Texas: the rise, progress, and prospects of the Republic of Texas, Vol.1 Page: 409 of 432
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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path of civilization as a beast of prey, resisting its
progress, and committing havoc, for a season, but
ultimately and inevitably to be destroyed in turn.
The right of wandering aboriginals to the soil is a
sentimental abstraction, which has never yet been
respected in the practice of what are called civilised
states. It is chiefly of value to those on whose
behalf it has been pleaded, as the ground of a claim
to the humane consideration of the nations by whom
they are supplanted. There is one mode, indeed,
in which the aboriginal may acquire an indefeasible
title to the land he occupies-by cultivation. Of the
right which he has to the ground which his labour
has first rendered productive, lie cannot be deprived,
save by an act of iniquitous spoliation,
such as the Spaniards perpetrated towards the native
Mexicans. But it is otherwise with barbarian
hunters, and even with erratic pastoral tribes. The
Divine command to " multiply and replenish the
earth"-the necessities of over-populated countries
-the law of social progress, which decrees the absorption
or extermination of all stationary or retrogressive
races-alike forbid their unsettled habitation
in immense regions to be accounted a true and legal
possession. A claim which, if held good, might give
exclusive occupancy of a vast continent to a few
thousand self-secluding savages, while European
multitudes were suffering from the pressure of population
on subsistence, is manifestly inconsistent
with reason and justice. "Those nations," says
Vattel, " (such as the ancient Germans and some
modern Tartars) who inhabit fertile countries, but
disdain to cultivate their lands, and choose rather to
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Kennedy, William. Texas: the rise, progress, and prospects of the Republic of Texas, Vol.1, book, January 1, 1841; London. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2389/m1/409/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .