The war in Texas; a review of facts and circumstances, showing that this contest is a crusade against Mexico, set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, & c. in order to re-establish, extend, and perpetuate the system of slavery and the slave trade. Page: 15 of 64
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COMBINATION OF SLAVEHOLDERS, POLITICIANS, but soon after
the colonization commenced, under Austin,
it became a subject of general conversation
and newspaper remark, in our Southern States.
All the writers for the papers, at that period,
contemplated the annexation of the territory
to that of the United States. Among the
first who publicly advocated the measure,
particularly in reference to the extension of
the system of slavery, were the writers of two
or more series of essays, originally published
at St. Louis, in Missouri, over the signatures
of ". mericanus," and "La Salle."* These
essays were attributed to the pen of the Hon.
T. H. Benton, now a Senator in the Congress
of the United States. To give the reader a
correct idea of their drift, and the manner in
which the doctrines they inculcated were received
in different parts of the Union, I submit
a few extracts from sundry publications, issued
soon after they made their appearance. lt
may be proper, however, to premise, that our
government (then completely under the influence
of the slaveholding interest) was endeavoring
to obtain a cession of the territory in
question, and that it was at the period of the
last invasion of Mexico, by the armies of Spain.
The first qulotation which I shall make, is
from the Edgefield Carolinian, a newspaper
said to be then under the control of the present
Governor M'Duffie, of South Carolina.
" The acquisition of Texas, relinquished by the
government of the United States to the magnanimous
Ferdinand VII. by the Florida treaty of 1819, is
now a subject of much interest in the western states.
This valuable territory has now devolved on the
republic of Mexico, and from the condition of that
country, suffering under invasion and civil -war,
and with scanty .finances, it is supposed that the
retrocession might be obtained for a reasonable
equivalent. Great confidence is expressed that the
administration will embrace the present favorable
occasion of regaining an extensive and fertile region
of country within the natural limits of the United
States. Some imposing essays originally published
in the St. Louis Beacon, with the signature of
' Americanus,' and attributed to Colonel Benton, of
the Senate, explaining the circumstances of the
treaty of 1819, and displaying the advantages of
the retrocession,have operated upon the public mind
in the west with electrical force and rapidity.
The writer produces strong circumstantial proof
that the surrender of Texas resulted from the subserviency
of our negotiator to Spain, in her contest
with Mexico, together with the powerful subsiding
motive of hostility to the southern and western sections
of our own country.
"This large fragment of the Mississippi valley,
affording sufficient territory for four or five slavehplding
states, was unceremoniously sacrificed with
scarcely a pretext of a demand for it on the part of
Spain. The time of the negotiation was during the
heat of the debate on the Missouri question-the
place was Washington, whither the negotiation had
been unnecessarily removed, while it was proceeding
prosperously at Madrid, and where the restrictionists
were then assembled in all their strength, and the
negotiator was Mr. Adams, the friend and associate
of the most thorough-going among those restrictionists.
' Americanus ' exposes the evils to the Uinited States
of this surrender under twelve distinct heads. Two
of them of particular interest to this section of the
country, are, that it brings a non-slaveholding
empire in juxtaposition with the slavehol1kng southwest,
and diminishes the outlet for the Indians inhabiting
the States of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi
A Charleston paper also then observed:"
It is not improbable that he [President Jackson]
is now examining the propriety and practicability of
a retrocession of the vast territory of Texas, an
enterprise loudly demanded by the welfare of the
west, and which could not fail to exercise an important
and favorable influence upon the future
destinies of the South, by increasing the votes of the
slaveholding states in the United States Senate."
The Louisiana papers entered warmly into the
discussion of the question, about the same time.
One of them openly asserted that General Houston
had then gone to the Texas country, for the purpose
of revolutionizing it, and observed: " We may
expect, shortly, to hear of his raising his flag."
The .rkansas Gazette, a paper thoroughly
identified with the slaveholding interest, held
forth this language, in the year 1830, respecting
the purchase of tbe Texas country:_
" As the subject of the purchase of Texas has engrossed
much of the attention of our politicians for a
year or two past, it may not peihaps be improper to
state that we are in possession of information, derived
from a source entitled to the highest credit, which
destroys all hope of the speedy acquisition of that
country by the United States. Colonel Butler, the
Charge d'Affaires of the United States to Mexico,
was specially authorized by the President to treat
with that government for the purchase of Texas. The
present preaominant party are decidedly opposed to
the ceding any portion of its territory. [The writer
might have added, and so are all partles.] No
hopes need theretore be entertained of our acquiring
Texas, until some other party more friendly to the
United States than the present, shall predominate in
Mexico, and perhaps not until the people of Texas
shall throw off the yoke of allegiance to that go
By a reference to a Speech of John Quincy Adams,
some extracts fiom which I will give hereafter, it
will be perceived, that our government actually claimed
the Texas country, and other parts of the territory adjoining,
as far as the Rio Bravo del Norte, when
Louisiana was ceded to the United States: and it will
also be found, by a reference to the same speech, that
this claim could not be sustained, by diplomatic effort,
and was formally abandoned.
Mr. A dams so torcibly daepictures the grasping designs
of our slaveholding, land-speculating gentry, that his
statements have attracted the attention of thousands in
this country and also in Mexico. His speech has been
translated into the Spaniish language, and published in a
pamphlet fat the Mexican capital-a copy of which we
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Lundy, Benjamin. The war in Texas; a review of facts and circumstances, showing that this contest is a crusade against Mexico, set on foot by slaveholders, land speculators, & c. in order to re-establish, extend, and perpetuate the system of slavery and the slave trade., book, 1837; Philadelphia. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2414/m1/15/: accessed February 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .