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were signed by the authorities of Texas and Mexico, respectively, on March 29 and May 19, 1845. Mexico was to recognize the independence of Texas, on condition that Texas should pledge herself to give up annexation.1


It was annexation that Texas wished, and the news of the passage of the resolution by Congress offering it was received by the Texans with a wild outburst of joy. The Telegraph and Register, published at Houston, declared that "the news of the victorious battle of San Jacinto scarcely excited such general and enthusiastic rejoicing. President Jones called a special session of the Texan congress and a convention to pass on the offer. Congress met June 16, and the convention July 4. There was no hesitation over the alternatives to be considered: the treaty with Mexico was rejected and annexation accepted by action that was unanimous in both cases, except for the vote of a single delegate to the convention. The question was then submitted to the people, who on October 13 ratified the act of the convention, with only a few dissenting votes.4


Nothing further was needed for the consummation of the policy except the admission of Texas

1 Worley, in Tex. State Hist. Assoc., Quarterly, IX., 34.

2 In the issue for March 26, 1845.

* Gammel, Laws of Tex., II., 1225-1230; cf. Thrall, Pictorial Hist. of Tex., 347-350.

4 Telegraph and Texas Register (weekly), issues of October 22November 19.

This was recommended

into the Union as a state.
by President Polk in his annual message at the
opening of the first session of the twenty-ninth
Congress, and a resolution for the purpose was in-
troduced promptly. While the measure was under
consideration petitions and protests almost innu-
merable against the admission of Texas as a slave
state were presented to Congress. A determined
effort was made by the opposition in the House, but
the fight was hopeless. The resolution was adopted
by a vote of 141 to 56 in that body, and of 31 to 14
in the Senate, and was signed by President Polk on
December 29, and the state government of Texas
was formally installed February 19, 1846. The ex-
pansion impulse had finally overcome the friction.
due to slavery, and the constitution which Texas
submitted for the approval of Congress simply fol-
lowed that already existing in the republic in recog-
nizing and protecting the institution.

1 Cong. Globe, 29 Cong., 1 Sess., 4, 65, 92.
Ibid., 43, 65, 87, 93.





T has already been seen that, even while the great struggle over annexation was in progress, the attention of the United States was not turned wholly southwestward, but was partly fixed on Oregon; and that Oregon and Texas were closely coupled in the Democratic platform of 1844. The same paragraph which called for the "re-annexation" of the one still more emphatically demanded the "re-occupation" of the other. It asserted that the title of the United States to the "whole" of the Oregon territory was "clear and unquestionable," and that "no portion of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power."1

The earliest recorded European voyage to any part of the Oregon whose limits have been described was probably that of Francis Drake. The Spanish expedition under Ferrelo, in 1543, can scarcely have sighted the coast as far north as 42°. Drake was on the Pacific coast in 1579, and contemporaneous accounts vary in fixing the northern limits of his 1 Niles' Register, LXVI., 227.

explorations from 42° to 48°.1 The evidence appears sufficient to justify the conclusion that it was somewhere above 42°. The alleged expedition of Juan de Fuca, who claimed to have been in that quarter in 1592, and whose story, as told by the Englishman Michael Lok, was published in Purchas, his Pilgrimes, is hardly to be credited; but, when the controversy over the possession of Oregon was hottest, the account was accepted as true, and it was then believed also that Ferrelo was the first explorer to see that region. In 1774 a Spanish vessel commanded by Pérez sailed along or near the coast from 55° southward to California; in 1778 an English expedition under Captain Cook going northward saw land at different points from 44° 30' as far as Oregon was afterwards claimed to extend; and in 1788 an American ship from Boston, commanded by Captain Gray, traversed a course not substantially different. In 1792 the same Captain Gray entered and named Columbia River, the mouth of which had been discovered in 1755 by the Spaniard Heceta. In 1793 Sir Alexander Mackenzie, coming overland from Lake Athabasca, traced for some distance the upper course of the Fraser River, the mouth of which had also been previously discovered by the Spaniards; and in

1 See Pacheco y Cárdenas, Documentos Ineditos, XIV., 165191; Bancroft, Northwest Coast, I., 138, 144; cf. Tyler, England in America (Am. Nation, IV.), chap. xii.

'Speech of Dix, Cong. Globe, 29 Cong., 1 Sess., 389.

1805 Lewis and Clark crossed from the head-waters of the Missouri into the Columbia Basin and followed this river to the Pacific.1

The sovereignty of the coast adjacent to the Columbia and Fraser valleys was claimed by Spain, and, if prime discovery was really to give title, no other nation had a claim so good. She was, however, not strong enough to enforce it; her efforts to prevent the establishment of a British post at Nootka Sound on the coast of what was later called Vancouver Island resulted in the humiliating Nootka Sound convention of 1790,2 by which she conceded practically equal rights to Great Britain. By a subsequent convention signed in 1794 the governments of the two nations agreed that neither should claim exclusive sovereignty at Nootka, and that they should join in resisting the attempt of any other power to do so. The principal aim of Great Britain at the time was evidently to keep the country open to trade.


The competition which the open-door policy of Great Britain in the Nootka Sound controversy invited was not declined by the Americans. On the contrary, the trade between the Pacific coast and

1 Cf. Channing, Jeffersonian System (Am. Nation, XII.), chap. vii.


Manning, Nootka Sound Controversy (Am. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1904, PP. 279-478), chap. xiii.; cf. Bassett, Federalist System (Am. Nation, XI.), 59.

3 Calvo, Recueil Complet des Traités de l'Amèrique Latine, III., 366-368; Am. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1904, p. 469.

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