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4. It has, in this way, obstructed the cultivation of the wild land and violated the liberty of industry. 5. It has produced useless Indian wars, and similar Indian treaties, which, as is publicly acknowledged, are, for the most part, only agreements by which speculators or some adventurers, of either party, profit, and by which the Indians in general gain a very little or nothing at all. For all these great evils and sacrifices we have hardly any recompense. We are satisfied, that without any Congressional interference the wild lands in our states, and beyond them, would have been sooner, more easily and cheaply settled, measured and divided into towns, counties and states, than under the present system. If the Americans would have treated the Indians according to the principle of self-government, they would have had no business with them about unoccupied land. Hunting and fishing are free, and give no property rights to land, rivers or lakes. It is now, and has been at all times, the business of the pioneers or first settlers, to make arrangements with Indians, to pay them if they get any thing from them.
These pioneers are our state-makers; they are the Warwicks of the present age. Singular, that their providential vocation has been so often mistaken, and they sneeringly called "robbers of our legitimate domain," in the very halls of Congress. Still these pioneers are much better than the Warwicks of old; they are the heralds of civilization, the very foundation of our States and Union they make no libertine kings, but brave freemen and states, which are the best the world has seen! The surveyors of the whole world cannot take the lead of these pioneers. Would that we had never interfered with their industry, never taxed them for having cultivated first the American wilderness! Our Union, as such, has as little right of property to the western wilderness as the roving Indians, (we, of course, except the settled Indians,) or the Englishmen or Russians,-all their and our maps to the contrary notwithstanding. Such maps prove nothing; they are as visionary as the pretensions themselves. Wild lands belong to those who first occupy them permanently. These occupants, having subdued the wild lands, finally resolve themselves into states. In this way the whole earth, North America included, has been cultivated; in this way pioneers have taken ground in Texas, and are spreading civilization beyond the Rocky Mountains. Congress has nothing to
do with this business. Its activity is first required, when the question of annexation is brought under its cognizance.
15. The natural progression in which towns, counties, states, and finally, a state confederation are made, may be termed a constant process of annexation. Thus this business appears as a highly important one. In regard to this business, American common law should have long since furnished a leading rule, perhaps of this kind,—that a pioneer has a guaranteed right to two or three hundred acres, of which he is bound to give gratuitously so much land as is required for certain public purposes. (See the annexed plan of a Federal Constitution, section 46, a.) If he is able to acquire and fence in more, he may do so; but when this is not the case, a general rule of this kind should decide the question. Such a single constitutional proviso would answer for the present complicated system of surveying and trading in land. When the original settlers establish a town, their titles will be ascertained and recorded. In this way all North America, the Canadas included, will be soon settled, and, if our Union is what she ought to be, readily annexed. The present Congressional land-trade and charges for land are indeed a kind of prohibitive system, which injures the general interests of our society more than all the much talked of tariffs.
Suppose a new state or state association is in this way formed, a constitution set up and laid before Congress with the request for annexation; this association, and no property, is in question, and if its constitution is in harmony with the principle of self-government, it may be annexed. There cannot originate the least dispute about it, if the business is conducted in conformity with the rules of self-government. If we had acted in this way with Texas, we should have saved the blame and perils of a war. complain, foolishly enough, against Mexico, that she obstinately refuses to acknowledge the Rio del Norte as the Texan boundary line, and to recognize Texas as an independent commonwealth, and to treat with us in regard to it after we have annexed the same. The question is here, first, how far does the organized state district called Texas extend? It is admitted that this district is now not organized beyond the river Nueces, perhaps not so far; therefore the land between that river and the Rio del Norte can neither be included in this state district nor annexed. But we say, that Santa Anna, when a prisoner of war in Texas,
promised to Texas this land. We, as Americans, should not use such pretexts. According to the principle of selfgovernment, neither Santa Anna nor the Mexican Congress, nor Spain, nor France, nor any other state, can validly give such a promise. It is gratuitous, and can only become any thing, if the freemen settled on the land in question give their consent to it. Otherwise Congress, or a President, or perhaps General Taylor, might as well. give away Maine for California, or Kentucky for nothing. If, as we assert, neither states nor governments have territorial rights, Mexico has no right to interfere with Texas, so far as she is an independent, self-governing commonwealth, and, of course, would be wrong in opposing and quarreling about her annexation to our Union. But as soon as we admit and assume ourselves state territorial rights, we cannot, without palpable inconsistency, deny the same right to Mexico. And from this standing point Mexico appears to be right in her opposition to the annexation of Texas and the claim of a large country besides, which, until now, has been in quiet possession of Mexicans, who never asked for annexation to Texas or our Union. Neither the Texan settlement, nor the war about it, nor annexation, can annul this Mexican territorial right. This case shows that we have allowed Congress, first to act by annexing Texas, (of Texan slavery we shall speak hereafter,) in conformity with the principle of American selfgovernment; and secondly, by asking more than is and could be annexed, and beginning a bloody war therefor, to act according to the Asiatic-European animal or physical force system of government, which is equivalent to robbery. Self-governing men will never rob or steal; not because these crimes are forbidden by state laws, but because they are against the principle of self-government. No selfgoverning man ever will go out to conquer land with fire and sword, because this is the worst kind of robbery, whether it be sanctioned by the laws of Asiatic-European sovereigns or not. These laws, (wrongly called laws of nations) originated in barbarous times. Self-governing men cannot suffer such laws, because they are against reason, Christianity, humanity, and every thing dear to a civilized man. Although it is common sense, and in harmony with the principles of self-government as we daily practise them, that states, as such, have nothing to do with territorial property, we still consider the people
in Texas as something attached to the land bordering the river Rio del Norte. Our government follows thus the policy of Russia and similar governments, who claim men as their own, although they have years since resided in the United States. A bloody war is the consequence of this fatal policy. If we had acted according to the policy of self-governing freemen, we should have annexed this year Texas, perhaps in ten years Nueces; and again, in ten years, Santa Fe, and so on, without a cent's public expense, because the whole business would have been done by our statemakers. By using brute animal force we kill the freemen on the spot and our friends and sons who could be useful pioneers; waste, besides, the earnings of our industry in useless business; dishonor our system of government; and lose the esteem of civilized men. Each square foot of conquered land is a stain on our character as self-governing freemen.
It is, we presume, superfluous to say a word about "national honor, glory, or wrong,' " and such shallow phrases. We can leave such rhetorics to Indian chiefs and their colleagues in Asia and Europe. Self-governing men establish no nations in the style of the Eastern continent. Our states are not made to split society into hostile, discordant divisions, all the time at war with each other, like Poles and Russians, French and Englishmen, &c. By no means; our states are mere business districts, affording facilities in our social intercourse and industrious enterprise, and, of course, producing safety and happiness to existence; therefore, they must unite, strengthen and consolidate society, and never separate it.
The peaceable annexation of new states to our Union has been till now, with the exception of the ill managed annexation of Texas, one of the most remarkable features in modern history. There has never happened any thing of this kind before. But it will only be a blessing for us and mankind, if this business is conducted in strictest conformity with the principle of self-government. Because it is only this principle-and not the representative form,which guides us safe, as we have seen. European powers have admitted more or less of the representative forms, and are nevertheless despotic governments. Our constitutions must be more distinct in this regard. There ought not to be a state annexed, unless she has adopted a constitution in conformity with the principle of self-government, nor
without the consent of the majority of the voters. (See the plans of the Constitutions.)
There may be some who will ask, who shall give us the guarantee, that people in such new states will call for admission into the Union? We answer, that such a guarantee is as unnecessary as the fear of losing these people is unfounded, and we repeat, that if our Union is really what she ought to be, we will have plenty of annexation business People in the Canadas and Mexico, and West Indies, will soon discover, that there cannot be any government better and cheaper than a confederation of states founded upon the principle of self-government.
But, as matters are now with us, the chance is different. It is, no doubt, a grave, portentous case to be annexed to a state confederacy, where so much incongruous, expensive and useless government business is done; where slaves are allowed to count at the polls with freemen; where the highest magistrate is so little guided by prudence, justice, and humanity, as to admit new states with "constitutional" slavery; where war is waged for hardly any reason; where so much physical animal force government exists, &c., that we all feel state-ridden; in consequence of which we may witness the spectacle, that new states, although started under Congressional patronage, may decline the honor of being annexed, of helping to pay unjust war debts and being involved in slavery difficulties, general state bankruptcies, high and low tariff difficulties, commercial crises, &c. Then a new question will arise, viz., shall such a "repudiating" state be forced into the Union, as the Poles are forced into the cold embrace of Russia, or not?
16. We add a few words on War in this connexion. According to the prevailing opinion, no state, not even our Union, can exist, without being prepared, in the common way, for war, i. e., ready to kill, destroy and conquer. Nothing is more false. Unless we are entirely mistaken, we have satisfactorily proved, that our states are expressly established to check warlike tendencies and unreasonable and animal propensities, that liberty, and self-government, and the fruits of education, instruction, and industry, may not be endangered by them. We should never kill even the criminal, because the destruction of life is entirely at war with reason and self-government. To conquer men is to subjugate them. A subjected man cannot be, at the same time, a freeman. The permission given to Congress