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thorities, and prepare the region for | 10, met two guns (six-pounders), sent

him from Cincinnati-his first. Santa
Anna, still eagerly pressing on, had
burned Harrisburg, the Texan capi-
tal, and crossed the San Jacinto with
the advance of his army, the main
body being detained on the other
side by a freshet. Houston perceiv-
ed his opportunity, and embraced it.
Facing suddenly about, he attacked
the Mexican vanguard with great
fury, firing several rounds of grape
and canister at short range, then
rushing to the attack with clubbed
muskets (having no bayonets), and
yells of "Remember the Alamo !"
"Remember Goliad!" The Mexi-
cans were utterly routed and dis-
persed-the return of 630 killed to
208 wounded, proving that very lit-
tle mercy was shown by the Texans,
who nevertheless took 730 prisoners
(about their own number), who were
probably picked up after the battle,
as their General was, in the trees
and bushes among which they had
sought safety in concealment. Santa
Anna's life was barely saved by
Houston, who was among the twen-
ty-five wounded, who, with eight
killed, formed the sum total of Texan
loss in the fight. Houston made a
treaty with his prisoner, in obedience
to which the main body of the Mexi-
cans retreated and abandoned the
country, as they doubtless would, at
any rate, have done. This treaty
further stipulated for the independ-
ence of Texas; but no one could
have seriously supposed that such a
stipulation, wrested from a prisoner
of war in imminent and well-ground-
ed fear of massacre, would bind his
country, even had he, when free, had
power to make such a treaty. The

speedy Annexation to this country, as a new make-weight in Mr. Calhoun's scheme of a perpetual balance of power betwen the Free and the Slave States. Houston had scarcely reached Nacogdoches, near the eastern boundary of Texas, when he was elected therefrom a delegate to a Convention called to frame a Constitution for that country as a distinct State, which met April 1, 1833, and did its predestined work. Texas proclaimed her entire independence of Mexico, March 2, 1836. War, of course, ensued-in fact, was already beginning and Houston soon succeeded Austin in the command of the insurgent forces. On the 10th, Houston repaired to the camp at Gonzales, where 374 poorly-armed, ill-supplied men, were mustered to dispute the force, 5,000 strong, with which Santa Anna had already crossed the Rio Grande and advanced to the frontier fort, known as the Alamo, held by Col. Travis, with 185 men, who were captured and all put to death. Houston, of course, retreated, hoping to be joined by Col. Fannin, who held Goliad with 500 men, and several pieces of artillery, whereas Houston had not one. But Fannin, while on his way to join Houston, was intercepted and surrounded by a strong Mexican detachment under Urrea, by whom, after two days' fighting, he was captured (March 20), and all his survivors, 357 men, treacherously shot in cold blood. Houston, of course, continued his retreat, pursued by Santa Anna, but having too little to carry to be easily overtaken. He received some slight reënforcements on his march, and at the San Jacinto, April | victory, not the treaty, was the true



basis and assurance of Texan inde- | Forsyth, in his official reply to Gen. pendence. Hunt's proffer, said:

Gen. Houston-who had meantime returned to the United States to obtain proper treatment for his wounded ankle, and to confer with Gen. Jackson and other friends of Texas was immediately chosen President of the new republic, and inaugurated, October 22, 1836. In March following, the United States took the lead in acknowledging the independence of Texas, and other nations in due time followed. Expeditions, fitted out in western Texas, were sent to Santa Fé on the north, and to Mier on the Rio Grande, and each badly handled by the Mexicans, who captured the Santa Fé party entire, and sent them prisoners to their capital; but, within her original boundaries, no serious demonstration was made against the new republic by Mexico, subsequently to Santa Anna's disastrous failure in 1836. Meantime, her population steadily increased by migration from the United States, and, to some extent, from Europe; so that, though her finances were in woeful disorder, and her northern frontier constantly harassed by savage raids, there was very little probability that Texas would ever have been reconquered by Mexico.

In August, 1837, Gen. Memucan Hunt, envoy of Texas at Washington, proposed to our Government the Annexation of his country to the United States. Mr. Van Buren was then President, with John C. Forsyth, of Georgia-an extreme Southron-for his Secretary of State. The subject was fully considered, and a decisive negative returned. Mr.

"So long as Texas shall remain at war, while the United States are at peace with her adversary, the proposition of the Texan Minister Plenipotentiary necessarily involves the question of war with that adversary. The United States are bound to Mexico by a treaty of amity and commerce, which will be scrupulously observed on their part so long as it can be reasonably hoped that Mexico will perform her duties and respect our rights under it. The United States might justly be suspected of a disregard of the friendly purposes of the compact, if the overture of Gen. Hunt were to be even reserved for future consideration; as this would imply a disposition on our part to espouse the quarrel of Texas with Mexico-a disposition wholly at variance with the spirit of the treaty, and with the uniform policy and the obvious welfare of

the United States.

"The inducements mentioned by Gen. Hunt for the United States to annex Texas powerful and weighty as certainly they are, to their Territory are duly appreciated; but, they are light when opposed in the scale of reason to treaty obligations, and respect for United States have sought to distinguish that integrity of character by which the themselves since the establishment of their right to claim a place in the great family of Nations."

Gen. Hunt's letter having intimated that Texas might be impelled, by a discouraging response to her advances, to grant special commercial favors to other nations to the prejudice of this, Mr. Forsyth-writing in the name and under the immediate inspiration of the President-responded as follows:

"It is presumed, however, that the motives by which Texas has been governed in making this overture, will have equal force in impelling her to preserve, as an independent power, the most liberal commercial relations with the United States. Such a disposition will be cheerfully met, in a corresponding spirit, by this Government. If the answer which the undersigned has been directed to give to the proposition of Gen. Hunt should, unfortunately, evoke such a change in the sentiments of that Government as to induce an attempt to extend commercial relations elsewhere, upon terms prejudicial to the United States, this Government

will be consoled by the rectitude of its intentions, and a certainty that, although the hazard of transient losses may be incurred by a rigid adherence to just principles, no lasting prosperity can be secured when they are disregarded."

made sacrifices to wrest Texas from Mexico with what intent? Mr. Webster, in his speech at Niblo's Garden, March 15, 1837, thus cautiously, but with majestic and impressive oratory, gave utterance to the more considerate Northern view of the subject:

"Gentlemen, proposing to express opinions on the principal subjects of interest at the present moment, it is impossible to overlook the delicate question which has arisen from events which have happened in the late Mexican province of Texas. The independnized by the government of the United States. ence of that province has now been recogCongress gave the President the means, to be used when he saw fit, of opening a diplomatic intercourse with its government, and the late President immediately made use of those means.

stances, to voting an appropriation to be used when the President should think the proper time had come; and he deemed - very promptly, it is true, that the time had already arrived. Certainly, gentlemen, the history of Texas is not a little wonderful. A very few people, in a very short time, have established a government for themselves, against the authority of the parent state; and this government, it is generally sup

"I saw no objection, under the circum

This ended the negotiations, and foreclosed all discussion of the subject by our Government during Mr. Van Buren's term. Yet, so early as 1837, it had become evident to careful observers among us, that intrigues were then on foot for the Annexation of Texas to the United States, and that the chief impulse to this was the prospect of thereby increasing the influence and power of Slavery in our Government. It had, indeed, been notorious from the first, that this purpose was cherished by a large portion of those who had actively contributed to colonize Texas from this country and to fight the battles of her Independence. Benjamin Lundy saw and reported this during his repeated journeys through the whole extent of Texas, in quest of a region whereon to found a colony of free blacks. On this ground, he was 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-joice than I shall, to see an independent there is no one who will more heartily retending and perpetuating its power. Earnest Abolitionists generally contemplated the events transpiring in Texas with growing apprehension; while, on the other hand, the slaveholding region was unanimous and enthusiastic in favor of the new republic. Men were openly recruited throughout the valley of the lower Mississippi for her slender armies; while arms and munitions were supplied from our South-western cities with little disguise or pretense of payment. The Slave Power had

posed, there is little probability, at the pres

ent moment, of the parent state being able to overturn.

community, intelligent, industrious, and friendly toward us, springing up and rising into happiness, distinction, and power, upon our own principles of liberty and government.

"But it cannot be disguised, gentlemen, that a desire, or an intention, is already manifested to annex Texas to the United States. On a subject of such mighty magnitude as this, and at a moment when the public attention is drawn to it, I should feel myself wanting in candor, if I did not express my opinion; since all must suppose that, on such a question, it is impossible that I should be without some opinion.

"I say, then, gentlemen, in all frankness, able objections to the annexation of Texas that I see objections-I think insurmountto the United States. When the Consti


tution was formed, it is not probable that either its framers or the people ever looked to the admission of any States into the Union, except such as then already existed, and such as should be formed out of territories then already belonging to the United States. Fifteen years after the adoption of the Constitution, however, the case of Louisiana arose. Louisiana was obtained by treaty with France, who had already obtained it from Spain; but the object of this acquisition, certainly, was not mere extension of territory. Other great political interests were connected with it. Spain, while she possessed Louisiana, had held the mouths of the great rivers which rise in the Western States, and flow into the Gulf of Mexico. She had disputed our use of these rivers already; and, with a powerful nation in possession of these outlets to the sea, it is obvious that the commerce of all the West was in danger of perpetual vexation. The command of these rivers to the sea was, therefore, the great object aimed at in the acquisition of Louisiana. But that acquisition necessarily brought territory along with it; and three States now exist, formed out of that ancient province.

"A similar policy, and a similar necessity, though perhaps not entirely so urgent, led to the acquisition of Florida.

"Now, no such necessity, no such policy, requires the annexation of Texas. The accession of Texas to our territory is not necessary to the full and complete enjoyment of all which we already possess. Her case, therefore, stands upon a footing entirely different from that of Louisiana and Florida. There being no necessity for extending the limits of the Union in that direction, we ought, I think, for numerous and powerful reasons, to be content with our present boundaries.

"Gentlemen, we all see that, by whomsoever possessed, Texas is likely to be a slaveholding country; and I frankly avow my unwillingness to do anything that shall extend the slavery of the African race on this continent, or add other slave-holding States to the Union. When I say that I regard Slavery in itself as a great moral, social, and political evil, I only use language which has been adopted by distinguished men, themselves citizens of slaveholding States. I shall do nothing, therefore, to favor or encourage its further extension. We have Slavery already amongst us. The Constitution found it in the Union; it recognized it, and gave it solemn guaranties. To the full extent of those guaranties, we all are bound, in honor, in justice, and by the Constitution. All the stipulations contained in the Constitution in favor of the slaveholding States which are already in the Union, ought


to be fulfilled, in the fullness of their spirit and to the exactness of their letter. Slavery, as it exists in the States, is beyond the reach of Congress. It is a concern of the States themselves; they have never submitted it to Congress, and Congress has no rightful power over it. I shall concur, therefore, in no act, no measure, no menace, no indication of purpose, which shall interfere, or threaten to interfere, with the exclusive authority of the several States over the subject of Slavery as it exists within their respective limits. All this appears to me to be a matter of plain, imperative duty.

"But, when we come to speak of admitting new States, the subject assumes an entirely different aspect. Our rights and our duties are then both different.

"The free States, and all the States, are then at liberty to accept or to reject. When it is proposed to bring new members into this political partnership, the old members have a right to say on what terms such new partners are to come in, and what they are to bring along with them. In my opinion, the people of the United States will not consent to bring into the Union a new, vastly extensive, and slaveholding country, large enough for half a dozen or a dozen States. In my opinion, they ought not to consent to it. Indeed, I am altogether at a loss how to conceive what possible benefit any part of this country can expect to derive from such annexation. Any benefit to any part is at least doubtful and uncertain; the objections are obvious, plain, and strong. On the general question of Slavery, a great portion of the community is already strongly excited. The subject has not only attracted attention as a question of politics, but it has struck a far deeper-toned chord. It has arrested the religious feeling of the country; it has taken strong hold on the consciences of men. He is a rash man, indeed, and little conversant with human nature, and especially has he a very erroneous estimate of the character of the people of this country, who supposes that a feeling of this kind is to be trifled with or despised. It will assuredly cause itself to be respected. It may be reasoned with; it may be made willing-I believe it is entirely willing-to fulfill all existing engagements and all existing duties-to uphold and defend the Constitution as it is established, with whatever regrets about some provisions which it does actually contain. But to coerce it into silence, to endeavor to restrain its free expression, to seek to compress and confine it, warm as it is, and more heated as such endeavors would inevitably render it,-should this be attempted, I know nothing, even in the Constitution or in the Union itself, which would not be endangered by the explosion which might follow.

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"I believe it to be for the interest and happiness of the whole Union to remain as it is, without diminution, and without addition."

William Henry Harrison was, in 1840, elected ninth President of the United States, after a most animated and vigorous canvass, receiving 234 electoral votes to 60 cast for his predecessor and rival, Martin Van Buren. Gen. Harrison was the son of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was, like his father, a native of Virginia; but he migrated, while still young, to a point just below the site of Cincinnati, and thereafter resided in some Free Territory or State, mainly in Ohio. While Governor of Indiana Territory, he had favored the temporary allowance of Slavery therein; and in 1819, being then an applicant for office at the hands of President Monroe, he had opposed the Missouri Restriction. Gen. Harrison was, therefore, on the whole, quite as acceptable, personally, to the Slave Power as Mr. Van Buren; and he received the votes of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. He failed, however, to win the favor of Mr. Calhoun, and so had no considerable support in South Carolina; which State gave its vote, without opposition, to Mr. Van Buren, though it had opposed his election as VicePresident in '32, and as President in '36. Virginia, Alabama, and Missouri also supported Mr. Van Buren. Gen. Harrison was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1841, and died barely one month thereafter.

John Tyler-son of a revolutionary patriot of like name, who rose to the Governorship of his State-was elected Vice-President with General Harrison. He was originally a Republican of the Virginia school, and as such had supported Madison, Monroe, and, in 1824, William H. Crawford. Elected to the Legislature of his State in 1811, when but twentyone years of age, he had served repeatedly in that body, and in Congress, before he was, in 1825, elected to the Governorship of Virginia by her Legislature. In March, 1827, he was chosen to the United States Senate by the combined votes of the "National Republican," or Adams and Clay members, with those of a portion of the Jacksonians, who were dissatisfied with the erratic conduct and bitter personalities of John Randolph of Roanoke, Mr. Tyler's competitor and predecessor. Mr. Tyler had (in 1825) written to Mr. Clay, commending his preference of Mr Adams to Gen. Jackson, but had afterward gone with the current in Virginia for Jackson-basing this preference on his adhesion to the 'State Rights,' or Strict Construction theory of our Government, which was deemed by him at variance with some of the recommendations in Mr. Adams's first Message. In the Senate, Mr. Tyler was anti-Tariff, antiImprovement, anti-Bank, and antiCoërcion; having voted alone (in February, 1833) in opposition to the passage of Gen. Jackson's "Force Bill," against South Carolina's Nullification. He supported Mr Clay's Compromise Tariff. Being reëlected for a second full term, commencing December, 1833, he opposed the removal of the public deposits from

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