Heritage, Volume 13, Number 4, Fall 1995 Page: 8
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James Pinckney Henderson, top, was elected the first governor of Texas.
Anson Jones, photograph below, was called the "architect of annexation".
Photo reproductions courtesy of the Archives Division, Texas State Library,
tions held that fall. In
Texas, Anson Jones,
an advocate of annexation
- although not
outspoken at this
point, he later claimed
the title of "architect
of annexation" -won
the presidency. In the
U.S., the treaty's rejection
annexation the most
important issue in the
Van Buren and Henry
Clay tried to ignore
left the initiative with
Democrat James K.
Polk of Tennessee.
The majority of voters
favored the Democratic
called for "the re-annexation
of Texas and
the re-occupation of
Oregon", and Polk
won the election in
November. But he
would not take office
until March 4, 1845.
used the election as a
mandate. He reintroduced
question" to the Congress,
this time as a
j oint resolution rather
than a treaty. While
this method required
both houses to vote, a
simple majority in
each would suffice,
rather than the twothirds
majority a treaty
required in the Senate.
The House of
affirmatively, 118 to
101, as did the Senate,
27 to 25. And this
time the Texans got a
better deal: full statehood
and control of
public lands; unfortunately,
Texas also kept
Now England and
France entered the picture. Both nations
hoped to slow down the growth in size and
power of the United States, so they urged
Mexico to recognize Texas' independence
if it would so remain. Mexico also agreed to
accept the Rio Grande as the boundary.
Many arguments favored the Mexican
offer, but the decision had been made
long before by the thousands of U.S. citizens
who had come to Texas during the
time of the Republic; most favored annexation.
Jones tendered both offers to
the people of Texas, who accepted statehood
in the American Union without a
backward glance. In July 1845 delegates
elected Thomas J. Rusk to preside at a
convention that drafted a state constitution
that later received overwhelming
approval by voters.
On December 29, 1845, President Polk
signed a resolution of acceptance of Texas
as the 28th state of the American Union.
The following February, during ceremonies
marking the transfer of authority from
the government of an independent nation
to the new state government, Jones gave
the benediction of the old, "The Republic
of Texas is no more..." Then Governor
James Pinckney Henderson gave the invocation
of the new: "This day, and within
this hour, has been consummated the great
work of annexation."
Author's Note: The foregoing article
contains no footnotes, but that does not
mean that the work is entirely mine by any
means. I referred extensively to my previous
monographic publications, "The Republic
of Texas" (American Press: Boston,
1981) and "Texas: All Hail The Mighty
State" (Eakin Press: Austin, 1983), but even
these were based on information in "The
Handbook of Texas" (Texas State Historical
Association: Austin, 1952); T.R.
Fehrenbach, "Lone Star" (Macmillian: New
York, 1968); William Ransom Hogan, "The
Texas Republic: A Social and Economic
History" (The University of Texas Press:
Austin, paper edition 1969); and a host of
other works that have contributed to my
knowledge of the subject. To these and
other authors who have taught me all I
know about Texas history, I give thanks
Archie P. McDonald, Regent's professor of
history at Stephen F. Austin State University,
is also a commissioner on the Texas Historical
8 HERITAGE *FALL 1995
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 4, Fall 1995, periodical, Autumn 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45411/m1/8/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.