Good historiography articles about Texas annexation?

Good historiography articles about Texas annexation?

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I'm having a hard time finding a good historiography article about the Texas annexation on JSTOR. Could you help me find one? I'm not sure what to search for. ("Good" means that it lists common disagreements between historians on the topic.)

DECLARATION OF CAUSES: February 2, 1861 A declaration of the causes which impel the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union.

The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former as one of the co-equal States thereof,

The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility [sic] and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding States.

By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.

The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refused reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harrassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.

These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.

When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that [of] a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.

The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holdings States in their domestic institutions--a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a "higher law" than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.

They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.

They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offences, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.

They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.

They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.

They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.

And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.

In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity that the African race had no agency in their establishment that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons--We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.

Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.

Winkler, Ernest William, ed. Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas 1861, Edited From the Original in the Department of State. Austin: Texas Library and Historical Commission, 1912, pp. 61-65.

Time Periods:

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

C. T. Neu, &ldquoAnnexation,&rdquo Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 17, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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1845 Annexation Agreement

28th Congress Second Session
Begun and held at the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, on Monday the second day of December, eighteen hundred and forty-four.
Joint Resolution for annexing Texas to the United States

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, to be adopted by the people of said republic, by deputies in Convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, in order that the same may be admitted as one of the states of this Union.

2. And be it further resolved, That the foregoing consent of Congress is given upon the following conditions, and with the following guarantees, to wit: First-said state to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other 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, one thousand eight hundred and forty-six. Second-said state, when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States all public edifices, fortifications, barracks, ports and harbors, navy and navy-yards, docks, magazines, arms, armaments, and all other property and means pertaining to the public defence belonging to said republic of Texas, shall retain all the public funds, debts, taxes, and dues of every kind which may belong to or be due and owing 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 thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, 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.

3. And be it further resolved, That if the President of the United States shall in his judgment and discretion deem it most advisable, instead of proceeding to submit the foregoing resolution to the Republic of Texas, as an overture on the part of the United States for admission, to negotiate with that Republic then, Be it resolved, that a state, to be formed out of the present Republic of Texas, with suitable extent and boundaries, and with two representatives in Congress, until the next apportionment of representation, shall be admitted into the Union, by virtue of this act, on an equal footing with the existing states, as soon as the terms and conditions of such admission, and the cession of the remaining Texan territory to the United States shall be agreed upon by the governments of Texas and the United States: And that the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated to defray the expenses of missions and negotiations, to agree upon the terms of said admission and cession,either by treaty to be submitted to the Senate, or by articles to be submitted to the two Houses of Congress, as the President may direct.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

President, pro tempore, of the Senate

Approv’d March 1. 1845

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 4
Documents 80-121 : 1836-1846
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1934.

NOTE by Ed Brannum: I am convinced now that the whole matter of annexation by resolution for the republic of Texas Nation was a scam from the start.

1- 9th congress adjourns Feb. 3rd, 1845

2- Anson Jones calls for a convention of delegates July 4th, 1845. By what authority does one branch of government act on its own? What authority did Jones have for calling the convention after congress had adjourned?

3- Should not the delegates be from Texas? Who were these 57 delegates?

4- Archives show only 13 delegates from Texas and the rest are from the United States. Who did they represent, the republic of Texas or the United States/State of Texas?

5- Questionable Convention adjourned Aug. 28th, 1845 with attested approval of the new so called constitution of The State of Texas on Aug 27th, 1845. All being done with a de jure congress in adjournment by one branch of government in violation of all constitutions.

6- Now get this: In the new constitution it states that the new government will be elected in November 1847 after the government is formed!

7- Bigger question: Why were the annual republic of Texas elections held, one week later in 1845, under the de jure 1836 republic of Texas constitution and not the color of law State of Texas constitution that was just previously passed on the 27th of August 1845? On Sept. 5th, 1845 elections were held for the republic of Texas 10th congress but the elected congress was never convened in violation of the constitution that all the elected took an Oath to uphold.

8- There are very few things the President can do without the consent of the Senate. There was no Senate convened at this time.

* Statement of fact: The First Legislature for the State of Texas convened in Austin on February 19, 1846 in direct violation of the 1836 republic of Texas constitution and also the so called newly adopted 1845 State of Texas constitution. It was done in fraud and there are no time limits for fraud.

9- By what authority was a special election held on December 15th, 1845 when there was not a legislative branch convened? The newly established constitution called for elections in 1847 and the republic of Texas 10th congress had never convened.

” Question needing answers: Where were the Executive Branch members at this time and most importantly where were all the Judicial Branch Judges?

“Without the concurrent consent of all three parts of the government, no law is, or can be, made. Sir M. Hale”.

” In all constitutions it has always required three full time branches of government for the people by the people in Texas not part time one or two branches.

“From these laws may be deduced the rules of the congresses and reflections of two bodies.” Cheyne, House of Representatives and the Senate

1- REPUBLIC OF TEXAS Archived records.

I, the undersigned, Attorney General and Acting Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas, do hereby certify that the regular session of the ninth Congress of said Republic, adjourned on the third day of February,
A. D. one thousand eight hundred and forty five.

Given under my hand and seal of office at Washington, the fourth day of February,
A. D., one thousand eight hundred and forty-five.

2- In the US Congress December 1844 there was submitted a proposition for the annexation of Texas by joint resolution. Then after the 9th congress adjourned as shown above someone, who knows who, without any authority, passed in late February 1845 a joint resolution that provided for the admission of Texas as a state instead of a territory, gave it the privilege of keeping its own public lands, thus providing a source of revenue with which to pay its debts, and extended the right to divide itself into as many as four additional states.

NOTE: Texas would have had to be classified as a territory to make this lawful so not to violate the USA Constitution. All delegates elected to a congressional seat were from a territory therefore they could only debate. *They could not vote.

Andrew J. Donelson brought the proposition to Texas and urged its immediate acceptance. The United States government had good reason to be solicitous, for both England and France, in the hope that Texas might be induced to reject annexation and remain independent, had been urging Mexico to agree to a treaty of peace. Anson Jones, president of Texas, consented to the preliminaries of a treaty with Mexico by which that country consented to recognize the independence of Texas on condition that Texas would not become annexed to the United States. Jones presented both propositions, annexation and Mexican recognition, to the Congress of the republic (How can this be when the congress never convened after it was elected?) and to the people of Texas (What people and when?), who, by the Convention of 1845, (only 57 delegates present and only 13 of them were from Texas) accepted the terms of annexation. This action ended all diplomatic activity of the republic, although some time passed before the various foreign representatives of Texas returned.

3- CONVENTION OF 1845. The Convention of 1845 was called by Anson Jones to meet in Austin to consider the joint resolution of the United States Congress proposing the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States. The convention assembled on July 4, 1845. Thomas Jefferson Rusk was elected president of the convention, and James H. Raymond was secretary. By a vote of fifty-five to one, the delegatesapproved the offer of annexation. Richard Bache of Galveston was the lone dissenter. Subsequently, the convention prepared the Constitution of 1845 for the new state. Rusk appointed several committees to examine legislative, executive, judicial, and general provisions of the constitution, as well as a committee of five to prepare convention rules. Of the fifty-seven delegates elected to the convention, eighteen were originally from Tennessee, eight from Virginia, seven from Georgia, six from Kentucky, and five from North Carolina. Considered the most able body of its kind ever to meet in Texas, the convention included men of broad political experience such as Thomas J. Rusk, James Pinckney Henderson, Isaac Van Zandt, Hardin R. Runnels, Abner S. Lipscomb, Nicholas H. Darnell, R. E. B. Baylor, and José Antonio Navarro. The convention adjourned on August 28, 1845.

4- Note by Ed Brannum: I count 44 delegates from the foreign Eastern US states which left only 13 Texians to vote and I am sure 12 of them were Anson Jones people. I was always told the people of Texas voted to annex. Where are the Texians that voted in the records?

5- Possible answer: * Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828) 2. (a) One elected by the people of a territory to represent them in Congress, where he has the right of debating, but not of voting. Example Puerto Rico.

6- Articles below from the 1845 so called State of Texas Constitution after adjournment.

7- SEC. 12. The first general election for governor, lieutenant governor, and members of the legislature, after the organization of the government (. ), shall take place on the first Monday in November, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven, (Note: by what authority since there were no legislatures convened from February 3rd 1845?) and shall be held biennially thereafter on the first Monday in November, until otherwise provided by the legislature and the governor and lieutenant-governor elected in December next shall hold their offices until the installation in office of the governor and lieutenant-governor to be elected in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.

SEC. 13. The ordinance passed by the convention on the fourth day of July, (What year?) assenting to the overtures for the annexation of Texas to the United States, shall be attached to this constitution and form a part of the same.

Done in convention by the deputies of the people of Texas, at the city of Austin, this twenty-seventh day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-five.

Note by Ed Brannum: Why are the convention delegates below now called deputies of the people of Texas when only 13 of them were from Texas?

In testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.

John D. Anderson
James Armstrong
Cavitt Armstrong
B. C. Bagby
R. E. B. Baylor
R. Bache
J. W. Brashear
Geo. Wm. Brown
Jas. M. Burroughs
John Caldwell
William L. Cazneau
Edward Clark
A. S. Cunningham
Phil. M. Cuny
Nicholas H. Darnell
James Davis
Lemuel Dale Evans
Gustavus A. Everts
Robert M. Forbes
David Gage
John Hemphill
J. Pinckney Henderson
A. W. O. Hicks
Jos. L. Hogg
A. C. Horton
Volney E. Howard
Spearman Holland
Wm. L. Hunter
Van. R. Irion
Henry J. Jewett
Oliver Jones
H. L. Kinney
Henry R. Latimer
Albert H. Latimer
John M. Lewis
James Love
P. O. Lumpkin
Sam. Lusk
Abner S. Lipscomb
James S. Mayfield
A. McGowan
Archibald McNeill
J. B. Miller
Francis Moore, jr.
J. Antonio Navarro
W. B. Ochiltree
Isaac Parker
James Power
Emery Rains
H. G. Runnels
James Scott
Geo. W. Smyth
Israel Standefer
Chas. Bellinger Stewart
E. H. Tarrant
Isaac Van Zandt
Francis M. White
George T. Wood
Wm. Cock Young

Secretary of the Convention

NOTE: In reading the above the question I ask is who are these 57 people?

8-Republic of Texas 10th Congress Members listed below that have been replaced by yearly elections held starting September 5th 2005 and every year since.
Regular Session, never convened
Elected September 1845 – Never Seated

President Anson Jones
Vice-President (Died July 1845 never replaced)

Caldwell, John
Damell, Nicholas Henry
Franklin, Benjamin C.
Grimes, Jessie
Johnson, Middleton Tate
Kinney, Henry L
McCrearey, James J.
Munson, Henry J
Navarro, Jose Antonio
Parker, Issac
Pilsbury, Timothy
Roman, Richard
Wright, George W.

# 1
# 2
# 3
# 4
# 5
# 6
# 7
# 8
# 9
# 10
# 11
# 12
# 13
# 14

Bastrop, Fayette, Gonzales & Travis
San Augustine
Harris, Galveston & Liberty
Brazos, Montgomery & Washington
Harrison, Sabine, & Shelby
Goliad, Refugio & San Patricio
Austin, Colorado & Fort Bend
Milam & Robertson
Houston, Nacogdoches & Rusk
Jackson, Matagorda & Victoria
Bowie, Fannin, Lamar & Red River
Jasper & Jefferson


Mabry, Evans
Hudson, James P.
Jones, Augustus H.
Cazneau, William Leslie
Nash, John D.
Sublett, Henry W.
McAnelly, Comelius
Fisher, William S.
Williamson, Robert McAlpin
Scott, William Thomas
Earl, William
Truitt, James
McNairy, John B.
Downs, George N.
Shelborn, John P.
Tipps, Jacob
Erath, George B.
Porter, Robert H.
Howard, Volney Erskine
Van Derlip, David C.
Sadler, William Turner
Moffitt, John H.
Barnett, S. Slade
Perkins, Stephen W.
Gaines, William B. P.
Kendrick, Harvey W.
Chambers, John G.
William, John H.
De Morse, Charles

San Augustine
San Augustine
San Patricio
Ft Bend
Red River

Total Senators 13
Total Representatives 29

Note: Above is a total of 42 congressmen, therefore when Jones called for a convention July 4th, 1845 who where the 57 so called delegateslisted above in the so-called convention that signed off?

Jones was elected president of Texas in September 1844 and took office in December. He had made no campaign speeches, had not committed himself on the subject of annexation, and did not mention the subject in his inaugural address. After James K. Polk’s election as president of the United States on a platform of “re-annexation (??) of Texas” and President John Tyler’s proposal of annexation by joint resolution, Jones continued his silence. But the Texas Congress declared for joining the Union. (Note: How did the Texas congress declare for joining when they were adjourned and never re-convened?) Before Jones received official notice of the joint resolution, the charges of England and France induced him to delay action for ninety days. He promised to obtain from Mexico recognition of Texas independence and delayed calling the Texas Congress or a convention. Meanwhile, public sentiment for annexation and resentment against Jones mounted. He was burned in effigy, and threats were made to overthrow his government, but he remained silent until Charles Elliot returned from Mexico with the treaty of recognition.

In the Texas presidential race of 1844, Vice President Edward Burleson faced Secretary of State Anson Jones, who had the support of Houston.Jones won by a large vote. After he was inaugurated on December 9, he launched a policy of economy, peaceful relations with the Indians, and a non-aggressive policy toward Mexico.

9- The United States Congress approved the Texas state constitution, and Polk signed the act admitting Texas as a state on December 29, 1845. The fledgling republic’s existence had spanned nine years, eleven months, and seventeen days. In a special election on December 15, Texans had elected officers for the new state government. The First Legislature convened in Austin on February 19, 1846. In a ceremony in front of the Capitol, President Jones gave a valedictory address, the flag of the republic was lowered, and the flag of the United States was raised above it. (Question: How was Jones still President when Congress never convened? Note: What authority held this special election when their own newly established so called constitution called for elections in 1847? (See articles above).

On February 19, 1846, at the ceremony setting up the government of Texas as a state in the Union, Jones declared, “The Republic of Texas is no more.” Then he retired to Barrington, his plantation near Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Description: “The word “resolution,” when it is regarding a resolution passed by an assembly or legislature, simply means they have agreed on their intent on some matter. A resolution is not a law. Of course, Black’s Law Dictionary, sixth edition, says that a Joint Resolution when signed by the President has the effect of law. Why would this be stated when any other definition you look at says it is a statement of intent? In fact, further down in Black’s it says outright that a resolution is not a law. A law must come from an act passed by congress with specific language. It must have an Enactment Clause, such as “It is hereby enacted” and it must have an enabling clause. A resolution has neither of these. Jay Enloe

The Dollars and Sense of Annexation

A few months ago, Chuck Marohn wrote an article asking when it's okay to annex property, and it struck a nerve in the Urban3 office.

As Chuck explained, “Annexation — the act of bringing property outside of the city limits into the municipal boundaries—is rarely more than an economic sugar high for a city, one with long-term consequences that are nearly always negative.”

If you want your city to grow in a financially healthy, productive way, it takes discipline and a balanced diet. But if you only seek that sugar high when you’re hungry, you’ll grow, alright—but in a manner that will leave you bloated and unsatisfied.

Annexation is effectively a release valve for the city, and it’s natural. Every growing city has to expand its boundaries at some point. In fact, 90% of cities that could annex additional land in the 1990’s did so. At Urban3, we were most curious about why, where, and when cities annex land.

Chuck pointed out that “a common (incorrect) argument that city staff often put forth when they recommend annexations goes something like this: we already have a fire department, a police department, a library and parks….why not have more taxpayers sharing those costs?”

Another argument is that if workers are moving outside the city, why not move city boundaries outward so they still pay for services? The answer is that annexation is almost always a poor investment that doesn’t consider long term stability. Simply put, annexation is a bailout. So what’s the difference between natural growth and a sugar high? Where do we draw the line?

There are many explanations for the placement of city boundaries, the most obvious of which is geography. In Boulder, the city limits directly abut the Rocky Mountains, so that’s a sensible place to draw the line. Some city boundaries can be drawn across cultural or political lines, but those can seem absurd in situations like where the Missouri River splits Kansas City in two across state lines. In situations where geography isn’t a factor, who’s to say that someone just over the border of a city’s official boundaries is not a citizen, but their next-door neighbor is?

Anson Jones and the Annexation of Texas

Anson Jones was born in Massachusetts in 1798. When he was 22, he was licensed as a physician. Throughout his life, Jones retained the plain, modest manner of a country doctor. But his life would take him in a far different direction. He would be known to history as the "Architect of Annexation." But his actual contribution to Texas statehood is more complex, and his life far more troubled, than the nickname would indicate.

Jones was a restless young man, spending time at Harper's Ferry, Philadelphia, and Venezuela, never making much of a success anywhere. In 1832 he gave up medicine and tried his hand as a commission merchant in New Orleans, where he went broke within a year. Jones next drifted to Texas, where he finally found success as a physician in Brazoria. At first, Jones resisted becoming involved in the tensions between Texas and Mexico, but eventually he became a supporter of Texas independence. When the revolution came, Jones served as judge advocate and surgeon in the San Jacinto campaign.

As Texas struggled to form a republic, Jones found himself drawn to politics. He was elected to the Texas Congress, where he served as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. It was in this role that Jones first became involved with the question of the annexation of Texas to the United States.

The question of Texas annexation had been around since the days of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. At that time, Thomas Jefferson himself had asserted that the true southern limit of Louisiana was the Rio Grande, and many Americans agreed. Naturally, the Spanish objected to this interpretation. In 1819, the United States and Spain signed the Adams-Onís Treaty, in which Spain relinquished Florida to the U.S. in exchange for the U.S. giving up claim to Texas.

With the Texas Revolution, the question arose again. After San Jacinto, Texas formally proposed annexation to the United States, and many Texans expected it to follow within a matter of months. Sam Houston was a protégé and close friend of President Andrew Jackson, who was known to favor the annexation to secure and expand the western border of the United States. Business interests in the United States also wanted to move in and develop Texas commercially. And powerful senators from slave states saw the chance to extend the reach of slavery across thousands of miles of additional territory.

Click on image for larger image and transcript.
Instructions to the Texas chargé d'affaires for the republic in Washington, D.C., 1842.

Click on image for larger image and transcript.
Annexation was not the only issue. Jones on the possibility of a treaty with the Indians, 1842.

But there was heated opposition to annexation as well. First, Mexico did not recognize Texas independence, meaning Texas was still at war with Mexico. To annex Texas would be to commit the United States to that war, with the possibility that England might enter the war on the side of the Mexicans. Secondly, the annexation of Texas would breach the 1819 treaty with Mexico. And most importantly, northern states and anti-slavery advocates objected strongly, warning that the annexation could lead to civil war. Opposition to annexation in the North was so overwhelming that the measure had no chance of passing.

In Congress, Jones advocated a withdrawal of the offer of annexation. In 1838, Sam Houston appointed Jones as Texas minister to the United States, and authorized him to formally withdraw the offer. Instead of pursuing annexation, Jones would work to stimulate recognition and trade with Europe to the extent that one of two things would happen: either the U.S. would change its mind and decide to annex Texas, or Texas would become strong enough to remain independent. Jones served as minister until the following year, when Mirabeau B. Lamar became president. Jones returned to Texas, was elected to the Senate, and became a harsh critic of Lamar's foreign policy.

Sam Houston won the presidency again in 1841. This time, he chose Jones as his secretary of state. The foreign policy pursued by Houston and Jones was complex and at times devious. In Washington, they instructed Texas chargé d'affairs Isaac Van Zandt to labor for renewed interest in annexation. At the same time, they entered into serious negotiations with Britain and France to pursue a European alliance.

Click on image for larger image and transcript.
1844 letter to J. Pinckney Henderson, stressing the need for secrecy in annexation negotiations.

Britain in particular was enormously influential in Texas at that time. The British ran most of the important businesses and operated most trading vessels in the Gulf. The British proposed to broker a peace deal between Texas and Mexico that would offer Texas recognition of its independence in return for moving the border to the Nueces River and emancipating the slaves. In return, Britain could use the territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande as a staging ground for its own designs on California.

Jones and Houston vacillated between the two policies. Houston was genuinely torn between his desire for annexation and the dream of an independent Texas. Jones believed that the prospects for annexation were dim, and that independence as part a British-French alliance offered the best prospects for peace with Mexico and prosperity for Texas.

Neither the annexation proposal in Washington nor the peace negotiations in Mexico had borne fruit by 1844, a U.S. presidential election year. President John Tyler was an unpopular figure in search of an issue that could bolster his claim to another term. The country was in an expansionist mood, and Tyler decided to tap into the sentiment by moving forward aggressively on the annexation question. The Tyler administration entered into secret negotiations with Houston and Jones.

Tyler assured the Texans that he had the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate to approve a treaty of annexation. Houston and Jones were dubious of Tyler's claim, and concerned about the continuing border raids and threats of all-out war from Mexico. Since annexation would torpedo the peace negotiations, what guarantees could Tyler provide for protecting Texas from Mexican invasion? And if the treaty failed to win approval, would the United States still stand by Texas and guarantee its independence?

Tyler was willing to go for broke. He sent the U.S. Navy to the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Army to the Southwest to protect the Texas border. On April 12, 1844, the negotiations were completed and Texas signed an annexation treaty with the U.S. Ten days later, Tyler submitted the treaty to the Senate, along with hundreds of pages of supporting documents explaining the commercial and pro-slavery benefits of the move.

The proposed annexation set off an election-year political firestorm. And as Jones had privately feared, Tyler had badly overplayed his hand. The treaty was rejected by a large margin. Predictably, northern senators voted against it. Worse, fifteen southern senators also voted the treaty down, denouncing Tyler's actions as unconstitutional and an election-year stunt.

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Letter on the prospects for the passage of the annexation treaty, May 1844.

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Letter to Sam Houston revealing Jones's misgivings about the treaty, May 1844.

Jones was disgusted, saying Texas had been "shabbily used." With renewed vigor, he and Houston turned back to the idea of European protection. If all went well, Texas could end up as an independent nation, at peace with Mexico and poised to build a prosperous economy based on trade with Britain, France, and the United States too. Jones was set to succeed Houston as Texas president later in the year. He played a dangerous game, giving private assurances to both the Europeans and the Americans that he was really on their side.

For despite Tyler's bungling, the annexation issue was far from dead in the United States. The Democrats had seized upon annexation as a campaign issue, nominating James K. Polk on a pro-Texas platform. Henry Clay headed up the Whig ticket, opposing annexation unless it could be accomplished without war. In one of the closest elections in U.S. history, Polk was victorious. Texas had a new champion.

Events in the United States now moved quickly. Congress again took up the matter of annexing Texas. This time, advocates introduced not a treaty, which required a two-thirds vote in the Senate, but a joint resolution, which required a simple majority in both houses of Congress. The resolution passed the Senate by a narrow margin on February 27, 1845. The next day, it passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin.

The offer of annexation reached Texas too late for the new Texas president, Anson Jones. In a mistake that would prove fatal to his political career, Jones had already agreed to a British and French proposal to delay the meeting of the Texas Congress by 90 days, in order to give the Europeans time to negotiate a final peace treaty and independence from Mexico.

For years, Jones had promised to lay before Texans a stark choice: annexation or independence, and could not turn away from the possibility. But his years in the diplomatic world had left him grossly out of touch with public sentiment among ordinary Texans. As President Polk's envoy Charles Wickliffe observed, news of Jones's negotiations with Mexico came upon Texas "like a peal of thunder in a clear skie."

Texans recognized that Jones's actions could derail the annexation, and few Texans had any faith in the goodwill of the European powers or the Mexican government. Jones became wildly unpopular, to the point of being burned in effigy and threatened with lynching. Jones's attempts to backpedaling only added to the scorn and contempt heaped upon him by the newspapers and ordinary Texans.

In June 1845, Jones finally achieved his long-sought offer of recognition and peace from Mexico, and called the Texas Congress into session to consider the choice. In short order, Congress quickly rejected the Mexican offer, accepted annexation, and voted to censure Jones. The next month, a special convention wrote a state constitution. The Texas constitution was approved by the U.S. Congress, and on December 29, 1845, President Polk made it official, signing the annexation resolution that admitted Texas as one of the United States of America.

The last official act of Anson Jones as president was to attend the ceremony on February 19, 1846, in which the American flag was raised over the Texas Capitol. In Jones's words, "The Republic of Texas is no more."

As predicted, Mexico regarded the annexation as an act of war and moved to retake Texas. Polk declared that Mexico had invaded American soil and would pay the price for it. The U.S.-Mexican war that followed was bloody, costly, and as controversial as the annexation itself.

As for Jones, he went home to Barrington, his home on Washington-on-the-Brazos. He became a prosperous planter and amassed a great estate, but brooded constantly over his rejection by the people. In 1849, Jones fell from a horse and incurred a painful injury that caused his left arm to become disabled. Over the next few years, Jones' mental state deteriorated along with his physical health. He nursed an obsessive hatred of Sam Houston and a misguided belief that he would someday return to public office and be recognized for his contributions to Texas annexation. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1858.

Portrait of Anson Jones. Prints and Photographs Collection, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. #1993/31-21.

History review: ‘Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850,’ by Andrew J. Torget

Long before cowboys and oil derricks emerged as Lone Star stereotypes, cotton reigned as king. Cotton was, in fact, the primary reason for the first mass white migration into Texas.

The creation myth of Anglo-American Texas has long centered on Stephen F. Austin and his followers, who settled near the Brazos River in the 1820s. They, and those who followed, are routinely depicted in historical accounts as pioneers yearning for the freedom that Texas — then a province of Mexico — could provide.

While that may be true, it was only part of their motivation, as Andrew J. Torget shows in his deeply researched and artfully written history, Seeds of Empire. These early settlers came to Texas to grow cotton.

The migration to Texas, Torget writes, was more than anything a “continuation of the endless search by Americans … for the best cotton land along North America’s rich Gulf Coast.” And this money crop was, in many cases, cultivated and picked by slaves.

In the years before Austin arrived, Texas loomed empty and wild. American Indian attacks, especially to the south and west, had wiped out any number of Spanish settlements. “Texas is undoubtedly a rich and fertile tract of country,” an American newspaper editor wrote in 1819, but “savage warfare” had left it “almost literally a vast and noiseless desert.”

The most bellicose of the tribes, Comanches and Apaches, rarely ventured into the eastern half of Texas, which offered rich soil and a long growing season, as well navigable rivers suitable for transporting products.

It was, therefore, a perfect spot for cotton farmers. When they rode into Texas, Torget says, they brought their slaves with them, creating a “Mexican version of Mississippi.”

Though some history books choose not to emphasize it, slavery thus played a seminal role in the settlement and formation of Texas. It was Austin himself, Torget reminds us, who said: “The primary product that will elevate us from poverty is cotton and we cannot do this without the help of slaves.”

Torget, an assistant professor of history at the University of North Texas, notes that the opening of Texas to American immigrants coincided with an international demand for cotton. By 1835, Texas was producing more than 3 million pounds of it.

Texas farmers sent their bales downriver and across the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans. From there, most of it was shipped to Great Britain, where hundreds of mills spun it into the fabric the industrialized world had come to love and need.

Many New Orleans brokers and merchants got rich off Texas cotton. In return, they helped finance the 1836 Texas revolution against Mexico — a revolution that was, in part, fueled by the Mexican government’s opposition to slavery.

In terms of agricultural economy, the newly independent Texas differed little from the Mexican version. “When Texans rebuilt the territory … as the Republic of Texas, they constructed their new nation explicitly on the foundation of cotton,” Torget writes.

As before, slaves were an integral part of this construct. The new republic emerged not so much a shining hope for all mankind as an independent rendition of Dixie. “The Texas nation was,” Torget writes, “a dress rehearsal for the creation of the Confederacy two decades later.”

The founding fathers of the Texas Republic imagined this new land as a refuge for slaveholders beset by abolitionists, Torget writes. It didn’t quite work out that way, in large part because the international cotton market collapsed in 1837, leaving the Republic bankrupt.

Texas’ pro-slavery status complicated its annexation into the Union in 1845, of course, and led to its secession in 1861 and its involvement in the Civil War. Four decades of enslavement in Texas were soon ended.

The production of cotton, however, survived. Even now, Texas grows more of it than any other state.

Seeds of Empire brings new insight and nuance to the story of early Texas. Though it is an academic volume, it combines erudition with — unlike many of its university-press brethren — accessibility. This is a fine and valuable addition to the library of Southwestern history, and it's a pleasure to read as well.

Doug J. Swanson is the author of "Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker."

Seeds of Empire

Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850

The history of Texas' most Texas-iest things

Whether it's a tattoo, a flag in the front yard of even a swimsuit top, Texans show love for their state flag in all sorts of creative ways.

Showing Texas pride using as little fabric as possible.

There's no shortage of things unique to the Lone Star State.

From greetings, foods and traditions&mdash Texas is big and old enough to have a culture of its own.

To dive deeper into what makes Texas so Texas-y, put together a slideshow above with some neat and historical facts.

After all, sporting a cowboy hat and eating Whataburger will only get you so far in some circles that frequently boast their Texas heritage.

On the other hand, that Texas pride can often balloon into something else entirely and become a hotbed of misinformation.

Last year, reached out to two historians from the University of Houston, Associate Professor of History Dr. Raúl Ramos and African American History Professor Dr. Gerald Horne, to find examples of Texas history that have been forgotten or mischaracterized.

1 of 18 Texas didn't want to be the Lone Star State

4 of 18 Texans were recent occupants of the Alamo

5 of 18 Native Americans haven't disappeared

7 of 18 Comanche history is Texas history

8 of 18 Slavery was not a footnote in Texas history

10 of 18 Texas fought two wars over slavery

11 of 18 Politics is muddying Texas history

13 of 18 What was Texas like as a country?

14 of 18 We need to know more about women's history and labor history in Texas

16 of 18 Houstonians need to know about the Camp Logan riot

17 of 18 Texas is filled with Confederate symbols, but most came decades after the Civil War

Resources for educators

This PSA presents various anti-annexation arguments and excerpts from Anson Jones from various period pamphlets and books, along with selected Republic of Texas documents. The student will understand the difficulty in achieving annexation and can observe the growing divide between slave and free states in the country.

Students will examine the politics and controversy surrounding the Texas annexation question during the 1844 United States presidential election. The political maneuvering of Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, is also addressed.

    Student Worksheet:

Worksheet questions stem from a variety of learning styles so that each student has the opportunity to shine. Teachers may also modify and easily incorporate these worksheets into their predesigned lesson plans.

The web links provided will help each instructor prepare, research, and present interesting reputable sites during lectures.

Texas Annexation: United We Stand?

By Vale Fitzpatrick

Contrary to what most people today believe, the annexation of Texas to the United States was not a foregone conclusion. After the success of the Texas Revolution (1836), the young nation expected to be brought into the Union. Texan voters overwhelmingly supported annexation (3,277-91) indeed, most Texans expected annexation in 1836-37. The administrations of Andrew Jackson and Martin van Buren shocked Texans by rejecting annexation on the grounds that it would mean war with Mexico. 1 The issue periodically arose in Texas and United States politics. It would not be until Sam Houston’s second term as president (1841-1844) that annexation was once again a major issue for both countries. The main point of contention in the United States was that Texas was a slave state. Abolitionists argued that its annexation would expand slavery and increase the power of the slave states in the United States Congress.

During his second administration on 24 January 1843, Republic of Texas President Sam Houston wrote England’s chargé d’affaires in Galveston, a friendly letter in which he commented that nine-tenths of Texans who talked with him favored annexation to the United States as a means of gaining peace and security from Mexico. Leaders in Washington, regardless of their sectional loyalties, also favored annexation, he told Elliot, and both parties would advocate the policy in oncoming elections. Houston hinted to Britain that to prevent annexation Mexico must recognize the independence of Texas. Houston implied the Republic would be happy to remain independent. In reality there was only lukewarm support for annexation in the United States, and so Houston used British “ambitions” to spur the United States into action. He was careful during this period to never fully commit to annexation, but to wait and see whether the United States would approve annexation, because a failed bid by Texas would cost it British support. 2

During the administration of John Tyler, President Houston undertook a serious attempt to craft an annexation agreement. Texas ministers Isaac van Zandt and James Pinckney Henderson secretly worked on crafting the agreement. Houston, who received a copy of the treaty on 28 April 1844, was generally satisfied. However, any chance for the treaty to be accepted was destroyed when it became the central issue in the 1844 United States presidential election. Henry Clay, the Whig candidate, announced he would oppose annexation. On 8 June 1844 the United States Senate killed the treaty by a 35 to 16 margin, with fifteen southern Whigs voting against a treaty they otherwise would have supported. Texans reacted bitterly, while Houston announced that Texas was “free from all involvements and pledges” and would pursue its own national interests. Houston, however, said that in the event of a new offer from the United States that was unequivocal in character, and removed all impediments to annexation, “it might be well for Texans to accept the invitation.” 3

Before Houston, left office, James K. Polk, the expansionist Democrat candidate, won the 1844 United States presidential election. President Tyler took Polk’s victory as a mandate and sent a message to congress recommending annexation by joint resolution, which would require only majority approval in both houses.

The United States Congress, encouraged by President Tyler’s message, began to consider proposals for bringing Texas into the Union. The House passed the annexation resolution in late January by a vote of 120 to 98. With minor amendments, the Senate concurred on the night of February 27 by a vote of 27 to 25. The joint resolution called for Texas to enter the Union as a state, that would retain its public lands (something unique among all other states) and its public debt. The United States would settle all boundary disputes, and Texas would have the option of dividing into four separate states. President Tyler sent the resolution to Texas on March 3, 1845, urging acceptance by the January 1, 1846, deadline set by the United States Congress. Houston had limited enthusiasm for an offer from Washington which he felt dictated terms that he thought was unfair to Texas. Republic of Texas President Anson Jones, however, was now in charge of negotiations. 4

News of the Congressional joint resolution spread across the Republic of Texas during the spring, causing a massive outpouring of support for annexation to the United States. Citizens of nearly every county held mass meetings endorsing annexation. President Jones, however, wanted to delay the issue until France and Britain pressured Mexico to guarantee Texas independence. Mexico, on advice of the British, agreed to acknowledge the independence of Texas on the condition that the Republic would not annex herself to any country. Jones wanted to use the guarantee of independence from Mexico coupled with friendly British and French relations, to gain additional concessions from the United States. Texans, however, wanted annexation and they wanted it immediately. President Jones bowed to public pressure and called a special session of the Texas Congress to meet on 16 June 1845 and consider the question of annexation. The delay in endorsing annexation, together with his feud with Houston, politically damaged Jones and ensured he would never again hold political office in Texas.

OAs the convention assembled on 4 July, Jones placed before them and the Texas Congress the choice between annexation to the United States or independence recognized by Mexico. The Senate unanimously rejected guaranteed independence from Mexico, and then both chambers accepted the annexation treaty. The convention accepted the resolution by a vote of fifty-five to one. Richard Bache of Galveston was the lone dissenter. According to legend, he had come to Texas after divorcing his wife in the United States and voted against annexation because he never again wanted to live in the same country with his ex-wife. 5

A state constitution was drawn up by the convention and quickly ratified by popular vote in October 1845. It was accepted by the United States Congress on 29 December 1845, when President James K. Polk signed the Texas Admission Act. The formal transfer of power occurred on 19 February 1846. Republic of Texas President Anson Jones turned over the reins of state government toGovernor James Henderson, declaring “the final act in this great drama is now performed the Republic of Texas is no more.” 6

1 Randolph B. Campbell, Gone To Texas: History of The Lone Star State (NY: Oxford University Press, 2003.), 165.

2 Campbell, Gone to Texas, 183-186.

3 Randolph B. Campbell, Sam Houston and the American Southwest ed. Oscar Handlin (New York: Longman second Ed. 2002.), 135.

New York: Redfield, 1855. Two volumes. 482,[4] 576pp., plus four portrait plates, an engraved view of the Mission of San Jose, a folding facsimile letter from Santa Anna, three single-page maps, and two folding maps. Modern half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt, gilt leather labels. Uneven toning, mostly in the first volume, repairs to verso of the Spanish Texas map, folding facsimile noticeably toned. Still, a very good copy. Item #WRCAM54664

This is the first scholarly work on Texas after annexation, and one of the rare surviving 1855 editions, most having perished in a warehouse fire. The author, a lawyer from Tennessee, went to Texas in 1845, befriended Sam Houston, and served in the Mexican-American War. "In spite of its detractors, Yoakum's history remains a necessary source. Modern historians rally to its support, with reservations. Gambrell said Yoakum managed to achieve 'a degree of objectivity unusual for the amateur historian, and literary style not often equalled by the professional'" - Jenkins.

"Mr. Yoakum seems to have collected with great care all the existing material, with much that has never yet appeared in print. All contemporary accounts, personal narratives, private correspondence, individual reminiscences, newspaper statements, and official documents are called into requisition. The work. is still of very great interest and value, and is deserving of general study. The author was evidently an enthusiastic admirer of Gen. Houston" - Raines.

Watch the video: The Texas Revolution in 3 Minutes (May 2022).


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