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Special Message

December 13, 1850

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I have the pleasure of announcing to Congress the agreement on the part of Texas to the propositions offered to that State by the act of Congress approved on the 9th day of September last, entitled "An act proposing to the State of Texas the establishment of her northern and western boundaries, the relinquishment by the said State of all territory claimed by her exterior to said boundaries and of all her claims upon the United States, and to establish a Territorial government for New Mexico."

By the terms of that act it was required that the agreement of Texas to the propositions contained in it should be given on or before the 1st day of December, 1850. An authenticated transcript of a law passed by the legislature of Texas on the 25th day of November, agreeing to and accepting the propositions contained in the act of Congress, has been received. This law, after reciting the provisions of the act of Congress, proceeds to enact and declare as follows, viz:

Therefore, first. Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Texas , That the State of Texas hereby agrees to and accepts said propositions; and it is hereby declared that the said State shall be bound by the terms thereof according to their true import and meaning.

Second. That the governor of this State be, and is hereby, requested to cause a copy of this act, authenticated under the seal of the State, to be furnished to the President of the United States by mail as early as practicable, and also a copy thereof, certified in like manner, to be transmitted to each of the Senators and Representatives of Texas in Congress. And that this act take effect from and after its passage.


Speaker of the House of Representatives.


President of the Senate.


Approved, November 25, 1850.

From the common sources of public information it would appear that a very remarkable degree of unanimity prevailed, not only in the legislature, but among the people of Texas, in respect to the agreement of the State to that which had been proposed by Congress.

I can not refrain from congratulating Congress and the country on the success of this great and leading measure of conciliation and peace. The difficulties felt and the dangers apprehended from the vast acquisitions of territory under the late treaty with Mexico seem now happily overcome by the wisdom of Congress. Within that territory there already exists one State, respectable for the amount of her population, distinguished for singular activity and enterprise, and remarkable in many respects from her condition and history. This new State has come into the Union with manifestations not to be mistaken of her attachment to that Constitution and that Government which now embrace her and her interests within their protecting and beneficent control.

Over the residue of the acquired territories regular Territorial governments are now established in the manner which has been most usual in the history of this Government. Various other acts of Congress may undoubtedly be requisite for the benefit as well as for the proper government of these so distant parts of the country. But the same legislative wisdom which has triumphed over the principal difficulties and accomplished the main end may safely be relied on for whatever measures may yet be found necessary to perfect its work, so that the acquisition of these vast regions to the United States may rather strengthen than weaken the Constitution, which is over us all, and the Union, which affords such ample daily proofs of its inestimable value.


Millard Fillmore, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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