Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 5, 1837

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Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 1837

Washington City

Sep. 5th 1837.


Presuming that a few lines upon the subject of

the important negotiation now pending at this court, would

not be unacceptable to you, I have been bold enough to

suppose that I could not better employ a leisure hour inter-

val than by embodying some of my information upon that

subject in a private letter to your Excellency. Although

but little veiled in the mazes of diplomatic casuistry, I

may not be deceived in the assurance I feel, that the

views which I shall take the liberty of freely presenting

to your Excellency are such as may be relied upon

with some degree of confidence.

The proposition for annexation was fairly

made in a manner, I trust, which has secured

your approbation and reflected some credit upon your

Minister here. Too much praise indeed cannot be

awarded to General Hunt for the untiring zeal with

which he endeavoured to bring the negotiation to an

immediate and favorable issue. No means were left

untried to secure a propitious answer from the Executive.

But it was all in vain. As might have been expected

from a knowledge of Mr Van Buren’s character and the

very trying and embarrassing circumstances under which

he finds himself placed, apart from the question of

annexation, he has declined taking a responsibility upon

himself which could be just as well thrown upon the

shoulders of Congress. He has mildly but decisively

declined the proposition to treat upon the subject.

It is the opinion of most of the members with

whom I have conversed, that the question of the expediency

of the measure will not be agitated in Congress during

the called session, which it is supposed will continue about

six weeks, but that it will be forced up by the South

some time next winter and will then produce a hurricane

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Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 5, 1837. Andrew Jackson Houston Papers #1314, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: April 5, 2011