Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 5, 1837

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Fairfax Catlett to Sam Houston, September 1837

[and] scatter them to the winds and dash his party into chaos.


He would have to change his ground altogether and


commence an entirely new system of operations. On every


side he beholds the measure beset with endless swamps


and quicksands and he dare not trust himself upon


such uncertain ground.

But it is well understood that the South


will endeavour to force the question up before Congress at the


earliest opportunity. That they will succeed in bringing it


up no one entertains a doubt. Why not then suffer Congress to


take up the question and dispose of it as they may deem


most expedient? Why should he embarrass himself with it, when


in any event it will be brought up in some shape or other


before the Representatives of the people and determined by


them in accordance with popular feeling! No. The question


is one of tremendous import, for it involves the destiny of North


America for fifty years to come[.] When the Representatives


of the people shall have recommended the annexation of Texas


to the United States, it will be time enough them for him


to step forward and declare himself the ardent and


uncompromising advocate of the measure[.]

I conceive therefore that it is Mr Van


Buren’s determination to hold himself entirely aloof


from the question at present; nay, to keep the question


down in Congress so long as he can do so without exposing


himself in the light of an avowed enemy to the measure


but when it is forced up to have the responsibility of a


decision upon it with the Congress of the United States and


act in accordance with their decision whatever it may be.

I doubt not that Mr Van Buren is fully


alive to all the momentous bearings of the question upon the


future welfare of the Union, and that he dreads the approach


of the debate in Congress as a traveller in the desert the distant


murmuring of the full Sirocco. He will know that when


the storm does come in its fury, that it will have its course


in spite of him, and that his cobweb machinery and machin-


ation policy will avail him then as little as an umbrella

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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