The attitude of Texas toward annexation, 1836-1845



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Purpose: It was the purpose of this study to determine how Texas and Texans regarded annexation while existing as a Republic. Were the people united in their desire for annexation? Did the position of any of the people change during the years of waiting and rejection? Was the attitude of the government and the people identical? Methods: The following sources were used in obtaining data for this study: (1) the published diplomatic correspondence of Texas, (2) historical periodicals containing articles of Texas annexation, and (4) the published papers of President Houston, President Lamar, and President Jones. Findings: The evidence presented in this study was divided into four Presidential administrations: 1. In the beginning of Sam Houston’s first administration, Texans and their government were almost unanimous in their desire for annexation. However, after being rejected by the United States in 1837, the people turned their attention to domestic affairs and the difficulties in obtaining foreign recognition. 2. Mirabeau B. Lamar was elected President to succeed Houston and his opposition to annexation was well known. Lamar attempted to develop Texas nationalism, but most of his schemes ended in failure and finical chaos. This, in turn, cause the people to forget their chagrin at being rejected by the United States and to reelect Sam Houston, the champion of annexation, to take again the helm of state. 3. Houston made no overt move for annexation despite the clamor of the people. Finally, after many overtures from the United States, he reluctantly agreed to negotiate a treaty of annexation. Houston did not believe that the United States Senate would ratify such a treaty and he was subsequently proved correct. He then abruptly turned his back on annexation and instructed his Secretary of State, Anso Jones, to conclude a treaty with England whereby Texas would agree never to be annexed to any country. Even though they were disappointed, the people were not as bitter as Houston. They observed the train of the political events in the United States and believed that annexation would soon be offered again. 4. Anso Jones followed Houston as President and few were sure of his position concerning annexation. Actually, Jones wanted annexation, but played a diplomatic game to secure for the people a free choice between independence, recognized and guaranteed, and annexation. The people were impatient and demanded action on the annexation offer made by the United States in 1845. Even though Jones secured the option of independence, the people overwhelmingly accepted annexation to their mother country. Jones did achieve annexation as an equal state, being sought—not seeking admittance. This was the fulfillment of his many years of seemingly contradictory labor.



Republic of Texas, Texans reaction, annexation, diplomatic correspondence, attitude of government