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, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the
co-equal states thereof,
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 them?
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 administration.
When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States,
and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far
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 States.
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 encroachments.
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 rights.
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
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
They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas
against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a
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 present month.
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 twenty-fifth.