I know how nearly alone we shall be. An5 overwhelming majority of the whole people are prepared to endorse this horrible deed of Texan annexation. The hearts of the few who hate it are giving way in despair; the majority have got the mastery. Shall we therefore retreat, acknowledge ourselves conquered, and fall into the ranks of the victors? Shall we agree that it is idle, insane, to contend for the right any longer? Sir, I dreaded, almost, when I heard this Convention called. I will be frank with you. I am afraid you are not ready to do your duty; and if not, you will be made a laughing-stock by tyrants and their tools; and it ought to be so. I have nothing to say, Sir—nothing. I am tired of words —tired of hearing strong things said, where there is no heart to carry them out. When we are prepared to state the whole truth, and die for it, if necessary—when, like our fathers, we are prepared to take our ground, and not shrink from it, counting not our lives dear unto us—when we are prepared to let all earthly hopes go by the board—then let us say so; till then, the less we say, the better, in such an emergency as this.
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1 On March 25, 1837, Mr. Lawrence wrote to his constituents: ‘The independence of this infant nation [Texas] has already been recognized by our Government. The next movement of the friends of Texas will be its annexation to the United States. . . . Should their object be attained, where will be the patronage and Executive power of the Government? Will it not be gone, forever departed, from the free States? Let us maintain the Constitution in letter and spirit as we received it from our fathers, and resist every attempt at the acquisition of territory to be inhabited by slaves’ (Hill's Memoir of Abbott Lawrence, p. 21).
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