OCR Interpretation

Green-Mountain freeman. (Montpelier, Vt.) 1844-1884, June 14, 1844, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of Vermont

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023209/1844-06-14/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

"Give me Liberty or give me Death!"
' j
In Lyman's building, Main si. near the Union House.
J. C. ASPEN WALL, Editor.
J. POLAND, Publisher,
BirtgU eopirs $1,50 in advance, or $2,00 afler the ex
piration of three months from tha timo of subscribing.
All pipen tent t the expense of the subscriber..
ICJ Advertisements inserted at the usual charges.
ICT Transportation of papers will in no case be paid
by the publisher, unless a special agreement to the con
trary is made.
df Book and Jrb Work of every description thank
fully received and executed with neatness and dispatch.
For AGENTS see last page.
For the Green Mountain Freeman.
Br. Aspenwall: My year's labor ends this
Week; therefore I deem it right to send, for inser
tion in your paper, my account, with some re
marks, which I hope will attract attention.
I have receive.! monies as follows: Bakersfield,
$10,75; Enosbtirgh, 1,00; Cabbot, 2,25; St. Johns
bury, 0,50; Underhill. 0,25; Essex, 0,50; West
ford, 2,50; St. Albans, 1,25; Walden, 1,12; Dan
ville, 0,82; Hard wick, 4,25; Berkshire, 2,75; Mor
risville, 1,00; Stowe, 20,64; Barton, 4,84; Iras
burgh, 2,25; Wateibury, 2,00; Brownington, 0,50;
Glover, 4,15; Craftsbury, 10,18; Albany, 2,31;
Greensboro' 8,90; which, errors excepted, makes
an oggregate of $87,21.
I will now submit a few remarks for the seri
ous consideration of our liberty friends, to which
I must beg their most candid attention, for we
have a great work to do, and without means it
cannot be done.
1. I must correct a mistake into which some of
our liberty friends, I find, have fallen, and the
correction will give information to others. Some
suppose that the State committee are responsible
to the lecturers for their salaries. An extract from
my instructions will correct this, "You will be
authorized to retain in your hands as a compensa
tion for your services at the rate of four hundred
dollars per annum for all the time you may devote
to the interests of the liberty cause, but the com
tnittee will incur no pecuniary responsibility on
your account."
I do not blame the committee for taking this
ground, but then it places the lecturers in a most
serious predicament. If the friends of liberty do
not pay them, their labors must be labors of love;
end in this case, and if they are men of families,
and poor men, what must become of their families?
When I commenced my year's labor, I was as
sured that I should get my salary, but I have
found it far otherwise. My labors entitle me to
$855, of which I have received only $87, 12; due
to me, $267,87; and I want every cent of it this
moment to procure food and clothing for my large
family, and pay some few debts. Indeed, what 1
have received will about pay my wear and tear.
At first, I got very little for my exertions; laterly,
it has been better and better, because I had to visit
those towns that would help mc, and avoid those
where labor is not wanted: because I knew from
experience I should get no support. I do not
complain; I have confidence in the friends of liber
ty, that they will see the labors whom they
sanction, paid. Let one thousand individuals
band me over 25 cents each, and my wants will be
supplied, and my horse and wagon, also, will be
redeemed, for the law has taken from me till it
can take, and all this for want of attention to the
Saviour's rule, ' The laborer is worthy of his
hire." Our liberty friends must attend to these
matters, else our good Whigs and democrats will
turn on them with " yes, you are pretty masters
to censure and doom to blackness southern slave
holders tor not paying their, laborers; and you
make vour lecturers work for nothing." Shall
they say this? no.
S. But I beg the attention of our friends to
subiect still more important than the above. We
re doing a great work: all that is dear and pre
emus to human nature and to our country is in
volved in our object. We want n thorough sys
tern of faithful and intelligent lecturing in all our
counties, all our towns, all our districts. Hither
to our lecturing has been chiefly confined to our
Tillages, among our aristocrats, and it has been
too much labor lost. Candor and honesty nnd in
fluence, are in the districts; there we must labor;
theVe we must kindle up the back fires, and there
we shall carry our towns and counties, and then
our state. But how is this thorough system to be
secured? Very easy. Get the means first, friends,
and then no doubt of the men; and I will put you
into a very easy way of raisins the means. Last
full, at a meeting in this county, a resolution was
passed to assess each liberty man in fifty cents to
support lecturing through all the districts in the
county. The amount was about $175. This se
cured nearly six months labor, and what has been
the effect? Lamoille is the banner county. Now
I say, why cannot all our counties adopt the same
plat:? Suppose we have four thousand liberty
men in this State; would they not, if applied to,
subscribe on an average fifty cents each, as their
year's subscription for lecturing? This would
procure two thousand dollars bring at Iea6t five
able men into tbe field secure several months la
bor in each county call up general attention to
the subject, produce a more powerful interest in the
hearts of liberty man, and redeem the State from
the fangs of slavery. I say again, if one county
can adopt and work this system which has suc
ceeded so admirably well, why cannot all? To
produce a general interest in a case so important
as ours, you must get all its friends to do a little.
That which costs a man nothing he values but
little. Get men to pay and you will make them
feel; nnd when men feel, they will act. I say to
our state committee, to our county committees,
and to our town committees especially, urge this
plan, bring it forward in all your county meetings,
and take up your subscription paper at once and
go round your towns and ask each man for his
fifty cents, and then get your laborers and let them
lecture, circulate tracts, get subscribers to the pa
per, and things will soon wear a new face. In the
genertil, nil that is wanted is information; and that
is more wanted than we are aware. Let us betake
to our work like men of business, and the sighs
nnd tears, to groans, the bloody wounds, the cruel
injustice of our fellow-men in chains will soon
cease to stand forth against us, calling down the
vengeance of heaven on our guilty heads.
Wolcotl, June 4, 1834.
For the Green Mountain Freeman.
Professsion against Practice,
Mr. Editor: The Bible informs us that men
nave apostatized trom lod, and nave entered in
to the service of the wicked one. And perhaps
there is no case in which the fact appears" more
striking, than in the conduct of many professed
unristinns. iney win pray tnat uou win give
us good men to rule over us, and then vote for
men who have no fear of God before their eyes.
They will labor to promote temperance, and then
help to raise a winebibber to rule over the nation,
and by his example promote the cause of intem
perance amongst all that approach his person.
They will hang a poor man who killed his neigh
bor, and give the highest honors to one, that is al
ways ready to kill his neighbor in a duel, and has
again and again tried to do it. They are as much
opposed to slavery as any body, and are ns zealous
as any fanatics to have a slaveholder elected to the
presidential chair, when he can exert a vast influ
ence to extend and strengthen slavery. What
Iocs all (his mean? Infidels look on, see how
christians act, say they are all hypocrits, and their
religion is all pristcraft. How can they help so
thinking, when they see christians, even christian
ministers, as eager to choose a wicked man, who
has no fear of God before his eyes, as other men,
who turn their backs upon God, and cast his laws
behind them? Is it strange, that iniquity, riots
murders, assassinations, and vice in every form,
is coming in like a flood, when the church throws
in her influence to place the highest honors upon
ungodly men, who live upon the hire of the labor
er, sell a girl for a harlot, nnd shed the blood of the
innocent. Christians, for mere party political pur
poses, willing to choose wicked men, whom God
abhorrs, when they might choose men of God to
rule over them. Surely this is choosing the great
er of two evils; or rather it is doing evil that good
may come, whose damnation is just. Will those
christians m Vermont, who mean to stifle con
science, and do what they have heretofore called
a little evil, that some supposed, but uncertain
good, may come, ponder well what the apostle says:
"Whose damnation is just!" Take this awful
declaration, ye professors of the religion of Jesus,
and carry it with you, when you go to deposit
your votes for u slaveholder, a duelist,a Free Ma
son, and if you dare, nut it in but remember that
your damnation will be just! B
women, children, black, white, with all the inter
mediate shades that human imagination can paint,
or human depravity beget, were all commingled,
gaping and staring in expectation of his arrival
the hero of their stupid idolatry. The young men
and boys say 100 or 150 appeared with torch
lights, und by these Mr. Clay wos escorted thro'
the streets to his home, without alighting. This
ceremony closed, the idlers about the streets say
1000, less or more called for speeches. We are
great for stumping, you know. Ex-governor Met
cnlf, accidentally present, was called out, and did
off a stump speech in the usual style of unmeasur
ed glorification on the one side and of vituperation
on the other. Governor Letcher and John Speed
Smith were both loudly called for, but without a
response. "Coombs Gen. Coombs!" the clam
or rang.. The general mounted the rostrum to say
he could not make a "jiich, having just come
from n long tour ill the country. After a terrible
heating of the air and strange vociferations by a
young doctor, who was called out, the remnant of
the already dissolved multitude disappeared from
the streets. 'Certain elect high church Whigs
gathered around the bar, to clear their voices by
all sorts of exhilerating fluids now for the songs!
It is now just upon high twelve, nnd between
damning up Whiggery and Harry Clay, and curs
ing down locoism and Van Burcn, and drinking
brandy, and singing ribald songs, I begin to think
there will not be much quiet sleep in this house
to-night. I have no comments to make you
may do it.
Did you ever think of it? How strange that
people should come from the plains of Saratoga,
from Concord, old Lexington and Bunker Hill
from the living achievments of free arms and free
spirits, to this land of soulless slavery, amid its
withered, perishing emblems, for a presidential
candidate! It can't it won't be so nlwnys lam
sure of it! Think of free, toil-worn men, with
their eyes open, intrusting their dearest interests
to the hands of a so called statesman, all the effec
tual laborers of whose State 170,000 of them are
owned the property of 31,000 oligarchs, and him
self the chiefest of them all! What blind infatua
tion !
Last Monday afternoon, Thomas F. Marshall
gave a speech here, three hours long, in favor of
i exas. He was followed in the evening by (J. M.
Clay. It is generally thought by sensible people,
that Marshall did not enjoy a very brilliant tri
umph. Tom ha3 just mounted this miserable hob
byhe is nobody's man in particular, but hates
Henry Clay. He is n little coquetish towards the
locos, and not improbably, may temporarily join
them, if they work to suit him. His influence be
yond the sound of his voice is nothing, in any
This is Cassius M. Clay's home, you know. A
genuine man he is. Perhaps you may think his
present position a little awry. Be it so. He is
with you heart and soul. The present emergency
passed, you will find him a strong, true man. You
can scarcely conceive the embarrassments and per
ils that beset an avowed friend of freedom here,
from friends and foes. There are some large
slaveholders in this community who promise to
follow C. M. Clav's example in freeing their
We have around us here, the Eden of Kentucky,
not to say, of the continent rich, charming land,
and the most delicious scenery. But what avails
it? There are large estates amassed, expensive
establishments, literary and social institutions for
the rich, the haughty oligharchy. But the mid
dling and the poor, what of them nothing design
ed, society in its substantial, expnnsive, repro
ductive energies, is stationary, or rather receding.
So throughout the State. Let Liberty men and
women at the North, "do with their might what
their hands find to do," else a horrible night of
darkness is about to close around us!
Yours respectfully,
An Eye Witness
been dismembered from it. The government nnd
people of Texas, it is understood, not only give
their consent, but are nnxious to be re-united to
the United States. If the application of Texas
for a re-union and admission into our confedera
cy, shall be rejected by the United States, there is
imminent danger that she will become n depen
dency, if not a colony of Great Britain an event
which no American patriot, anxious for the safety
of his country, could permit to occur without the
most strenuous resistance. Let Texas be reunit
ed, and the authority and laws of the United
States be established within her limits, as also in
the Oregon territory, nnd let the fixed policy of
ihe government be, not to permit Great Britain,
or any other foreign power to plant a colony or
noia dominion over any portion ot the people or
territory of either. These are my opinions, and
without deeming it necessary to extend this letter,
by the manv various reasons which influenced me
in the conclusions to which I come, I regret to be
compelled to diner so widely from the views ex
pressed by yourselves, and the meeting at -Uuicin
nati whom you represent. Differing, however,
with you and with them, as I do, it was due to
your frankness that I should be thus explicit in
the declaration ot my opinions.
I nm with great respect, your obedient serv't.
To Messrs. S. P. Chase, Thos. Henton, T
Finkbine, Gamaliel Bailey, jr. Samuel Lewis,
committee, Xu, Umcimintti, Ohio.
The Presidential Candidates on
the Texas Question.
James K, Polk.
Lexington, Kr., Saturday eve., )
May 18, 1844. i
Mr. Eoitor, If you have not n regular corrcs
pondent. here, it is honed a line from an occasion
al one may not be unacceptable to -your readers,
Thev know, I presume, that Mr. Clay left home
Inst full on a jaunt of observation, or to see and be
seen in the States of the far South. I do not pro
pose to discuss this journey at all, but it mny be
well to recollect that there are three distinct streaks
or layers, of politics in this country, all of which
require to be carlully noted by him who professes
to play for high stakes on the 'nntional chess-board.
There nre your Stales of the North your Bunker
Hill people with their strong tendencies to free
principles, their personal interest in free industry,
equal rights, protection and fair wages. Here are
our northern slave States, at a dead stand-still, un
der the blighting curse of slavery, with the admis
sion on their lips, and the evidences nil around
them, that it is an enormous moral, political and
social calamity; but one for which, they say, the
the present generation are not to lie charged with
crime, nor expected to take practical and decisive
steps for its removal. Then come the lottfhfrn
slave States the hereditary oligarchy, the ama
teur fire-eaters; they swear fealty to eternal slave
ry they claim all the powers of the government
for its maintenance, as the leading object for which
the Union was established. All the separate and
distinct elements, tastes, habits and propensities,
must be regarded, moulded, conjoined and used by
the wise tactician, the successful aspirant. It is
not impossible that it was with some such view of
the case, that Mr. Clay's late tour was undertaken.
However that mav be. he was exoected home
this evening. Just at daylight down, the court
nouse uen was set Jingling like nil possessed, and
five black men, with drums and fife, were started
through the sireots. Such a pie-bald group! Men,
Columbia, Tenn., April 23d, 1844.
Gentlemen: Your letter of the SOth ult'mo,
which you have done me the honor to address to
me, reached my residence during my absence from
home, und was not received uptil yesterday. Ac
companying your letter, you transmit to nie ns
you Rtate, " a copy of the proceedings of a meet
ing of the citizens ol Cincinnati, appointed with
out distinction of party, on the 29th inst., to ex
press their settled opposition to the annexation of
I exas to theTJnited States." You request ot me
" an explicit expression upon this question ot an
nexation." Having at no time entertained any
opinions upon public subjects which I was unwil
ling to avow, it gives nie pleasure to comply with
your request. I have no hesitation in declaring
that I am in favor of the immediate re-unnexatinn
of Texas to the territory nnd government of the
United States. I entertain no doubt as to the
power or the expediency of the re-annexation.
The proof is clear nnd satisfactory to my mind,
that Texas ever constituted a port of the territory
ot the United States, the title to which I regard to
have been as indisputable ns that to any other por
tion of our territory. At the time the negotiation
was opened with a view to acquire the Floridas,
and the settlement of other questions, and pending
that negotiation, the Spanish government itself
was satisfied of the validity of our title, mid was
ready to recognize a line fur west of the Sabine,
as the true western line of Louisiana, ns defined
by the trenty of 1803, with France, under which
Louisiana was ncquired. This negotiation, which
hud first been opened at Mudrid, was broken off
and transferred to Wnshington, where it was re
sumed nnd resulted in the treaty of Florida, by
which the Sabine whs fixed upon as the western
boundary of Louisiana. From the ratification of
the treaty of 1803 with France, until the treaty of
1819 with Spain, the territory now constituting the
republic of Texas belonged to the United States.
In 1819 the Florida treaty was concluded at
Washington by Mr. J. Q. Adams (then Secretary
of State) on the part of the United States, nnd
Don Genis de Onis on the part of Spain, and by
that treaty this territory lying west of the Sabine,
and constituting 1 exas, was ceded by the United
States to Spain. That the Rio del Norte, or some
more western boundary than the Sabine could have
been obtained had it been insisted on by the secre
tary of State, and that w ithout increasing the con
sideration paid for the t loridax, 1 have not
doubt. In mv iudirment. the country west of the
Sabine, and now Texas, was most unwisely ceded
tawny, h is a part of the great valley of the
Mississippi, directly connected by its navigable
waters with the Mississippi river, and having been
once a part of the Uoion. it should never have
Henry Clay.
Raleigh, April 17, 1844.
To the Editors of the National Intelligencer:
Gentlemen: Subsequent to my departure
I. . I I 1 T. . . . . .
irom Asniunn, in ueceniDer last. I received vari
ous communications from popular assemblages and
private individuals, requesting an expression of
my opinion upon the question of the annexation of
1 exas to the United states. 1 have forborne to
reply to them, because it was not very convenient
during the progress of my journey, to do so, and
for other reasons. I did not think it proper, un
necessarily, to introduce at present, a new ele
ment among the other exciting subjects which ag
itate and engross the public mind. 1 he rejection
of the overture of Texas, some years ago, to be
come annexed to the United States, had met will)
general acquiescence. Nothing had since occur
red materially to vary the question. 1 had seen
no evidence of a desire being entertained, on the
part of any considerable portion of the American
people, that Texas should become an integral part
of the United States. During my sojourn in New
Orleans, I had, indeed, been greatly surprised, by
information which I received from Texas, that, in
the course of last fall, a voluntary overture had
proceeded from the Executive of the United States
to the authorities ot lexus, to conclude a treaty of
annexation; nnti tnnt, in order to overcome the re
pugnance felt by any of them to negotiate on the
subject, strong, and ns I believed, erroneous rep
resentations had been made to them of a state of
opinion in the Senate of the United States, favora
ble to the ratification of such a treaty. According
to these representations, it had been ascertained
that a number of Senators, vary ing from thirty -five
to lorty-two, were rency to sanction such a trenty.
I was aware, too, that holders of Texas lands and
Texas scrip, und speculators in them, were active
ly engaged in promoting the object ot annexation.
Still, I did not believe that any Executive of the
United States, would venture upon so grave and
momentous a proceeding, not only without any
general manifestation of public opinion in favor of
it, but in direct opposition to strong and decided
expressions of public disapprobation. But it ap
pears that I was mistaken, io the astonishment
of the whole Nation, we are now informed that a
treaty of annexation has been actually concluded,
and is to be submitted to the Senate for its consid
eration. The motives for my silence, therefore,
no longer remain, and I feel it to be my duty to
present an exposition of my views and opinions
upon the question, tor what they may be worth, to
the public consideration. I adopt this method, as
being more convenient than several replies to the
respective communications which I have received.
I regret that I have not the advantage of a view
of the treaty itself, so ns to enable me to adapt un
expression of my opinion to the actual conditions
and stipulations which it contains. Not possess
ing that opportunity, I am constratned to treat the
question according to what I presume to be ths
terms of the treaty. If, without the loss of nation
al character, without the hazard of foreign war,
with the general concurrence of the nation, with
out any danger to the integrity of the Union, and
without any unreasonable price for Texas, the
question of annexation were presented, it would
appear in quite a different light from that in which
1 apprehend, it is now to be regarded.
. The United States acquired a title to Texas, ex
tending, as I believe, to the Rio del Norte, by the
treaty of Louisiana. They ceded and relinquish
ed that title to Spain by the treaty of 1819, by
which the Sabine was substituted lor the It i o del
Norte as our western boundary. This treaty was
negocinted under the Administration of Mr. Mon
roe, nnd with the concurrence of his Cabinet, of
which Messrs. Crawford, Calhoun and Wirt, be
ing a majority, all southern gentlemen, composed
part. When the treaty was laid before the
House of Representative's, being n member of that
body, I expressed the opinion, which I then enter
tained, and still hnld, that Texas was sacrificed to
the acquisition of Florida. We wanted floridn;
but 1 thought it must, from its position, inevitably
fall into our possession; that the point of a few
years, sooner or later, was of no sort of conse
quence, and that in giving five millions of dollars
and Texas for it, we gnve more than n just equiv
alent. But if we made a great sacrifice in the
surrender of Texas, we ought to take care not to
make too great a sacrifice in the attempt to re-acquire
My opinions of the inexpediency of the treaty ol
1819 did not prevail. 1 he country and Congress
were satisfied with it, appropriations were made
to carry it into effect, the line of the Sabine was
recognized by us as our boundary, in negotiations
both with Spain and Mexico, after Mexico became
independent, and measures have been in progres
to mnrk the line from the Sabine to Red river,
and thence to the Pacific Ocean. We have thus
fairly alienated our title to Texas by solemn na
tional compacts, to the fulfilment of which we
stand bound by good faith and national honor. It
is therefore perfectly idle and ridiculous, if not
dishonoroble, to talk of resuming our title to Tex
as as if we had never parted with it. We can no
more do that than Spain cnu resume Florida,
Franco Louisiana, or Great Britain the thirteen
colonies, now composing a part of the United
During tha administration of Mr. Adams, Mr.
Poinset, minister of the United" States at Mexico,
was instructed by me, with the President's author
ity, to propose a re-purchase of Texas: but lie
forebore even to make an overture for that pur
pose. Upon his return to the United States, ha
informed me, at New Orleans, that his reason for
not making it wns, that he knew the purchase wa9
wnony impracticable, and he was persunded thni
if he made the overture, it would have no other
effect than to aggravate irritations already exist-
ing, upon matters ot uinurence between the two
The events which have since transpired in Tex
as are well known, she revolted against the
government of Mexico, flew to arms, and finally
fought nnd won the memorable battle of San Jau-
cito, annihilating a Mexican army, and making a
captive of the Mexican president. The signal
success or that revolution was greatly aided, if not
wnony achieved, by citizens of the United States
who had emigrated to Texas. These succors, if
they could not always be prevented by the govern
ment of the United States, were furnished in a
manner nnd to an extent which brought upon us
some national reproach in the eyes of an impartial
world. And in my opinion, they impose on us
the obligation of scrupulously avoiding the impu
tation of having instigated and aided the revolu
tion with the ultimate view of territorial agran-
dizetnent. After the battle of San Jancito, the
United States recognized the independence of Tex
as, in conformity with the principle und practice
which have always prevailed in their councils, of
recognizing the government " de facto." without
regarding the question dejure. That recognition
did not affect or impair the rights of Mexico, or
change the relations which existed between her
and Texas. She, on the. contrary, hns preserved
her rights, nnd has continued to assert, and, so far
as 1 know, yet asserts, her right to reduce Texas
to obedience, as a part of the Republic of Mexico.
According to lute intelligence, it is probable that
she has agreed upon a temporary suspension of
hostilities; but if that has been done, I presume it
is with the purpose, upon the termination of the
armistice, of renewing the war and enforcing the
rights, ns she considers them.
This narrative shows the present actual condi
tion of Texas, so far as I have information about
it. If it be correct, Mexico has not abandoned,
but perseveres in the nssertion of her rights by ac
tual force of arms, which, if suspended, are intend
ed to be renewed. Under these circumstances, if
the government of the United States were to nc
quire Texas, it would ncquire, along with it the
incumbrances which Texas is under, nnd among
them the actual or suspended war between Texas
and Mexico. Of that consequence there cannot
be a doubt. Annexation and war with Mcico
are identical. Now, for one, I certainly am not
willing to involve this country in a foreign war for
the object of acquiring Texas. I know there nre
those who regard such a war with indifference,
and as a trifling uffair, on account of the weakness
ot Mexico, and her inability to inflict serious inju
ry upon tnis country. But 1 do not look upon it
thus lightly. I regard all wars ns great calamities,
to be nvoided, if possible, and honorable peace as
the wisest and truest policy of this country. What
the United States most need are union, peace nnd
patience. Nor do I think that the weakness of a
Power should form a motive, in my case, for in
ducing us to engage in or to deprecate the evils of
war. Honor and good faith nnd justice are equal
ly due from this country toward the weak as to
ward the strong. And if an act of injustice were
to be perpetrated toward nny power, it would bo
more compatible with the dignity of the nation,
and, in my judgment, less dishonorable, to inflict
it upon a powerful instead of a weak foreign na
tion. But are we perfectly sure that we should
be free from injury in a state of warwith Mexico?
Have we any security that countless numbers of
foreign vessels, under the authority aud flag of
Mexico, would not prey upon our defenceless
commerce in the Mexican Gull, on the facino
Ocean, and on every other sea and ocean?
What commerce on the other hand, does Mexi
co offer, ns an indemnity for her losses, to the gal
lantry and enterprise of our countrymen? This
view of the subject supposes that war would be
confined to the United States and Mexico as the
only beligerents. But we have no certain guaran
ty that Mexico would obtain no allies among the
great European powers? Suppose any such pow
ers, jealous of our increasing greatness, nnd dis
posed to check our growth and cripple us, were to
take part in behalf of Mexico in the war, how
would the different beligerents present themselves
to Christendom and the enlightened world? We
have been seriously charged with un inordinate
spirit of territorial nggrandizment; and without
admitting the justness of the charge, it must be
owned that we have made vast acquisitions of ter
ritory within the last forty years. Suppose Great
Britain and France, or one of them, were to take
part with Mexico, and, by a manifesto, were to
proclaim that their objects were to assist a weak
and helpless ally, to check the spirit of encroach
ment and ambition of an already overgrown repub
lic, seeking still further acquisitions of territory, to
maintain the independence of Texas, disconnected
with the United States, and to prevent the future
propBgation of slavery from the United States,
what would be the effect of such allegations upon
the judgment ot an impartial mid enlightened
Assuming that the annexation of Texas is war
with Mexico, is it competent to the treaty-making
power to plunge this country into war, not only
without the concurrence of but without deigning
to consult Congress, to which by the Constitution,
belongs exclusively the power of declaring war?
I have hitherto considered the question upon the
supposition that the annexation is attempted with
out the ossentof Mexico. Ifshe yield her consent,
that would materially affect the foreign aspect of
the question, if it did not remove 'nil foreign dif
ficulties. On il& assumption of that nssent, the
question would be confined to the domestic consid
erations which belong to it, embracing the terms
and conditions upon which annexation is proposed.
I do not think that Texas ought to be admitted into
the Union, ns an integral part of it, in decided op
position to the wishes of a considerable nnd res
pectable portion of the Confederacy. I think it far
more wise nnd important to compose and harmon
ize the present Confederacy, as it now exists, than
to introduce n new element of discord und distrac
tion into it. In my humble opinion, it should be
the constant and earnest endeavor of American
statesmen to eradicate prejudices, to cultivate nnd
foster concord, and to produce general contentment
among till parts of our Confederacy. And true
wisdom, it kceuis to rue, points to ihe duty of ren
dering its present members happy, pnwperous.and
satisfied with each other, rather than to attempt to
introduce alien members, against the common con
sent, nnd with the certainty of deep dissatisfaction.
Mr. Jefferson expressed the opinion, and others be
and Florida may be defended upon tb pecelia

xml | txt