Sam Houston to Andrew Jackson Donelson, April 9, 1845

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Sam Houston to AJ Donelson, April 1845

Huntsville, Texas, 9th April, 1845.

My dear Major:

In accordance with my promise on yesterday, I will

now communicate to you some of my views on the question of Annex-

ation. I regret that my time will not allow me to go as fully into

an examination of the subject as would be desirable, where so much

of interest to both countries is involved in the measure. The overture

is now made by the United States to Texas; and by an act of the

Congress of the former, conditions are proposed, by which the latter may

be admitted as a part of the Union. I will not discuss the policy of

the measure; but allude only to the manner of its consummation.

I am in favor of annexation, if it can take place

on terms mutually beneficial to both countries. I have on all oc-

casions evinced the most anxious solicitude touching the matter,

and withheld no means in my power towards its completion.

As it now stands, I regard our relation to it in this light.

We are to merge our national existence in that of

the United States, whenever the measure may take place. Then,

it seems to me, that we should have something to say as to the

terms of the union. By Mr Brown’s resolutions, the terms are dic-

tated and the conditions absolute. They are of a character not

to have been expected by any-one who regarded annexation as

a compact between two nations, where each had substantive

and acknowledged sovereignty and independence. Texas is

required to surrender her sovereignty and merge her independence.

In the surrender of her rights, or any portion of them, she should

have the privilege of assisting in the adjustment of the conditions,

and they should be so defined and understood, as that no discontent

or misapprehension could thereafter arise, as to her true situation.

To arrive at a point so desirable, it appears to me that nego-

tiations conducted by commissioners on the part of each Gov-

ernment should take place. To me the necessity is most obvious;

for the reason that Texas may, in after times, when she se-

curs to the circumstances and consequences of the measure,

be satisfied that the terms on which she had been received

were, in part at least, of her own devising; and that she,

from strong impulse, had not acted without due de-

liberation and a full discussion of the terms, by persons

whose minds had been called to act upon the subject under

the most calm and considerate motives. Commissioners ap- [sic]

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Sam Houston to Andrew Jackson Donelson, April 9, 1845. Andrew Jackson Houston Papers #3627, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: April 5, 2011