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PROTEST FROM CONGRESS AGAINST ANNEXATION.

159

"Great Britain has already made treaties | tutions, and is essential to the United States, with Texas; and we know that far-seeing particularly as lessening the probabilities of nation never ornits a circumstance, in her future collision with foreign powers, and cxtensive intercourse with the world, which giving them greater efficiency in spreading can be turned to account in increasing her the blessings of peace. military resources. May she not enter into “I return you my thanks for your kind an alliance with Texas? and, reserving, as letter on this subject, and subscribe myself, she doubtless will, the North-Western Boun- with great sincerity, your friend and obedidary question as the cause of war with us ent servant,

ANDREW JACKSON. whenever she chooses to declare it, let us “Hon. A. V. Brown." suppose that, as an ally with Texas, we are to fight her! Preparatory to such a move This letter was secretly circulated, Texas; organizes them on the Sabine, where but carefully withheld from the press supplies and arms can be concentrated be- for a full year, and finally appeared fore we have even notice of her intentions; in The Richmond Enquirer, with its makes a lodgment on the Mississippi ; excites date altered from 1843 to 1844, as if the negroes to insurrection; the lower country falls, and with it New Orleans; and a it had been written in immediate servile war rages through the whole South and West.

support of the Tyler-Calhoun nego" In the mean time, she is also moving an

tiation. army along the western frontier from Oana

Col. Benton, in his “ Thirty Years' da, which, in coöperation with the army View," directly charges that the letfrom Texas, spreads ruin and havoc from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

ter was drawn from Gen. Jackson * Who can estimate the national loss we may sustain, before such a movement could expressly to be used to defeat Mr. be repelled with such forces as we could Van Buren's nomination, and secure, organize on short notice?

if possible, that of Mr. Calhoun in* Remember that Texas borders upon us, on our west to 42° of north latitude, and is stead; and it doubtless exerted a our southern boundary to the Pacific. Re- strong influence adverse to the formember also, that, if annexed to the United States, our Western boundary would be the

mer, although Gen. Jackson was Rio Grande, which is of itself a fortification, among his most unflinching supporton account of its extensive, barren, and unin- ers to the last. habitable plains. With such a barrier on our west, we are invincible. The whole European world could not, in combination

Mr. John Quincy Adams had unitagainst us, make an impression on our Union. ed with Mr. William Slade, Joshua R. Our population on the Pacific would rapidly Giddings, and ten other anti-Slavery protection of our eastern whalers, and, in Whig members of the XXVIIth the worst event, could always be sustained Congress (March 3, 1843), in a stirby timely aids from the intermediate country.

ring address to the people of the Free " From the Rio Grande, overland, a large States, warning them against the Anarmy could not march, or be supplied, unless nexation intrigue, as by no means from the Gulf by water, which,

by vigilance

, abandoned, but still energetically, could always be intercepted; and to march an army near the Gulf, they could be harass-though secretly, prosecuted. In that ed by militia, and detained until an organ- address, they recited such of the foreized force could be raised to meet them.

“But I am in danger of running into un- going facts as were then known to necessary details, which my debility will not them, saying: enable me to close. The question is full of interest also as it affects our domestic rela “We, the undersigned, in closing our dutions, and as it may bear upon those of Mex- | ties to our constituents and our country as ico to us. I will not undertake to follow it members of the Twenty-Seventh Congress, out to its consequences in those respects; feel bound to call your attention, very briefly, though I must say that, in all aspects, the to the project, long entertained by a portion of annexation of Texas to the United States the people of these United States, still pertipromises to enlarge the circle of free insti- | naciously adhered to, and intended soon to be

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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 “The open avowal of the Texans them-
gress, we have not time, did we deem it selves — the frequent and anxious negotia-
necessary, to enter upon a detailed state tions of our own Government--the resolu-
ment 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 Con-
no means abandoned ; that a large portion gress—the tone of the Southern pressas
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 de-
ad:nission 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 con-
secured 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 “We hold that there is not only 'no po-
ernment, 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 consti-
now 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 anner-
unsuccessful, 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 Governinent, 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 funaainental, 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

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tion the Constitution of onr 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 An-
lution of the Union-we invite you to unite, nexation to the permanent welfare,
without distinction of party, in an immedi-
ate exposition of your views on this subject, if not absolute safety, of all concern-
in such manner as you may deem best calcu- ed. He, nevertheless, decidedly neg.
lated to answer the end proposed."

atived any presumption that he could,
On the 27th of March, 1844, Mr. under existing circumstances, or un-
Wm. H. Hammet, Representative in der any in immediate prospect, give
Congress from Mississippi, and an his support to the scheme, even though

assured that his re-election to the Presunpledged delegate elect to the

approaching 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 80 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

& war, the character it might be made to writer commended himself to Mr. assume, the entanglements with other naVan Buren as “

tions which the position of a belligerent your warmest

almost unavoidably draws after it, and the supporters in 1836 and 1840, and an undoubted injuries which might be intlicted 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 denominated 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 onor, 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 such circumstances, be a contest of that

would a war with Mexico, brought on under 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 and purport were very clearly hostile mencement is to be preceded by the appro

entering into it; more especially if its comto 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 sure of imperative self-defense, rather to which no Ainerican statesman or citizen

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 well those who advocate this measure as

maintain. All our public functionaries, 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 independ- be equally solicitous for the performance of

this ence of Texas, and in destructive but It has hitherto been our pride and our

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