Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 5, 1837

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Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 1837

in that body more alarming than any which has ever rocked


this Union to its centre. The Southern men with but


few exceptions appear to regard the annexation of Texas


as their last and forlorn hope. Should the measure


fail and the Northern Abolitionists gain the ascendancy


in Congress for it will be a question between the slave


holding and non slave holding interests, (and there will


be no middle ground upon which the two great parties


can meet and compromise their differences) for The Southern


States will not unlikely secede in a body and the


Union break in twain. God forfend the issue. I


know of no event more solemnly to be deprecated by


every lover of Texas and the United States than the


dissolution of this Republic. But human sagacity is


at no loss perceive the result should a blind, fanatical


and dogged spirit of arrogance and dialation presuming


upon a confidence in its supposed power, persevere in its


unhallowed attempts to intermeddle with and trammel


under foot the dearest interests and most sacred feelings


of a high-minded and impetutous people like those


of the South.

With regard to Mr Van Buren’s policy respecting the annexation of Texas


I conceive it to be simply as follows[.] He would like


to get Texas, but he is afraid of the consequences. On the


one hand, the admission of Texas without the consent of


Mexico would lead to a war with that power and


possibly with Great Britain; it would be certain to lay


the government of the United States under the unmeasured


apprehension of foreign nations[.] On the other, it would


be attended with the most embarrassing consequences to


his administration without any reference to its foreign


relations, but immediately affecting his own personal fame


and prospects. For by coming out as an open advocate


of the measure, he would lose the North en masse, where


his influence principally his [sic] at present, and although he


might thereby increase his influence in the South and possibly


the West, still it would infallibly break up his plans

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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