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