The Congress of the United States, on February 27, 1845, passed joint resolutions providing for the annexation of Texas, and they were approved by President Tyler on the 1st of March. A convention was called by President Jones, of Texas, to meet on the 4th of the succeeding July, to consider the matter of annexation to the United States. The convention ratified the proposal, and prepared a constitution for Texas as a State in the American Union. The question of annexation was submitted to a vote of the people of Texas and ratified by a large majority. On December 29th following, a joint resolution of the Congress of the United States was passed, which declared Texas admitted as a State into the Union.
It may be interesting to take a retrospective view of the causes, or rather the means, by which this important measure was brought about.
In the winter of 1842-’43 there appeared in a newspaper published at Baltimore a letter of Mr. Thomas W. Gilmer, a member of Congress from Virginia, urging the annexation of Texas. He argued among other things that the British Government had designs on Texas; that it proposed a political and military domination of the country, with a view to the abolition of slavery. At this time Texas and Mexico were at war. It was at once charged by the opponents of the scheme of annexation that Mr. Gilmer, who was known as the close political friend of Mr. John C. Calhoun, was simply acting as the mouthpiece of the latter. It will be remembered by those who are conversant with the proceedings of Congress that Mr. Calhoun, in the Senate in 1836, had offered some resolutions looking to the annexation of Texas. Mr. Webster, who was known as opposed to the measure, was the only member of President Harrison’s Cabinet who remained with President Tyler. He resigned his portfolio as Secretary of State, and was succeeded by Mr. Hugh S. Legare, of South Carolina, who, dying very soon after his appointment, was succeeded by Mr. Abel P. Upshur, of Virginia. Both of the latter named were known friends of the annexation scheme. There appeared not long after the publication of the Gilmer letter, in the Richmond Enquirer, a letter from General Andrew Jackson to Mr. Brown, in reply to a letter of Mr. Brown, in which he indorsed a copy of Mr. Gilmer’s letter and asking General Jackson’s views on the subject. General Jackson’s reply was a thorough and hearty approval of the proposed immediate annexation of Texas. General Jackson’s letter was dated from the Hermitage, his residence near Nashville, Tenn., March 12, 1843. The letter of General Jackson produced a profound effect throughout the country. Although out of office, old, and in the retirement of private life, he exercised more influence than any man living in the United States.