The Civil War in Texas: An Exhibit from the Texas State Library and Archives

Before the War | 1860: Big Trouble | Secession! | 1861: Opening Act | Dissent

1862: Fiery Trial | 1863: The Tide Turns | 1864: No Way Out | End of the Ordeal | Further Reading

Sam Houston Senate Speech, February 15, 1854

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Sam Houston speech opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

I might here close my remarks in relation to this
bill. On one branch of it, I have endeavored,
however imperfectly, to present my objections to
it. I have indicated at least reasons sufficient to
cause me to vote in the negative upon it. Nor is
there a necessity for coupling three such important
subjects together—Nebraska, containing a popu-
lation not sufficient to warrant the organization,
and which is nearly all Indian territory; Kansas,
which is entirely held and occupied by Indians,
without a white settler; and the repeal of the Mis-
souri compromise, an important and substantive
consideration for the American people. All these
are placed in this omnibus shape, and presented to
the Senate for action. They are not to be separa-
ted, I presume, sir; and as my position in relation
to the repeal of the Missouri compromise, if un-
explained, might not exactly be comprehended,
I must speak of it. This subject is not a new one
to me. I have met it of old, not in its present
phase, but in one equally as formidable and im-
posing as on the present occasion. Although I
stood alone in the South, with the exception of
a southwestern Senator, [Mr. BENTON, of Mis-
souri,] I expressed my opinion, and voted my
principles upon it. I supported the Missouri
compromise, Mr. President, in its application to
Oregon. I gave my reasons for it; and although
denunciations, loud and deep, were uttered, I did
not falter in the discharge of a duty which de-
volved upon me, and which I am as ready to meet
on this occasion as in any former emergency. I
know, sir, that abuse of the most vituperative and
bitter character has been directed against me in
advance of any position which I have taken on
this occasion. Although I had determined to vote
against the bill, and the Indian provisions fur-
nished insuperable objections to it, I have not de-
nounced its general features. I am not anxious
to eschew any responsibility that arises out of it
to myself. If I was not anxious to meet it, it
was because I thought it presented subjects that
should not have been brought before the Senate.

For the information of the Senate, though it is
very seldom that I refer to newspapers and their
publication, but from the respectability and long
standing of the press which has promulgated the fol-
lowing, I feel that I am perfectly justified in sub-
mitting it to the Senate, that they may appreciate

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Image enlarged 150%. Speech of Hon. Sam Houston of Texas, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, Feb. 14 and 15, 1854. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: February 17, 2016