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thorities, and prepare the region for 10, met two guns (six-pounders), sent speedy Annexation to this country, him from Cincinnati-his first. Santa as a new make-weight in Mr. Cal- | Anna, still eagerly pressing on, had houn's scheme of a perpetual balance burned Harrisburg, the Texan capiof power betwen the Free and the tal, and crossed the San Jacinto with Slave States. Houston had scarcely the advance of his army, the main reached Nacogdoches, near the east- body being detained on the other ern boundary of Texas, when he was side by a freshet. Houston perceivelected therefrom a delegate to a ed his opportunity, and embraced it. Convention called to frame a Consti- Facing suddenly about, he attacked tution for that country as a distinct the Mexican vanguard with great State, which met April 1, 1833, fury, firing several rounds of grape and did its predestined work. Texas and canister at short range, then proclaimed her entire independence rushing to the attack with clubbed of Mexico, March 2, 1836. War, of muskets (having no bayonets), and course, ensued-in fact, was already yells of “Remember the Alamo !" beginning—and Houston soon suc- “Remember Goliad !” The Mexiceeded Austin in the command of cans were utterly routed and disthe insurgent forces. On the 10th, persed--the return of 630 killed to Houston repaired to the camp at 208 wounded, proving that very litGonzales, where 374 poorly-armed, tle mercy was shown by the Texans, ill-supplied men, were mustered to who nevertheless took 730 prisoners dispute the force, 5,000 strong, with about their own number), who were which Santa Anna had already probably picked up after the battle, crossed the Rio Grande and advanc- as their General was, in the trees ed to the frontier fort, known as the and bushes among which they had Alamo, held by Col. Travis, with 185 sought safety in concealment. Santa men, who were captured and all put Anna's life was barely saved by to death. Houston, of course, re- | Houston, who was among the twentreated, hoping to be joined by Col. ty-five wounded, who, with eight Fannin, who held Goliad with 500 killed, formed the sum total of Texan men, and several pieces of artillery, loss in the fight. Houston made a whereas Houston had not one. But treaty with his prisoner, in obedience Fannin, while on his way to join to which the main body of the MexiHouston, was intercepted and sur- cans retreated and abandoned the rounded by a strong Mexican de country, as they doubtless would, at tachment under Urrea, by whom, any rate, have done. This treaty after two days' fighting, he was cap- further stipulated for the independtured (March 20), and all his survi ence of Texas; but no one could vors, 357 men, treacherously shot in . have seriously supposed that such a cold blood. Houston, of course, con- stipulation, wrested from a prisoner tinued his retreat, pursued by Santa of war in imminent and well-groun Anna, but having too little to carry ed fear of massacre, would bind his to be easily overtaken. He received country, even had he, when free, had some slight reënforcements on his power to make such a treaty. The march, and at the San Jacinto, April victory, not the treaty, was the true

sought safety in

captured and all

to death.

1

ANNEXATION DECLINED BY MR. VAN BUREN. 151 basis and assurance of Texan inde- | Forsyth, in his official reply to Gen. pendence.

Hunt's proffer, said: Gen. Houston—who had mean "So long as Texas shall remain at war, time returned to the United States

while the United States are at peace with

her adversary, the proposition of the Texan to obtain proper treatment for his

Minister Plenipotentiary necessarily inwounded ankle, and to confer with volves the question of war with that adverGen. Jackson and other friends of

sary. The United States are bound to Mexi

co by a treaty of amity and commerce, Texas - was immediately chosen which will bě scrupulously observed on President of the new republic, and their part so long as it can be reasonably

hoped that Mexico will perform her duties inaugurated, October 22, 1836. In

and respect our rights under it. The UnitMarch following, the United States ed States might justly be suspected of a distook the lead in acknowledging the

regard of the friendly purposes of the com

pact, if the overture of Gen. Hunt were independence of Texas, and other

to be even reserved for future consideration ; nations in due time followed. Expe as this would imply a disposition on our ditions, fitted out in western Texas,

part to espouse the quarrel of Texas with

Mexico-a disposition wholly at variance were sent to Santa Fé on the north, with the spirit of the treaty, and with the and to Mier on the Rio Grande, and / uniform policy and the obvious welfare of

the United States. each badly handled by the Mexicans,

" The inducements mentioned by Gen. who captured the Santa Fé party Hunt for the United States to annex Texas entire, and sent them prisoners to

to their territory are duly appreciated; but,

powerful and weighty as certainly they are, their capital; but, within her original they are light when opposed in the scale of boundaries, no serious demonstration reason to treaty obligations, and respect for

that integrity of character by which the was made against the new republic

United States have sought to distinguish by Mexico, subsequently to Santa themselves since the establishment of their Anna's disastrous failure in 1836. right to claim a place in the great family of

Nations." Meantime, her population steadily increased by migration from the

Gen. Hunt's letter having intiUnited States, and, to some extent,

mated that Texas might be impelled, from Europe; so that, though her

by a discouraging response to her finances were in woeful disorder, and

advances, to grant special commercial her northern frontier constantly ha

favors to other nations to the prejurassed by savage raids, there was

dice of this, Mr. Forsyth-writing in very little probability that Texas

the name and under the immediate would ever have been reconquered

| inspiration of the President--reby Mexico.

sponded as follows:

" It is presumed, however, that the mo

tives by which Texas has been governed in In August, 1837, Gen. Memucan

making this overture, will have equal force Hunt, envoy of Texas at Washing in impelling her to preserve, as an indeton, proposed to our Government pendent power, the most liberal commercial

relations with the United States. Such a the Annexation of his country to the

| disposition will be cheerfully met, in a correUnited States. Mr. Van Buren was sponding spirit, by this Government. If the then President, with John C. For

answer which the undersigned has been di

rected to give to the proposition of Gen. syth, of Georgia—an extreme South

| Hunt should, unfortunately, evoke such a on-for his Secretary of State. The change in the sentiments of that Government subject was fully considered, and a

as to induce an attempt to extend commer

cial relations elsewhere, upon terms prejudecided negative returned. Mr. dicial to the United States, this Government

TY
III

will be consoled by the rectitude of its inten-made sacrifices to wrest Texas from tions, and a certainty that, although the haz Mexico—with what intent? Mr. ard of transient losses may be incurred by a rigid adherence to just principles, no lasting

Webster, in his speech at Niblo's prosperity can be secured when they are Garden, March 15, 1837, thus caudisregarded."

tiously, but with majestic and impresThis ended the negotiations, and sive oratory, gave utterance to the foreclosed all discussion of the subject more considerate Northern view of by our Government during Mr. Van the subject: Buren's term. Yet, so early as 1837,

1 “Gentlemen, proposing to express opinit had become evident to careful ob- ions on the principal subjects of interest at servers among us, that intrigues were

the present moment, it is impossible to over

look the delicate question which has arisen then on foot for the Annexation of

from events which have happened in the late Texas to the United States, and that Mexican province of Texas. The independthe chief impulse to this was the

ence of that province has now been recog

nized by the government of the United States. prospect of thereby increasing the Congress gave the President the means, to influence and power of Slavery in be used when he saw fit, of opening a diplo

i matic intercourse with its government, and our Government. It had, indeed,

the late President immediately made use of been notorious from the first, that this those means. purpose was cherished by a large

"I saw no objection, under the circumportion of those who had actively when the President should think the proper contributed to colonize Texas from time had come; and he deemed — very this country and to fight the battles

promptly, it is true,—that the time had

already arrived. Certainly, gentlemen, the of her Independence. Benjamin history of Texas is not a little wonderful. A Lundy saw and reported this during

very few people, in a very short time, have

established a government for themselves, his repeated journeys through the against the authority of the parent state; whole extent of Texas, in quest of a and this government, it is generally supregion whereon to found a colony of

posed, there is little probability, at the pres

ent moment, of the parent state being able free blacks. On this ground, he was to overturn. a determined foe to the whole scheme “This government is, in form, a copy of

our own. It is an American constitution, of Texan colonization and independ

substantially after the great American model. ence, regarding it but as a new We all, therefore, must wish it success; and device of American Slavery for ex

there is no one who will more heartily re

joice than I shall, to see an independent tending and perpetuating its power. community, intelligent, industrious, and Earnest Abolitionists generally con | friendly toward us, springing up and rising

into happiness, distinction, and power, upon templated the events transpiring in

our own principles of liberty and governTexas with growing apprehension; ment. while, on the other hand, the slave

"But it cannot be disguised, gentlemen,

that a desire, or an intention, is already holding region was unanimous and manifested to annex Texas to the United enthusiastic in favor of the new re States. On a subject of such mighty mag

nitude as this, and at a moment when the public. Men were openly recruited

public attention is drawn to it, I should throughout the valley of the lower feel myself wanting in candor, if I did not Mississippi for her slender armies;

express my opinion; since all must suppose

that, on such a question, it is impossible that while arms and munitions were

I should be without some opinion. supplied from our South-western 1 “I say, then, gentlemen, in all frankness, cities with little disguise or pretense

that I see objections-I think insurmount

se precise able objections to the annexation of Texas of payment. The Slave Power had to the United States. When the ConstiMR. WEBSTER AGAINST ANNEXATION.

153

tution was formed, it is not probable that I to be fulfilled, in the fullness of their spirit either its framers or the people ever looked and to the exactness of their letter. Slavery, to the admission of any States into the as it exists in the States, is beyond the reach Union, except such as then already existed, of Congress. It is a concern of the States and such as should be formed out of territo-themselves; they have never submitted it ries then already belonging to the United to Congress, and Congress has no rightful States. Fifteen years after the adoption of power over it. I shall concur, therefore, in the Constitution, however, the case of Lou no act, no measure, no menace, no indication isiana arose. Louisiana was obtained by of purpose, which shall interfere, or threaten treaty with France, who had already ob- to interfere, with the exclusive authority of tained it from Spain ; but the object of this the several States over the subject of Slavery acquisition, certainly, was not mere extension as it exists within their respective limits. All of territory. Other great political interests this appears to me to be a matter of plain, were connected with it. Spain, while she imperative duty. possessed Louisiana, had held the mouths of “But, when we come to speak of admitting the great rivers which rise in the Western new States, the subject assumes an entirely States, and flow into the Gulf of Mexico. i different aspect. Our rights and our duties She had disputed our use of these rivers | are then both different. already; and, with a powerful nation in pos “The free States, and all the States, are session of these outlets to the sea, it is obvi | then at liberty to accept or to reject. When ous that the commerce of all the West was it is proposed to bring new members into in danger of perpetual vexation. The | this political partnership, the old members command of these rivers to the sea was, have a right to say on what terms such new therefore, the great object aimed at in the partners are to come in, and what they are acquisition of Louisiana. But that acqui to bring along with them. In my opinion, sition necessarily brought territory along the people of the United States will not conwith it; and three States now exist, formed sent to bring into the Union a new, vastly out of that ancient province.

extensive, and slaveholding country, large "A similar policy, and a similar necessity; enough for half a dozen or a dozen States. though perhaps not entirely so urgent, led | In my opinion, they ought not to consent to to the acquisition of Florida.

it. Indeed, I am altogether at a loss how to “Now, no such necessity, no such policy, conceive what possible benefit any part of requires the annexation of Texas. The this country can expect to derive from such accession of Texas to our territory is not annexation. Any benefit to any part is at necessary to the full and complete enjoy least doubtful and uncertain; the objections ment of all which we already possess. Her are obvious, plain, and strong. On the gencase, therefore, stands upon a footing en- | eral question of Slavery, a great portion of tirely different from that of Louisiana and the community is already strongly excited. Florida. There being no necessity for | The subject has not only attracted attention extending the limits of the Union in that as a question of politics, but it has struck a direction, we ought, I think, for numerous far deeper-toned chord. It has arrested the and powerful reasons, to be content with our religious feeling of the country; it has taken present boundaries.

strong hold on the consciences of men. He “Gentlemen, we all see that, by whomso is a rash man, indeed, and little conversant ever possessed, Texas is likely to be a slave with human nature, and especially has he a holding country; and I frankly avow my | very erroneous estimate of the character of unwillingness to do anything that shall the people of this country, who supposes extend the slavery of the African race on that a feeling of this kind is to be trifled this continent, or add other slave-holding with or despised. It will assuredly cause States to the Union. When I say that I re itself to be respected. It may be reasoned gard Slavery in itself as a great moral, so- | with; it may be made willing-I believe it cial, and political evil, I only use language is entirely willing to fulfill all existing enwhich has been adopted by distinguished gagements and all existing duties--to uphold men, themselves citizens of slaveholding and defend the Constitution as it is estabStates. I shall do nothing, therefore, to fa- | lished, with whatever regrets about some vor or encourage its further extension. We provisions which it does actually contain. have Slavery already amongst us. The Con- | But to coerce it into silence, to endeavor to stitution found it in the Union; it recog-| restrain its free expression, to seek to comnized it, and gave it solemn guaranties. To press and confine it, warm as it is, and more the full extent of those guaranties, we all are heated as such endeavors would inevitably bound, in honor, in justice, and by the Con- | render it should this be attempted, I know stitution. All the stipulations contained in nothing, even in the Constitution or in the the Constitution in favor of the slaveholding Union itself, which would not be endangered States which are already in the Union, ought | by the explosion which might follow.

“I see, therefore, no political necessity for John Tyler-son of a revolutionary the annexation of Texas to the Union, no advantages to be derived from it, and objec

patriot of like name, who rose to the tions to it of a strong, and, in my judgment,

Governorship of his State—was electdecisive character.

ed Vice-President with General Har“I believe it to be for the interest and happiness of the whole Union to remain as it is,

rison. He was originally a Republiwithout diminution, and without addition." can of the Virginia school, and as

William Henry Harrison was, in such had supported Madison, Mon1840, elected ninth President of the roe, and, in 1824, William H. CrawUnited States, after a most animated ford. Elected to the Legislature of and vigorous canvass, receiving 234 his State in 1811, when but twentyelectoral votes to 60 cast for his pre- one years of age, he had served redecessor and rival, Martin Van peatedly in that body, and in ConBuren. Gen. Harrison was the son gress, before he was, in 1825, elected of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of to the Governorship of Virginia by the Declaration of Independence, her Legislature. In March, 1827, and was, like his father, a native of he was chosen to the United States Virginia ; but he migrated, while Senate by the combined votes of the still young, to a point just below the “National Republican," or Adams site of Cincinnati, and thereafter re- and Clay members, with those of a sided in some Free Territory or portion of the Jacksonians, who were State, mainly in Ohio. While Gov- dissatisfied with the erratic conduct ernor of Indiana Territory, he had and bitter personalities of John Ranfavored the temporary allowance of dolph of Roanoke, Mr. Tyler's comSlavery therein; and in 1819, being petitor and predecessor. Mr. Tyler then an applicant for office at the had (in 1825) written to Mr. Clay, hands of President Monroe, he had commending his preference of Mr opposed the Missouri Restriction. Adams to Gen. Jackson, but had Gen. Harrison was, therefore, on afterward gone with the current in the whole, quite as acceptable, per- Virginia for Jackson—basing this sonally, to the Slave Power as Mr. preference on his adhesion to the Van Buren ; and he received the State Rights,' or Strict Construction votes of Delaware, Maryland, North theory of our Government, which was Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mis- deemed by him at variance with some sissippi, and Louisiana. He failed, of the recommendations in Mr. however, to win the favor of Mr. Adams's first Message. In the SeCalhoun, and so had no considerable nate, Mr. Tyler was anti-Tariff, antisupport in South Carolina; which Improvement, anti-Bank, and antiState gave its vote, without opposi- Coërcion; having voted alone (in tion, to Mr. Van Buren, though it February, 1833) in opposition to the had opposed his election as Vice passage of Gen. Jackson's “Force President in '32, and as President in Bill,” against South Carolina's Nulli'36. Virginia, Alabama, and Mis- fication. He supported Mr Clay's souri also supported Mr. Van Buren. Compromise Tariff. Being reëlected Gen. Harrison was inaugurated on for a second full term, commencing the 4th of March, 1841, and died December, 1833, he opposed the rebarely one month thereafter. moval of the public deposits from

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