Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 5, 1837

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Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 1837

Washington City


Sep. 5th 1837.

Sir,

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