previous next
[140] Constitution of Texas. Abbott Lawrence and Nathan Appleton, ex-members of Congress, not only desisted from opposition1 to a deed actually accomplished, but rebuked those of their colleagues whose conscience and2 zeal outran their discretion as ‘practical men.’

Meantime in Massachusetts a mass meeting for3 Middlesex County had been called at Concord to consider the encroachments of the Slave Power. Hardly a Liberty Party man was present, but Mr. Garrison again4 endeavored to inspire his Whig political associates with his doctrine of action—to proceed as if they meant it when they declared the admission of Texas would be the dissolution of the Union:

‘Sir,’ he said,

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.

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).

2 Lib. 15.194.

3 Lib. 15.146; Sept. 22, 1845.

4 Lib. 15.154.

5 Lib. 15.158.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. L. G. Lib (4)
Abbott Lawrence (3)
Hill (1)
Helen Frances Garrison (1)
Nathan Appleton (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1845 AD (1)
March 25th, 1837 AD (1)
September (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: