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