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consummated : The Annexation of Texas to of obtaining their annexation to the United this Union. In the press of business inci- States. * * * dent to the last days of a session of Con- 1 “The open avowal of the Texans themgress, we have not time, did we deem it selves — the frequent and anxious negotianecessary, to enter upon a detailed state- || tions of our own Government-the resolument of the reasons which force upon our tions of various States of the Union — the minds the conviction that this project is by numerous declarations of members of Conno means abandoned; that a large portion gress--the tone of the Southern press-as of the country, interested in the continuance well as the direct application of the Texan of Domestic Slavery and the Slave-Trade in Government- make it impossible for any these United States, have solemnly and unal man to doubt that Annexation, and the terably determined that it shall be speed- | formation of several new Slaveholding ily carried into execution; and that, by this States, were originally the policy and deadmission of new Slave territory and Slave sign of the Slaveholding States and the States, the undue ascendency of the Slave Executive of the Nation. holding Power in the Government shall be “The same references will show very consecured and riveted beyond all redemption. clusively that the particular objects of this

“That it was with these views and inten- | new acquisition of Slave territory were the tions that settlements were effected in the perpetuation of Slavery and the continued province, by citizens of the United States, ascendency of the Slave Power. difficulties fomented with the Mexican Gov-1 “We hold that there is not only “no poernment, a revolt brought about, and an litical necessity' for it, 'no advantages to be independent government declared, cannot derived from it, but that there is no constinow admit of a doubt; and that, hitherto, tutional power delegated to any department all attempts of Mexico to reduce her re of the National Government to authorize it; volted province to obedience have proved that no act of Congress, or treaty for annexunsuccessful, is to be attributed to the un- ation, can impose the least obligation upon lawful aid and assistance of designing and the several States of this Union to submit to interested individuals in the United States; such an unwarrantable act, or to receive into and the direct and indirect coöperation of their family and fraternity such misbegotten our own Government, with similar views, is and illegitimate progeny. not the less certain and demonstrable.

“We hesitate not to say that Annexa“The open and repeated enlistment of tion, effected by any act or proceeding of the troops in several States of this Union, in aid | Federal Government, or any of its departof the Texan Revolution; the intrusion of an ments, would be identical with dissolution. American army, by order of the President, It would be a violation of our National far into the territory of the Mexican Govern- compact, its objects, designs, and the great ment, at a moment critical for the fate of elementary principles which entered into the insurgents, under pretense of preventing its formation, of a character so deep and Mexican soldiers from fomenting Indian fundamental, and would be an attempt to disturbances, but in reality in aid of, and eternize an institution and a power of a naacting in singular concert and coincidence ture so unjust in themselves, so injurious to with, the army of the Revolutionists; the the interests and abhorrent to the feelings of entire neglect of our Government to adopt | the people of the Free States, as, in our any efficient measures to prevent the most | opinion, not only inevitably to result in a unwarrantable aggressions of bodies of our dissolution of the Union, but fully to justify own citizens, enlisted, organized, and officer- | it; and we not only assert that the people ed within our own borders, and marched in of the Free States 'ought not to submit to arms and battle array upon the territory and it' but, we say with confidence, they would against the inhabitants of a friendly govern- | not submit to it. We know their present ment, in aid of freebooters and insurgents; temper and spirit on this subject too well to and the premature recognition of the Inde believe for a moment that they would bependence of Texas, by a snap vote, at the come particeps criminis in any subtle conheel of a session of Congress, and that, too, trivance for the irremediable perpetuation at the very session when President Jackson | of an institution, which the wisest and best had, by special Message, insisted that the men who formed our Federal Constitution, measure would be contrary to the policy in- | as well from the Slave as the Free States, variably observed by the United States in all regarded as an evil and a curse, soon to besimilar cases,' would be marked with great come extinct under the operation of laws to injustice to Mexico, and peculiarly liable to be passed prohibiting the Slave-Trade, and the darkest suspicions, inasmuch as the the progressive influence of the principles of Texans were almost all emigrants from the the Revolution. United States, and sought the recognition of “To prevent the success of this nefarious their independence with the avowed purpose project--to preserve from such gross viola

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MR. VAN BUREN AGAINST ANNEXATION.

161

tion the Constitution of our country, adopt- | fruitless efforts to reconquer that ed expressly to secure the blessings of lib

State,” so as to produce a general erty,' and not the perpetuation of Slavery, and to prevent the speedy and violent disso conviction of the necessity of Anlution of the Union-we invite you to unite, nexation to the permanent welfare, without distinction of party, in an immediate exposition of your views on this subject,

if not absolute safety, of all concernin such manner as you may deem best calcu ed. He, nevertheless, decidedly neglated to answer the end proposed.” atived any presumption that he could, On the 27th of March, 1844, Mr. under e

under existing circumstances, or unWm. H. Hammet, Representative in

der any in immediate prospect, give Congress from Mississippi, and an

his support to the scheme, even though unpledged delegate elect to the ap

assured that his re-election to the Presproaching Democratic National Con

idency depended thereon. His view vention, addressed, from his seat in

of the main question directly presentthe House, a letter of inquiry to Mr.

ed, is fairly and forcibly set forth in Van Buren, asking an expression of

the following passage of his letter: his “ opinions as to the constitution

“The question, then, recurs, if, as sensi

ble men, we cannot avoid the conclusion ality and expediency of immediately

that the immediate Annexation of Texas annexing Texas to the United States, would, in all human probability, draw after so soon as the consent of Texas may

it a war with Mexico, can it be expedient

to attempt it? Of the consequences of such be had to such Annexation.” The a war, the character it might be made to writer commended himself to Mr. assume, the entanglements with other naVan Buren as “one of your warmest

tions which the position of a belligerent

almost unavoidably draws after it, and the supporters in 1836 and 1840, and an undoubted injuries which might be inflicted unpledged delegate to the Baltimore

on each, notwithstanding the great disparity

of their respective forces, I will not say a Convention;" and, though courteous

word. God forbid that an American citizen in its terms, the letter gave him very should ever count the cost of any appeal to clearly to understand that his answer

what is appropriately dei.ominated the last

resort of nations, whenever that resort bewould govern the course of the que comes necessary, either for the safety, or to rist in the Convention aforesaid, and

vindicate the honor, of his country. There

is, I trust, not one so base as not to regard be very likely to influence the result

himself, and all he has, to be forever, and at of its deliberations.

all times, subject to such a requisition. But Mr. Van Buren replied in a very

would a war with Mexico, brought on under

such circumstances, be a contest of that long and elaborate letter, dated Lin character? Could we hope to stand perdenwald, April 20th, whereof the drift fectly justified in the eyes of mankind for

entering into it; more especially if its comand purport were very clearly hostile

mencement is to be preceded by the approto the contemplated Annexation. He priation to our own uses of the territory, fully admitted that Annexation was

the sovereignty of which is in dispute be

tween two nations, one of which we are to per se desirable; encouraging hopes join in the struggle? This, Sir, is a matter that he might consent to it, as a mea

of the very gravest import—one in respect

to which no American statesman or citizen sure of imperative self-defense, rather

can possibly be indifferent. We have a than permit Texas to become a Brit character among the nations of the earth to ish dependency, or the colony of any

maintain. All our public functionaries, as

well those who advocate this measure as European power; and intimating that those who oppose it, however much they Mexico might too long persist “in re- may differ as to its effects, will, I am sure, fusing to acknowledge the independusing to obnowled the indomond | be equally solicitous for the performance of

this first of duties. ence of Texas, and in destructive but “It has hitherto been our pride and our

11

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boast that, whilst the lust of power, with The Whigs were unanimous and fraud and violence in its train, has led other and differently constituted Governments to

enthusiastic in their determination aggression and conquest, our movements in that no other than Mr. Clay should these respects have always been regulated

be their candidate, and that no other by reason and justice. A disposition to detract from our pretensions in this respect | than he should be elected. He had will, in the nature of things, be always prev spent the Winter of 1843-4, mainalent elsewhere, and has, at this very mo

| ly in New Orleans—then a hot-bed ment, and from special causes, assumed, in some quarters, the most rabid character. of the Texas intriguebut had left Should not every one, then, who sincerely it unshaken in his opposition to the loves his country—who venerates its timehonored and glorious institutions—who

plot-not to Annexation itself, at a dwells with pride and delight on associa suitable time, and under satisfactory tions connected with our rise, progress, and

conditions ; but to its accomplishpresent condition-on the steady step with which we have advanced to our present

ment while the boundaries of Texas eminence, in despite of the hostility, and in remained undetermined and disputcontempt of the bitter revilings, of the enemies of freedom in all parts of the globe

ed, her independence unacknowledgconsider, and that deeply, whether we would ed by Mexico, and her war with that not, by the immediate Annexation of Texas,

country unconcluded. place a weapon in the hands of those who now look upon us and our institutions with

Mr. Clay set forth his view of the distrustful and envious eyes, that would do matter in a letter to The National us more real, lasting injury as a nation, than the acquisition of such a territory, val

Intelligencer, dated “Raleigh, N. C., uable as it undoubtedly is, could possibly April 17, 1844”—three days earlier repair?

than the date of Mr. Van Buren's "It is said, and truly said, that this war between Texas and Mexico has already been

letter. Premising that he had beof too long duration. We are, and must lieved and maintained that Texas continue to be, annoyed by its prosecution,

was included in the Louisiana purand have undoubtedly, as has been remarked, an interest in seeing it terminated. But chase, and had, therefore, opposed can we appeal to any principle in the law the treaty of 1819, with Spain, by of Nations, to which we practice a scrupu

which Florida was acquired, and the lous adherence, that would, under present circumstances, justify us in interfering for Sabine recognized as our western its suppression in a manner that would una

boundary, he says: voidably make us a party to its further prosecution? Can this position be made sufficient “My opinions of the inexpediency of the ly clear to justify us in committing the peace treaty of 1819 did not prevail. The counand honor of the country to its support? try and Congress were satisfied with it; ap

“In regard to the performance by us of propriations were made to carry it into that duty, so difficult for any Government effect; the line of the Sabine was recognized to perform—the observance of an honest by us as our boundary, in negotiations both neutrality between nations at war-we can with Spain and Mexico, after Mexico became now look through our whole career, since independent; and measures have been in our first admission into the family of na- | actual progress to mark the line, from the tions, not only without a blush, but with Sabine to the Red river, and thence to the feelings of honest pride and satisfaction. Pacific ocean. We have thus fairly alienatThe way was opened by President Washing- / ed our title to Texas, by solemn National ton himself, under circumstances of the compacts, to the fulfillment of which we most difficult character, and at no less a stand bound by good faith and National hazard than that of exposing ourselves to honor. It is, therefore, perfectly idle and plausible, yet unjust, imputations of infidel- | ridiculous, if not dishonorable, to talk of reity to treaty stipulations. The path he trod | suming our title to Texas, as if we had with such unfaltering steps, and which led never parted with it. We can no more do to such beneficial results, has hitherto been that than Spain can resume Florida, France pursued with unvarying fidelity by every Louisiana, or Great Britain the thirteen one of his successors, of whom it becomes colonies now comprising a part of the Unime to speak."

ted States."

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