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: 9 of 14
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course, increase the number of harbors necessary HOUN took the office of Secretary of State. But
to the successful prosecution of the vast cor- most of all, this issue was pressed upon our Gomerce
of our Western regions-will secure to us vernment by her Majesty's Principal Secretary of
more natural boundaries, which can be defended State for Foreign Affairs. In adespatch made by
with more ease and less expense; and. what Mr. Everett to the Secretary of State, under date
must strike a chord of sympathy in every bosom, of "London. Nov. 3, 1843," Mr. Everett says
will extend our noble institutions over a gallant that Lord Aberdeen expressed himself thus: "that
and kindred people, who yearn to resume their it was most true that he was on that, as on all
place beneath the regis of the American arms. other occasions, desirous to be understood as
To motives and considerations such as these, wishing the abolition of slavery wherever it exwhat
is opposed by the anti-annexationists? The ists-that this was a sentiment, with reference to
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. WINTHROP) which England was of one mind." Upon the
had disclosed the reason, if it was ever attempted 26th February, 1844, Mr. Pakenham, by order
to be disguised before-"it will give a perpetual of Lord Aberdeen, communicated, officially, to
guaranty to slavery." the Secretary of State that, "with regard to the
Aye, there's the rub! A dread-a fear, dis- latter point it must be, and is, well known both
guised under the garb of humanity, thatannexa- to the United States and the whole world, that
tion will benefit the Southern section of the Great Britain is constantly exerting herself to proUnion.
I see, in all this, an unmanly shrinking cure the general abolition of slavery throughout
from the responsibilities imposed by the Consti- the whole world," and portions spe;lk of it
Government upon the issue of slavery. The as existing in the slave-holding States of this
Secretary of State, who now fills that Depart- Union. The Secretary, under date of "April 18,
tnent with such distinguished ability, had been 1844," gave the conclusive reply, which, falling
made the mark for many a political shaft because with the crushing force of a thunderbolt upon
he had tlie nerve to place the matter, between the cobweb positions of both foreign and native
this Governiment and England, on its true basis, abolitionists, has drawn down upon him this
the transcendent genius to invest it with unan- fire, as to the f(llse issue made by him ! Sir, the
swerable argument, and thus to deserve the false issue was made by others-the true issue was
thanks of the enlightened and patriotic of the placed before the country by Mr. Calhoun. The
day. That eminent statesman had abundant question placed before him was bptween consticause
furnished for his course, not only by fo- tutional slavery and factious abolition-between
reign diplomacy, but by intestine agitators. If the Republic of the United States and Great Brithe
issue is one to be deprecated, it has been tain; and he met it as one who knew his dutymade
but in defence of a national institution and dared to do it. Fanaticism, avarice, and comagainst
the attacks of the abolitionists of the North mercial ambition had combined against the Conand
of the Government of Great Britain. I say stitution, the South, and our national prosperity.
the issue has been forced upon the Secretary. In The Secretary struck at the keystone of the arch,
1838, while a projezt of annexation was being and has most eminently triumphed.
discussed in Congress, the gentleman over the I spoke of the duty of that officer. An instituway,
from Massachusetts, (Mr. ADAMS,) made a tion had been assailed, which the Federal Conspeech
in opposition, running through some three stitution directly recognises, both in its organic
or four days, placing the ground of his objection formation and in the duties it imposes. The seupon
slavery. In the spring of 1843, that cond section of the first article of the Constitution
same gentleman, with several other members of bases representative iower not only upon the
Congress, issued a circular to the 'free States," numbers of free persons, but of slaves also; while
anticipating an annexation treaty; and urging article 4, section 2, makes it obligatory upon sisslavery
as an objection to it; and declaring that ter States to deliver up a slave if he escape from
if Texas should be annexed the Union ought to one to another State. That sacred bond of union
be, and should be dissolved! The piercing eye of does not recognise slavery as a Southern, or as a
fanaticism saw it coming-the keen scent of abo sectional institution, but as a national one -it was
lition had snuffed it in the gale-and yet no trea- to be confined to no one spot. Its existence was
ty had been framed-no correspondence existed recognised and provided for in Massachusetts as
offering this issue. No. The issue, as far as do- well as in Georgia-the two extremes of the
inestic matters could effect it, was already made Union. That Constitution would protect Maine
by the opponents of annexation, when Mr CAL- at this day in rights based upon slave property,
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/9/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .