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[152] 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.

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 of Texan colonization and independence, regarding it but as a new device of American Slavery for extending and perpetuating its power. Earnest Abolitionists generally contemplated the events transpiring in Texas with growing apprehension; while, on the other hand, the slave-holding 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 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 over-look the delicate question which has arisen from events which have happened in the late Mexican province of Texas. The independence of that province has now been recognized by the government of the United States. Congress 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.

I saw no objection, under the circumstances, 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 supposed, there is little probability, at the present moment, of the parent state being able to overturn.

This government is, in form, a copy of our own. It is an American constitution, substantially after the great American model. We all, therefore, must wish it success; and there is no one who will more heartily rejoice than I shall, to see an independent 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, that I see objections — I think insurmountable objections — to the annexation of Texas to the United States. When the Constitution

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