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should be falsified by himself. We summon a witness far more competent, and quite as credible as himself. General Houston may well be called the father of the Texan Republic, having commanded its army on the field of San Jacinto, and afterwards presided over its councils as President. The treaty with England was negotiated under his direction, and he was necessarily intimately acquainted with all the foreign relations of Texas. He was, moreover, chosen by the State of Texas to represent her in the United States Senate. On the 19th February, 1847, he declared in his place in the Senate,“ England never proposed the subject of slavery or of abolition to Texas ; England never made a suggestion to Texas which, if she had pursued or accepted, would have degraded her in the eyes of the purest patriot that ever lived. Captain Elliot (British Minister in Texas) required nothing but commercial relations between England and Texas, and an interchange of her fabrics for the products of the South."'* So much for the monstrous assertion that the treaty of annexation“

was forced upon the Government of the United States in self-defence, in consequence of the policy adopted by Great Britain in reference to the abolition of slavery in Texas.”

The treaty referred to was submitted to the Senate on the 22d April, 1844, and was REJECTED by that body by a vote of thirty-five to sixteen, Mr. Upshur's pledge to the Texan Government, that two-thirds of the Senate would approve of it, notwithstanding.

Under no circumstances could this treaty have received the consent of two-thirds of the Senate, but the greatness of the vote against it was owing to other causes than hostility to annexation. Mr. Tyler was the most unpopular President that had ever occupied the Executive Chair.

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He was without personal or political influence, and his term of office was now so nearly expired, that he had but little patronage

with which to secure Senatorial votes. It was clearly ascertained that the treaty could not be ratified even were all the friends of annexation to vote for it; and hence many of those friends consulted their own political views and prejudices in swelling the majority against it, and thus thwarting the aspirations of Mr. Calhoun. A presidential election was approaching, and the southern opponents of Mr. Calhoun were well content to diminish by their votes the influence his zeal in the cause of Texas was calculated to give him. Although eager for Texas, they could not vote for a treaty so very objectionable as that made by Mr. Calhoun ; whereas, had its ratification depended on them, there is little doubt their votes would have been different.




The majority in the Senate against the Texan treaty had taught Messrs. Tyler and Calhoun the necessity of preventing, as far as possible, any new obstacle to a measure so near to their hearts. One great argument for annexation was, that the war had virtually ceased between Texas and Mexico, the latter having for years refrained from all active hostility. Suddenly the Cabinet was alarmed by some threatening proclamations issued by the Mexican authorities against Texas, couched in the usual inflated style. Past experience had shown the inability of Mexico to subdue her rebellious province, sheltered, as it was, beneath the wing of the great republic. The threats of the Mexicans were, indeed, idle words; but Mr. Tyler knew that, should the war be in fact renewed, its existence would be an argument against annexation, as that measure under such circumstances would necessarily make the United States a party to the war. It was, therefore, resolved either to induce Mexico to relinquish her design to renew hostilities, or else to goad her into war against ourselves. Hence, on the 14th October, 1844, Mr. Shannon, who had succeeded Mr. Thompson at Mexico, in obedience to instructions, presented to the Government an insolent remonstrance against the farther prosecution of the war, and the sanguinary spirit in which it was to be waged. He declared that the war was to be renewed for the purpose of defeating annexation, an object which


Mr. Tyler would not permit--dwelt upon the importance of Texas to this country, and plainly intimated that we could not permit her to be invaded, without espousing her quarrel. We can readily conceive with what intense indignation our own Government would receive a similar letter from a British Minister, insulting us for our barbarous mode of conducting the war against Mexico, threatening us with vengeance unless we made peace, and permitted the peaceful cession of California to the British crown. Mexico, feeble and exhausted, could resent the insult only in words; but they were words full of dignity, truth, and common

Mr. Rejon, the Mexican Secretary (October 20th, 1844), informed Shannon that he “has orders to repel the protest' now addressed to his Government, and to declare that the President of the United States is much mistaken, if he supposes Mexico capable of yielding to the menace which he, exceeding the powers given to him by the fundamental law of his nation, has directed against it.” After commenting on the conduct of the United States, he concluded, “ while one power is seeking more ground to stain by the SLAVERY of an unfortunate branch of the human family, the other is endeavoring, by preserving what belongs to it, to diminish the surface which the former wants for this detestable traffic. Let the world now say, which of the two has justice and reason on its side.”

This letter was received in high dudgeon by Mr. Shannon, who haughtily demanded a retraction of the Secretary's letter, on the penalty of suspending all farther intercourse till he heard from Washington. To this impertinence, Mr. Rejon replied that he was not surprised by Mr. Shannon's reluctance to discuss the conduct of his Government. “In fact, to what else can be attributed

this exclusive desire to claim for himself, his nation, and his Government, that respect denied by him to the Mexican Republic and its Government, to which he has so often applied the term BARBAROUS, in his note of 14th October ? Is the Government of the United States superior in dignity, or has its legislature any right to be thus wanting in respect to a Government to which it has refused the attentions due by courtesy to mere individuals? Instead of withdrawing his letter, he is ordered to reiterate his former statements.”

The manly, honest rebuke administered by Rejon to President Tyler, naturally gave great offence to that gentleman; and on the 19th December, 1844, he laid the correspondence before Congress with very indignant comments on “the extraordinary and highly offensive language which the Mexican Government has thought proper to employ." But although he thought the conduct of Mexico “ might well justify the United States in a resort to any measure to vindicate their national honor," he abstained, through a sincere desire to preserve peace, from recommending a resort to measures of redress," and contented himself with urging “prompt and immediate action on the subject of annexation.”

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