Thoughts on the proposed annexation of Texas to the United States Page: 7 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.
gle for independence, afford great subjects of national exultation,
we may well question.
But I attach no very great importance to these considerations.
If we can find nothing in the history of Texas very much calculated
to enlist our sympathies, there is, on the other hand, nothing
which should repel us from her embraces. Her destinies
are all before her; her population claims the same origin with
ourselves. The vices of a frontier people she has in common
with our own pioneer states, and the admission of Texas must be
decided upon points altogether different from those which we
have just considered.
The relations of Texas to Mexico, since the year 1836, have
remained unchanged. Though still denounced as a rebel by the
Spanish confederacy, no vigorous effort has been made by that
feeble power for her re-subjugation; while, on the other hand,
her independence has been recognized by the United States,
England, France and Holland.
It is now nearly eight years since Texas practically established
her independence; and it is now as an independent power that
admission is sought for her into the Union.
If it is said that Mexico has not acknowledged her independence,
it is replied that eight years are sufficient to test the question,
and that a sullen refusal on the part of the Spanish confederacy
to recognize Texas, ought not to bind the conscience or
control the conduct of other powers. But of this, more in its order.
One other circumstance remains to be noticed. Texas is a
slave-holding power. Peopled by settlers from the southern and
southwestern slave-holding states, she has retained the institution
within her limits. The seventh of the general provisions of her
constitution declares and establishes the existence of slavery in
her-limits-prohibits equally the slave trade and emancipation,
except for exportation or by consent of Congress. If Texas is
now admitted, it is without any restriction on slavery.
The idea has been held out by some northern presses, that a
great difficulty would be remedied if Texas could come into our
Union as a free state, or with proper guarantees that in whole or
in part she should become one. The suggestion is without the
least foundation. Texas, as a free state, would be an object of
alarm to those who now urge her admission. It is as a slave territory,
and because a slave territory, that her annexation is demanded.
It has been suggested that the northern part of Texas is
not adapted to slavery. It is so, just as little as Virginia or Missouri;
but slavery, unfortunately, does not depend on climate, and
slave-holding Arkansas will never consent to a free state on any
part of her southern border. This is precisely one of those concessions
that the states will never make. Whenever the offer is made to
admit her as a free government, it will be time enough to consider
it. It is a slave-holding state, that the annexation is now urged
and it is only in this light that the question is now to be regarded.
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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/m1/7/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .