[Copied by Justin Sanders from E.W.
Winkler, ed., *Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas*, pp. 61-66.]
A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the
State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.
The government of the United States, by certain joint
resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the
Republic of Texas, then *a free, sovereign and independent nation* [emphasis in the
original], the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states
The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on
the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and
formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in
the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented
to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic
tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her
people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the
guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy
these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting
the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race
within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her
wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future
time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between
her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened
by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and
of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with
The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under
various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens
of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all
the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the
avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means
of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens
and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and
outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample
upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that
territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as
exclusively the property of the Northern States.
The Federal Government, while but partially under the control
of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to
protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our
border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring
territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such
purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our
condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of
These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain
hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of
When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding
States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater
The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut,
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa,
by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the
3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the
federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material
provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the
members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their
domestic institutions-- a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the
enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of
those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or
officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal
laws enacted in accordance therewith.
In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that
good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people
have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to
control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility
to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery,
proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--
a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in
violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro
slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the
white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us,
so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
For years past this abolition organization has been actively
sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the
arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding
By consolidating their strength, they have placed the
slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered
representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and
They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the
revolutionary doctrine that there is a 'higher law' than the constitution and laws of our
Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our
They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless
organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly
murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending
citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed
praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of
their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in
such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.
They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent
seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood
and carnage to our firesides.
They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns
and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.
They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal
and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.
They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas
against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.
And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen
non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole
confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these
long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of
these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our
own views should be distinctly proclaimed.
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the
various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white
race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their
establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent
race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered
beneficial or tolerable.
That in this free government *all white men are and of right
ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights* [emphasis in the original]; that
the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to
both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of
mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian
nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as
advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and
desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the
certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in
an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.
For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the
federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States
named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies
to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong,
and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own
sons-- We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an
ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of
America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism
of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the
Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the