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