A Paper Read Before the Cincinnati Society of Ex-Army and Navy Officers, January 3d, 1884 (Classic Reprint)

A Paper Read Before the Cincinnati Society of Ex-Army and Navy Officers, January 3d, 1884 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from A Paper Read Before the Cincinnati Society of Ex-Army and Navy Officers, January 3d, 1884

Comrades and Ladies and Gentlemen: - It is very doubtful whether any of you fully comprehend the significance of our evening's topic: Texas and her action and influence in and upon the Rebellion. It may be very likely, as usual, that your speaker, on this occasion, as much overrates, as his audience underrates, his subject. But even with this caution, you will be surprised to hear a statement of this my belief; that, excepting South Carolina alone, Texas had more to do with starting that colossal blunder and crime than any half dozen other States of the Confederacy, and that, without the movements of Texas, the Rebellion would have aborted in its earliest stages, and closed as a ridiculous farce, instead of in that horrific tragedy, which so startled and grieved the Nation and the World. Let us briefly generalize the facts,which seem to justify this, her claim, to that bad preeminence.

The History of Texas was very peculiar. Her independence of Mexico was won by the cunning and heroism of mere adventurers. Like spirits followed after these in the permanent settlement of that "Lone Star Nation." It was but natural that, with such a start into national life, secrecy, address, boldness, and disregard of the established of morality, or of law and order, in and between men and nations, should have been characteristics of this new people. And, that the subsequent enterprise - in one sense new - the annexation of this vast territory as a slave State against all the laws and traditions of Mexico, and a most earnest and passionate opposition of a large majority of the best people of the United States, must necessarily have called into life, and most energetic action, the same qualities of sly conspiracy and bold execution was a very certain consequence.

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