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Anson Jones and the Annexation of Texas

Anson Jones is known as the "Architect of Annexation." But his actual contribution to Texas statehood is more complex than the nickname indicates.

There was heated opposition within the United States to annexation:

  • Texas was at war with Mexico. To annex Texas would commit the United States to that war, with the possibility that England might enter the war on the side of the Mexicans.
  • The annexation of Texas would break the 1819 treaty with Mexico.
  • Northern states and anti-slavery advocates objected strongly, warning that annexation could lead to civil war.

Texas as an independent nation could have:

  • Peace with Mexico.
  • A prosperous economy based on trade with Europe and the U.S.

In June 1845, President Jones finally got the long-desired offer of recognition and peace from Mexico. He called the Texas Congress into session to consider the choice. Congress quickly rejected the Mexican offer, accepted annexation, and voted to condemn Jones. The next month, a special convention wrote a state constitution. The U.S. Congress approved the Texas constitution and signed the resolution admitting Texas into the United States of America.

The last official act of Anson Jones as president was to attend the ceremony on February 19, 1846, in which the American flag was raised over the Texas Capitol. In Jones's words, "The Republic of Texas is no more."

As predicted, Mexico regarded the annexation as an act of war and moved to retake Texas. Polk declared that Mexico had invaded American soil and would pay the price for it. The U.S.-Mexican war that followed was bloody, costly, and as controversial as the annexation itself.


Source: Anson Jones and the Annexation of Texas
© 2020 Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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