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


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