United States. President (1841-1845: Tyler) and United States. Embassy (Great Britain), Message from the President of the United States (June 6, 1844)
To the Senate of the United States:
I herewith transmit to the Senate, with reference to previous Executive
communications to that body relating to the same subject, the copy of a
letter recently received at the Department of State from the minister of the
United States at London.
WASHINGTON, June 5, 1844.
LONDON, May 18, 1844.
I duly received, by the steamer of the 1st, your despatch No. 85,
transmitting the printed document containing the treaty relative to the annexation
of Texas, with the accompanying papers submitted to the Senate,
together with your subsequent correspondence with Mr. Pakenham.
I have delayed acknowledging the receipt of these most important papers
to this the last day of writing by the steamer, in the expectation that
some communication might be made to me on the subject by Lord Aberdeen,
to be transmitted to you. This, however, is not the case.
You will perceive, by the papers of this morning, that some conversation
arose in the House of Lords last evening in reference to the treaty, on occasion
of a question put by Lord Brougham to Lord Aberdeen. Lord
Brougham assigned as a reason for his inquiry, that the conversation between
Lord Aberdeen and himself on the 18th of August last had been (as
he gathered from the documents which had appeared in the papers) deemed
highly significant by the Government of the United States, and stated
that it was far from his intention in what he then said to counsel any interference
with slavery as existing in the United States.
The question to which Lord Aberdeen referred as “new and unexampled
in the history of public law,” was not stated by him, but, from the
remarks with which Lord Brougham commenced, as reported in this morning's
papers, may be inferred to be, the effect of a union between two separate
independent States on their previously existing relations with other
In reply to a further question from Lord Brougham, Lord Aberdeen said
that the explanation which he had made of their conversation of the 18th
of August had been correctly reported by me, (a matter of necessity, I
may observe, with the precaution which I took of submitting the memorandum
to his inspection,) and that he had confirmed it in a despatch to
Mr. Pakenham, alluding apparently to that of the 26th of December, 1843,
of which a copy was furnished to Mr. Upshur.
The intelligence of the treaty has been less a subject of comment on the
part of the press than might perhaps have been expected, at least in the
papers which I see. It seems to have taken the public generally by surprise,
and the conductors of the press are probably waiting for further information,
and for suggestions in Parliament as to the ground to be taken
by the Government and the leaders of the Opposition. There is an article
on the subject in the “Times,” this morning, which, like most of the comments
of that journal on American affairs, is of a hostile and acrimonious
character. It is probable that the steamer which sails to-morrow will take
out some instructions from this Government to Mr. Pakenham, under which
he will communicate to you the views they are disposed to take of the
treaty. I infer this from not having received any such communication
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. CALHOUN, Esq., Secretary of State.