Wood to President James K. Polk, October 6, 1848

Page 4

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Wood to Polk, Page 4

from her settlements, and making fair compen-


sation therefor, as she would have been bound


to do, not an expression of dissatisfaction would


have been heard from her. This was a liberal


and humane offering which she was prepared


to make on the altar of peace. Construe this


condition in any other wise, and suppose the


power of adjusting our boundary to be a general


one, Texas occupies a strange and anomulous posi-


tion in the Union, unlike that of every other


State. Instead of being a co-equal with them,


she is made a mere appendage; dependant for her


very existence upon the capricious favors of power.

Standing then in the relation of an agent


or trustee towards Texas, the General Government


in any treaty or negotiation in regard to bound-


ary, could not acquire a right to territory within


limits even claimed by her, much less where


that claim had been acknowledged on their part.


To permit this to be done, would be a subversion


of the settled principles of law and equity in such


case. For it would be to allow the agent to


contract against the rights of his principal, the


trustee against those of his cestui que trust, the


guardian against those of his ward, and to divert


their acquisitions in these capacities to their own


use.

If this position be true, then there cannot


exist a shadow of doubt that the late treaty


of peace with Mexico, the right of Texas to the


line set up in her laws and reasserted in her


constitution, became absolute and perfect.

Independent of the effect upon this question


of the recognition by the United States Government

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Wood to President James K. Polk, October 6, 1848, Santa Fe Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011