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CONGRESS REPRESSING AGITATION.

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1 Whigeon was one table;

in the States, was affirmed-Yeas This resolve was adopted-Yeas 201, Nays 7. The third proposi- 117, Nays 68; the Nays being subtion, affirming that “Congress stantially, but not entirely, composed ought not to interfere in any way of the Whig members from the Free with Slavery in the District of States. Columbia," prevailed — Yeas 163, Amazing as it may seem, this Nays 47—the Nays, of course, from heroic treatment was not successful the North. And the third clause, in “arresting agitation, and restcring being now divided, the question was tranquillity to the public mind;" so taken on the remaining part— be- that, when this Congress met for the cause it would be a violation of the second session, it was found necessary public faith, unwise, impolitic, and to do the work all over again. Acdangerous to the Union”—and that cordingly, Mr. Albert G. Hawes, was also affirmed-Yeas 129; Nays (Democrat) of Kentucky, 18 offered a 74: the Nays being all from the resolution, providing: North, and nearly all Whigs. The

“That all memorials, etc., on the subject remainder of the proposition was of the abolition of Slavery, should be laid on then affirmed-Yeas 169: Nays 6. the table, without being referred or printed,

and that no further action should be had The Committee appointed under

thereon." the above resolution consisted of Messrs. Pinckney of South Carolina ;

Which was adopted—Yeas 129; Hamer of Ohio; Pierce of New Nays 69—the Nays mainly Northern Hampshire ; Hardin of Kentucky: Whigs, as before. All debate was Jarvis of Maine; Owens of Georgia ;

precluded by the Previous QuesMuhlenberg of Pennsylvania; Drom

tion. goole of Virginia; and Turrill of

And still the agitation refused to New York—all Democrats, but Har

be controlled or allayed; so that, on din. a Southern Whis. This Com the meeting of the next Congress, mittee, in due season, reported, First,

Mr. Patton, of Virginia,19 offered the . That Congress possesses no constitu

following “as a timely sacrifice to tional authority to interfere, in any

the peace and harmony of the counway, with the institution of Slavery try:" in any State of this confederacy. 1 “ Resolved, That all petitions, memorials,

and papers touching the abolition of Slavery, Secondly, That Congress ought not

or the buying, selling, or transferring of to interfere in any way with Slavery slaves in any State, District, or Territory of in the District of Columbia. And,

the United States, be laid upon the table

without being debated, printed, read, or "for the purpose of arresting agita- | referred; and no further action whatever tion, and restoring tranquillity to the | shall be had thereon.” public mind,” they recommended the

The Previous Question having adoption of this resolve:

again been ordered, this resolve was “That all petitions, memorials, resolu- adopted-Yeas 122; Nays 74-the tions, propositions, or papers relating in any Nays, as before, mainly, if not enway to the subject of Slavery, or the aboli

tirely, the Whig members from the tion of Slavery, shall, without either being printed or referred, bé laid upon the table." | Free States.

18 January 18, 1837.

19 December 21, 1837.

At the next session,20 Mr. Charles A.'s resolves duly passed, as follows: G. Atherton, of New Hampshire, No. 1-Yeas 198; Nays 6. No. 2 moved the following resolutions : 1-Yeas 134; Nays 67-mainly, if

Resolved, That this government is a gov- | not wholly, Northern Whigs. The ernment of limited powers; and that, by

third resolution having been divided, the Constitution of the United States, Congress has no jurisdiction whatever over the the House first resolved “ That Coninstitution of Slavery in the several States gress has no right to do that indiof the confederacy. " Resolved, That the petitions for the

rectly which it cannot do directly," abolition of Slavery in the District of Co etc.—Yeas 170, Nays 30. The resilumbia and the Territories of the United

due of the third resolve passed-Yeas States, and against the removal of slaves from one State to another, are a part of the 164, Nays 39. The fourth resolve plan of operations set on foot to affect the was in like manner divided, and institution of Slavery in the several States, and thus indirectly to destroy that institu

passed in two parts, by 182 and 175 tion within their limits.

Yeas to 26 Nays. The last of Mr. Resolved, That Congress has no right to

| Atherton's resolves was in like mando that indirectly which it cannot do directly; and that the agitation of the subject of

ner divided, and the former part Slavery in the District of Columbia, or the adopted by Yeas 147 to Nays 51; Territories, as a means or with a view of disturbing or overthrowing that institution

and the latter or gag portion by in the several States, is against the true Yeas 127, Nays 78-Henry A. Wise spirit and meaning of the Constitution, an

refusing to vote. infringement of the rights of the States affected, and a breach of the public faith on

This would seem quite stringent which they entered into the confederacy. enough ; but, two years later, the “ Resolved, That the Constitution rests on

House, on motion of William Cost the broad principle of equality among the members of this confederacy; and that Con

Johnson (Whig), of Maryland, further gress, in the exercise of its acknowledged "Resolved, That upon the presentation of powers, has no right to discriminate be any memorial or petition, praying for the tween the institutions of one portion of the abolition of Slavery or the Slave-Trade in States and another, with a view of abolish any District, Territory, or State of the ing the one and promoting the other. Union, and upon the presentation of any . “ Resolved, therefore, That all attempts on resolution or other paper touching that subthe part of Congress to abolish Slavery in ject, the reception of such memorial, petithe District of Columbia or the Territories, tion, resolution, or paper, shall be consideror to prohibit the removal of slaves from ed as objected to, and the question of its State to State, or to discriminate between reception laid on the table, without debate the institutions of one portion of the coun- | or further action thereon. try and another with the views aforesaid, Resolved, That no petition, memorial, reare in violation of the Constitution, destruc solution, or other paper, praying for the tive of the fundamental principles on which abolition of Slavery in the District of Cothe Union of these States rests, and beyond | lumbia, or any State or Territory, or the the jurisdiction of Congress; and that every Slave-Trade between the States or Territopetition, memorial, resolution, proposition, ries of the United States, in which it now or paper, touching or relating in any way, exists, shall be received by this House, or or to any extent whatever, to Slavery as entertained in any way whatever.” aforesaid, or the abolition thereof, shall, on

On this proposition, the votes were the presentation thereof, without any further action thereon, be laid on the table, without - Yeas 114; Nays 108 — several being debated, printed, or referred." Northern Democrats and some

Mr. Cushing, of Massachusetts, ob- Southern Whigs voting with all the jecting, on motion of Mr. Atherton, Northern Whigs in the minority. 22 the rules were suspended; and Mr. In a little more than ten years

20 December 11, 1838. 21 January 18, 1840. / Whig), who voted for this resolve, were as fol

22 The members from the Free States, twenty- | lows: eight in all (all Democrats but Proffit, a Tylerized / Maine.—Virgil D. Parris, Albert Smith.-

TEXAS UNDER SPAIN.

147 after this, Congress prohibited the Congress at last discovered and apSlave-Trade in the District; and, plied the true, enduring remedy for within twenty-two years, Slavery agitation,' in hearing and heeding itself, in that District, was likewise the demands of Justice, Humanity, abolished by a decided vote. Thus and Freedom.

XII.

TEXAS AND HER ANNEXATION.

The name Texas originally desig- never seriously disputed, though nated an ill-defined and mainly unin another French attempt to colonize habited region lying between the it was made in 1714, and proved as French possessions on the Mississippi, futile as La Salle's. The cession of and the Spanish on the Rio Grande, Louisiana by France to Spain in but including no portion of the val- 1763, of course foreclosed all possiley of either of those great rivers. bility of collision; and when LouiThough the first European settle- siana, having been retroceded by ment on its soil appears to have been Spain to France, was sold to the made by La Salle, a Frenchman, who United States, we took our grand landed in Matagorda Bay, and erected purchase without specification of fort St. Louis on the Lavacca, prior boundaries or guaranty of title. For to 1687, he is known to have intend- a time, there was apparent danger ed to settle on the Mississippi, and of collision respecting our western to have drifted so far westward by boundary, between our young, selfmistake. The region since known confident, and grasping republic, and as Texas was, even then, claimed by the feeble, decaying monarchy of Spain as a part of Mexico; and a Spain; but the wise moderation of Spanish expedition under De Leon Mr. Jefferson was manifested through was dispatched to the Lavacca in the action of his subordinates, so that 1689 to expel La Salle; but, on en- Gen. Wilkinson, our military comtering that river, learned that he had mander in Louisiana, and Gen. Herbeen assassinated by one of his follow- rera, who directed the small Spanish ers, and his entire company dispersed. force on our frontier, after some De Leon returned next year, and threatening demonstrations, came to founded the mission of San Francis- an understanding in October, 1806, co on the site of the dismantled fort whereby the Sabine was practically St. Louis. From that time, the recognized as our western boundary, Spanish claim to the country was and all peril of collision obviated by New Hampshire.-Charles G. Atherton, Edmund James Gerry, George M'Cullough, David PetriBurke, Ira A. Eastman, Tristram Shaw.-New ken, William S. Ramsay. Ohio.-D. P. LeadbetYork. -Nehemiah H. Earle, John Fine, Na. | ter, William Medill, Isaac Parrish, George thaniel Jones, Gouverneur Kemble, James de la Sweeney, Jonathan Taylor, John B. Weller. Montanya, John H. Prentiss, Theron R. Strong. Indiana. -John Davis, George H. Proffit.com Pennsylvania.—John Davis, Joseph Fornance, Illinois.—John Reynolds.

a withdrawal of the Spanish troops Mexico having practically vindibehind the Arroyo Honda, some cated her independence, and all atmiles further west. The weakness tempts to grasp Texas by force havof Spain, the absorption of her ener- ing proved abortive, Mr. Moses Ausgies and means in the desolating tin—a native of Connecticut settled wars for her independence into which in Missouri-tried a new tack. Reshe was soon after forced by the ra- presenting himself as a leader and pacity of Napoleon, and the conse mouth-piece of a band of Roman quent revolutions in her continental Catholics suffering from Protestant American colonies, whereby they intolerance and persecution in this were each and all lost to her forever, country, he petitioned the Mexican afforded tempting opportunities to government for a grant of land, and adventurer after adventurer, from permission to settle in the then alBurr to Lafitte and Long, to attempt most unpeopled wilderness, vaguely the conquest of Texas, with a view known as Texas. His prayer was to planting an independent power on granted, though he did not live to her inviting prairies, or of annexing profit by it. Returning, in the early her to the United States. Two or months of 1821, from western Texas three of these expeditions seemed for to Louisiana, he was robbed and left a time on the verge of success; but exposed to every hardship in that each in turn closed in defeat and dis- uninhabited region, thus contracting aster; so that, when Spanish power a severe cold, whereof he died the was expelled from Mexico, Texas be- following June. His son, Stephen came an undisputed Mexican posses F. Austin, received the grant for sion without costing the new nation which his father had sued, and under a drop of blood. About this time it made a settlement on a site which (1819), our long-standing differences now includes the city of Austin. with Spain were settled by treaty, Swarms of like adventurers, invitwhereby Florida was ceded by her ed by the climate, soil, and varied to this country, and the Sabine was natural resources of Texas, from this mutually acknowlėdged and estab- time poured into it; some of them lished as our western boundary. In on the strength of real or pretended other words, it was agreed that the concessions of territory—others withregion known as Texas appertained out leave or license. They found not to Louisiana, but to Mexico. Mr. very few Mexicans to dispute or Clay—then in quasi opposition to share with them the advantages it Mr. Monroe's Administration-de- presented; of government there was murred to this, and there were a few very little, and that not good; Texas others who indicated dissatisfaction being a portion, or rather appendage, with it; but this stipulation of the of Coahuila, a Mexican State situated treaty was so clearly right, and the on the lower Rio Grande, with the course of the Administration in ne- bulk of its population west of that gotiating it so wise and proper, that river. Revolutions succeeded each all dissent was speedily drowned in other at short intervals in Mexico, as avowals of general and hearty satis- in most Spanish American countries; faction.

and it was fairly a question whether

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SAM HOUSTON GOES TO TEXAS.

149

.. was bindin since lantso agent, a bar

the allegiance sworn to the govern- | them. More than twenty years ment of last year, was binding in later-having, meantime, been a galfavor of that whereby it had since lant soldier in the War of 1812, an been arbitrarily supplanted.

Indian agent, a lawyer, district atIn the year 1827-Mr. John Q. torney, major-general of militia, Adams being President-Mr. Clay, member of Congress, and Governor his Secretary of State, instructed of Tennessee—he abruptly separated Joel R. Poinsett, our Minister to from his newly-married wife, and reMexico, to offer one million of dol- paired again to the Cherokees, now lars for the cession to us by the re- settled west of the Mississippi, by public of Mexico of her territory this whom he was welcomed and made a side of the Rio Grande. Mr. Poin-chief. After living with them three sett did not make the offer, perceiv- years longer as a savage, he suddenly ing that it would only irritate and left them again, returned to civilizaalienate the Mexicans to no good tion-of the Arkansas pattern—set purpose.

out from Little Rock, with a few In 1829, Mr. Van Buren, as Gen. companions of like spirit, for the new Jackson's Secretary of State, in-country to which adventurers and structed our Minister at Mexico to lawless characters throughout the make a similar offer of four or five Southwest were silently tending. A millions for Texas, including no part Little Rock journal, noticing his deof the valley of the Rio Grande, nor parture for Texas, significantly said: of that of the Nueces, this side of it, “We shall doubtless hear of his raisand, of course, no part of New Mexi- ing his flag there shortly.” The co. Still, Mexico would not sell. guess was a perfectly safe one.

! For the Slave Power had already SAM HOUSTON, born in Rockbridge perceived its opportunity, and resolvCounty, Virginia, in 1793, had early ed to profit by it. Houston and migrated to Tennessee, settling very other restless spirits of his sort were near the reserved lands of the Chero- pushed into Texas expressly to seize kee Indians, to whom he speedily upon the first opportunity to foment absconded, living three years among a revolution,' expel the Mexican au

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1 In the Winter of 1830, the first year of Jack- the conquest and possession of that extensive son rule at Washington, Houston came to that and fertile country, by the coöperation of the city from the wilds of the far West, in company

Indians in the Arkansas Territory, and recruits with a band of Indians, who professed to have

among the citizens of the United States. That,

in his view, it would hardly be necessary to business there. He remained some weeks or

strike a blow to wrest Texas from Mexico. months, ostensibly attending to this business, That it was ample for the establishment and and made or renewed the acquaintance of one maintenance of a separate and independent govDr. Robert Mayo, with whom he became inti- | ernment from the United States..,

ernment from the United States. That the exmate, and to whom he imparted his Texas pro

pedition would be got ready with all possible

dispatch. That the demonstration would and ject; and by him it was betrayed to President

must be made in about twelve months from that Jackson, who, very probably, had already heard time. That the event of success opened the it from Houston himself.

most unbounded prospects of wealth to those "I learned from him," wrote Mayo, “that he who would embark in it," etc., etc. was organizing an expedition against Texas; to |

Dr. Mayo further learned from one Hunter, afford à cloak to which, he had assumed the Indian costume, habits, and associations, by set-|

a confederate of Houston, that there were then tling among them in the neighborhood of Texas. secret agencies in all the principal cities of the That nothing was more easy to accomplish than | Union, enlisting men for the Texas enterprise.

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