions, therefore we must annex
Texas to protect and perpetuate slavery; and Mr. Calhoun
writes a letter to Mr. Pakenham, April 18th, 1844, in which he
goes into a labored defence of slavery, seems almost to doubt
whether the free States have done well in abolishing it; declares
that Texas is to be annexed to guard against the danger of its
being abolished in the southern States; and finally declares,
"THAT WHAT IS CALLED SLAVERY IS IN REALITY A POLITICAL INSTITUTIO-N
ESSENTIAL TO THE PEACE, SAFETY AND PROSPERITY OF THOSE
STATES OF THE UNION IN WHICH IT EXISTS."
The veil is rent, and fortunately rent in time-Texas is to be
annexed, for the sole and only object of perpetuating slavery.
t What is called slavery" is essential to those States where it exists-no
matter where, in Virginia or Carolina, on the wheat field
or rice plantation, in Missouri or Alabama, slavery is essential to
the States where it exists. This monstrous language is the deliberate
declaration of the first cabinet officer of the first FREE
government in the world.
The game is now manifest. " England," it seems, " is not free
from tke suspicion of having attempted to abolish slavery in Cuba."
(Upshur to Everett, 28th Sept. 1843.)
4 is evident that this presents to the people of the Union a
quesion entirely new and which they cannot avoid. This issue
is not as to abolition of slavery in the southern States, the -District,
or the Territories of the Union, but whether this government
shall devote its whole energies to the peipetuation of slavery;
whether all the sister republics on this continent which
desire to abolish slavery, are to be dragooned by us into the support
of this institution.
This treaty evidenty forms a new era in the history of ouri
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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/m1/54/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .