Speech of Hon. Wm. Lowndes Yancey, of Alabama, on the annexation of Texas to the United States, delivered in the House of Representatives, Jan. 7, 1845. Page: 7 of 14
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people to dissolve the bonds of Government, national comity, would have rightfully subje(ted
whenever they became subversive of their liber- the perpetrators, if caught, to the punishment of
ties, and of the purposes for which governmenl death. That was not war in which the Mexiwa_
establhede. ,l They declared, in solemn form, can partizan had never seen or dared to kiok
le-ir independenee-took position as a free and upon a Texan banner, or the gleam of a Texan
^sovereign Slate-itl fact, were remitted back to bayonet. And further: Mexico, so far from
.tliat sovervigo,ty which was unloubtedly theirs in being in a condition to achieve this much desired
1824. and w ich no act had since forfeited. conquest, was not able to preserve the tottering
,Wh, oce. then, arises the claim of Mexico? It is fabric of her own Government from domestic
not to be found in the l:iw of nations. She has violence. To carry, on such a war as would be
not even that shadow of a claim which arms can notice to the world to abstain from interference,
give; never, not for a single tmoment, has' the there must not be a declaration of such intent
present cential military government of that coun- merely, but an ability to prosecute, and a prosetry
exercised, within the lil,its of Texas, a single cution of it. But Mexics had neither; she was
legis!ative act. Not f.r a mnoment have its laws rent and torn with the most unhappy intestine
been in force there-not fir an instant has its au- broils; and this very morning intelligebce has
".thoritv bepn recognised there.i Not finding au- reached this city that Santa Anna had been detiiority
for her- tMi 5T,l eLn iT,ther in possession or posed, and a decree of banishment issued against
in the Constitution of 1824, Mexico can find it him. Mexico, then, was mot only not at war,
nowhere, save in her oft-repeatei, declaration of but had niot the ability to carry on a single camher
determination to conquer Texas. Texas has paign against her young neighbor. As the chairexhibited
then to the wlhole world, for the past tman of the Commnittee on Foreign Affairs well
eight years, the spectacle of an independent said: the best and chiefest sinew of war is moState-qulietly
and harmoniouslv governed by ney; and this sinew Mexico did not possess.
the people-electing h-r own officers-enacting Her treasury robbed and despoiled by her own
her (own laws-forming treaties with the various oflicers, and her soldiery arrayed against each
powers of the world-as the highest of all acts other in deadly civil strife, she exhibited the
of acknowlelged sovereignt\, treating as to boun- spectacle of a revengeful, but dying and impodaries,
and recognised lby the great nations of the tent, tyrant. A paper war, then, is all that exists
earth as an irideelndent sovereignty. As a so- to deter us in our movements; and does honor,
vereign, she has a rig'!t to bor,i alliances; and, law, or reason (all upon us to pause even in, seof
course, to ally herself with this Government, curing to ourselves a great national good under
unless we are estopped frolm so toinn by a treaty such circumstances? I contend that they do not
of amity and commnerce now existing with make the call. A paper declaration of intent to
Mexico. war was no more to be regarded by the other naOur
next inquiry, therefore, should be, whe- tions of the world than a paper blockade. It
ther annexation Xwotltld he an infringement of never has been contended that a were declaration
that treaty, and would jisily interfere with a by one power that a certain port of another
state of amity between ours and the Mexican power should be put under blockade, unsupportGovernment.
I hold that it mtlost clearly would ed by a military or naval force, was of the least
not; and for this reason, tl.at Mexico can urge binlding force upon other nations having friendly
no title that would be hazarded by the act. And relations. The law of nations, (universally adth(
only conti:igency under which we would be mitted to be so,) and the comimon sense of manforbidden
to join to our own the destinies of kiid, requires that the means of enforcing the
Texas, was the existence of a war, actually in blockade should be used, or it was a nullity in
progres- between Mexico and 'Texas. If such a the eyes of the world. And is there such a difstale
of things existed, I confess, however unjust ference between the two cases as to require arand
improper might be the design of Mexico, we gu,nent to show that the same great principles
could not ally ourself with Texas in the way apply in both? I will not insult the understandproposo_d
without maki jour..ea part to ings of the gentlemen of the committee by thinkthe
war But is there such a war? Could it be itg so.
-mainfained that a war was now, or had been for If, then, annexation is not forbidden by the
eight years past, in progress between those two Constitution, nor prohibited by regard for napowers?
There has been, as all will adimit, no tional honor, what should prevent the immediate
military invasion of, or other act of acknowledged consummation of so desirable an event? an event
national hostility to, Texas, authorized by the which had been steadily pursued as a favorite
Government of Mexico since the memorable object of our diplomatic policy for the last twenty
battle of San Jacinto. True, there have been years and odd, and through the agency of some
some torays--some predatory incursions over of our most distinguished statesmen; and which
the borders, in which women and children were ha; ever commanded the public approbation.
brutally murdered, churches desecrated, and The venerable gentleman from Massachusetts,
courts of justice broken up and robbed of tleir (Mr. ADAMS,) when representing this Union in
records. But gentlemen will not dignify such the Presidential chair, had pursued this cheproceedings
as war; they were rather the rished policy as vigorously as any. The distinacts
of robber bands, which, under the law of guished head of the present Whig party, Mr.
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Yancey, William Lowndes. Speech of Hon. Wm. Lowndes Yancey, of Alabama, on the annexation of Texas to the United States, delivered in the House of Representatives, Jan. 7, 1845., book, 1845; Washington. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2415/m1/7/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .