Annexation of Texas 


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Annexation of Texas.

The Southern people were anxious to have the State of Texas annexed to the United States, and such a desire was a prevailing feeling in that sovereign State. The proposition, when formally made, was opposed by the people of the North, because the annexation would increase the area and political strength of the slave power, and lead to a war with Mexico. But the matter was persisted in by the South, and, with the approbation of President Tyler, a treaty to that effect was signed in Washington, D. C., April 12, 1844, by Mr. Calhoun, Secretary of State, and Messrs. Van Zandt and Henderson on the part of Texas. It was rejected by the Senate in June following. The project was presented at the next session of Congress in the form of a joint resolution. It had been made a leading political question at the Presidential election in the autumn of 1844.

Republic of Texas Map

Republic of Texas Map at the Time of Annexation

 James K. Polk had been nominated over Mr. Van Buren, because he was in favor of the annexation. The joint resolution was adopted March 1, 1845, and received the assent of President Tyler the next day. On the last day of his term of office he sent a message to the Texas government, with a copy of the joint resolutions of Congress in favor of annexation. These were considered by a convention in Texas, called for the purpose of forming a State constitution. That body approved the measure (July 4, 1845), and on that day Texas became one of the States of the Union.

Annexation of Texas PosterThe following is the text of the joint resolution of the Congress and of the Texas ordinance:

COMMITTEE ROOM, July 4, 1845. Hon. Thomas J. Rusk, President of the Convention:

The committee to whom was committed the communication of his Excellency the President of the republic, together with the accompanying documents, have had the same under consideration, and have instructed me to report the following ordinance, and recommend its adoption by the convention.

Whereas, the Congress of the United States of America has passed resolutions providing for the annexation of Texas to that Union, which resolutions were approved by the President of the United States on the first day of March, 1845 ; and
Whereas, the President of the United States has submitted to Texas the first and second sections of the said resolutions as the basis upon which Texas may be admitted as one of the States of said Union, and Whereas, the existing government of the republic of Texas has assented to the proposals thus made, the terms and conditions of which are as follows:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within, and rightfully belonging to, the republic of Texas, may be erected into a new State, to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of government, adopted by the people of said republic, by deputies in convention assembled, with consent of the existing government, in order that the same may be admitted as one of the States of this Union.

And be it further resolved, that the foregoing consent of Congress is given upon the following conditions, to wit: First, said State to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this government of ail questions of boundary that may arise with others governments, and the constitution thereof, with the proper evidence of its adoption by the people of said republic of Texas, shall be transmitted to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress for its final action, on or before the first day of January, 1846; second, said State, when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States all public edifices, fortifications, barracks, forts and harbors, navy and navy-yards, docks, magazines, and armaments, and all other means. pertaining to the public defense belonging to the said republic, shall retain all its public funds, debts, taxes, and dues of every kind which may belong to or be due and owing to the said republic, and shall also retain all the vacant and unappropriated lands lying within its limits, to be applied to the payment of the debts and liabilities of said republic of Texas, and the residue of said lands, after discharging said debts and liabilities, to be disposed of as said State may direct; but in no event are said debts and liabilities to become a charge upon the government of the United States; third, new States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the federal Constitution; and such States as may be formed out of that portion of said territory lying south of 36 30' N. lat., commonly known as the Missouri Compromise line, shall be admitted into the Union, with or without slavery, as the people of each State asking admission may desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri Compromise line slavery or involuntary servitude (except for crime) shall be prohibited.

Now, in order to manifest the assent of the people of the republic, as is required in the above-recited portions of said resolution, we, the deputies of the people of Texas in convention assembled, in their name and by their authority, do ordain and declare that we assent to, and accept the proposals, conditions, and guarantees contained in the first and second sections of the resolutions of the Congress of the United States aforesaid.

Adopted by a vote of 56 to 1, July 4, 1845, in the tenth year of the republic.
THOMAS J. RUSK, President. JAMES H. RAYMOND, Secretary.




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