« AnteriorContinuar »
which encouragement they have improved of the Floridas and the settlement of the and flourished beyond example. The South | boundary of Louisiana, fixing the western has very peculiar interests to preserve, inter- | limit of the latter at the Rio Grande, agreeests already violently assailed and boldly ably to the understanding of France; that threatened.
he had written home to our Government for * Your Committee are fully persuaded powers to complete and sign this negotiathat this protection to her best interests will tion; but that, instead of receiving such aube afforded by the Annexation of Texas; an thority, the negotiation was taken out of his equipoise of influence in the halls of Con hands and transferred to Washington, and a gress will be secured, which will furnish us a new treaty was there concluded by which permanent guarantee of protection."
the Sabine, and not the Rio Grande, was recognized and established as the boundary
of Louisiana. Mr. Henry A. Wise, of Virginia,
“Finding that these statements were true, of the same political school with Gil- and that our Government did really give up mer, in a speech in the House, Jan
that important territory, when it was at its
option to retain it, I was filled with astonuary 26, 1842, said:
ishment. The right of the territory was
obtained from France; Spain stood ready to " True, if Iowa be added on the one side, acknowledge it to the Rio Grande; and yet
orida will be added on the other. But the authority asked by our Minister to insert there the equation must stop. Let one the true boundary was not only withheld, more Northern State be admitted, and the but, in lieu of it, a limit was adopted which equilibrium is gone - gone forever. The stripped us of the whole of the vast country balance of interests is gone-the safeguard | lying between the two rivers. of American property — of the American On such a subject, I thought, with the Constitution of the American Union, van- | ancient Romans, that it was right never to ished into thin air. This must be the inevit-cede any land or boundary of the republic, able result, unless, by a treaty with Mexico, but always to add to it by honorable treaty, the South can add more weight to her end of | thus extending the area of freedom; and it the lever. Let the South stop at the Sabine, was in accordance with this feeling that I while the North may spread unchecked be gave our Minister to Mexico instructions to yond the Rocky Mountains, and the Southern enter upon a negotiation for the retrocession scale must kick the beam."
of Texas to the United States..
“This negotiation failed; and I shall ever The letter of Mr. Gilmer, when regret it as a misfortune both to Mexico and
the United States. Mr. Gilmer's letter preprinted, was, by Mr. Aaron V.
sents many of the considerations which, in Brown, a Democratic member of my judgment, rendered the step necessary to Congress from Tennessee, inclosed in the peace and harmony of the two countries;
but the point in it, at that time, which most a letter to Gen. Jackson, asking the
strongly impelled me to the course I pursued, General's opinion thereon. That re was the injustice done to us by the surrender quest promptly elicited the following
of the territory, when it was obvious that it
could have been retained, without increasing response:
the consideration afterward given for the
Floridas. I could not but feel that the sur“HERMITAGE, February 13, 1843. render of so vast and important a territory “MY DEAR Sir:-Yours of the 23d ulti was attributable to an erroneous estimate mo has been received, and with it The Madi of the tendency of our institutions, in which sonian, containing Gov. Gilmer's letter on there was mingled somewhat of jealousy the subject of the annexation of Texas to as to the rising greatness of the South and the United States.
West. : “You are not mistaken in supposing that “But I forbear to dwell on this part of the I have formed an opinion on this interesting history of this question. It is past, and cansubject. It occupied much of my time dur not now be undone. We can now only look ing my Presidency, and, I am sure, has lost at it as one of annexation, if Texas presents none of its importance by what has since it to us; and, if she does, I do not hesitate transpired.
to say that the welfare and happiness of our “Soon after my election in 1829, it was Union require that it should be accepted. made known to me by Mr. Erwin, formerly “If, in a military point of view alone, the our minister to the Court of Madrid, that, | question be examined, it will be found to be whilst at that Court, he had laid the founda- | most important to the United States to be in tion of a treaty with Spain for the cession possession of the territory.
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 omits 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 1 “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 JAOKSON. 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, ment, she sends her 20,000 or 30,000 men to
to but carefully withheld from the press
hot na Texas; organizes them on the Sabine, where 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 the negroes to insurrection; the lower coun
date altered from 1843 to 1844, as if try falls, and with it New Orleans; and a it had been written in immediate servile war rages through the whole South
support of the Tyler-Calhoun negoand West.
“In the mean time, she is also moving an | tiation. army along the western frontier from Cana 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
expressly to be used to defeat Mr. may sustain, before such a movement could 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 mer, although Gen. Jackson was States, our Western boundary would be the 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
Mr. John Quincy Adams had unitEuropean world could not, in combination against 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 increase, and soon be strong enough for the 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 coun
ring address to the people of the Free try.
"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, could always be intercepted; and to march
abandoned, but still energetically, 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
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 themgress, we have not time, did we deem itselves -- 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: “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 funäainental, 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