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“How To Conquer Texas, Before Texas Conquers Us”

A Texas Three-Penny Dreadful

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211.     [HALE, Edward Everett]. A Tract for the Day. How to Conquer Texas, before Texas Conquers Us [title within ornamental border, above which is: Price Three Cents]. Boston: Redding & Co., 8 State St., March 17, 1845. [1-3] 4-16 pp. 8vo (22.7 x 14 cm), removed from a bound volume of pamphlets, remains of stitching. Creased at center, first and last leaves foxed, else very good.

     First edition. American Imprints (1845) 2939. Eberstadt, Texas 162:373. Sabin 29626. Streeter 1583:

Hale, later to become a famous and beloved American, and at this time not quite twenty-three years old, wrote this tract when news came to New England that President Tyler had signed on March 1, 1845, the joint resolution for the annexation of Texas. The tract begins, “What shall we do? Massachusetts and New England have resolved, in this emergency, not to withdraw from the Union. They have resolved rightly.” Hale then advanced the novel and highly original idea that the North should promote the emigration of its citizens to Texas so that by “a systematic and united effort…free labor and free institutions, may obtain a predominance in that territory” and declared, “There can be no question that Texas, particularly the upper country of Texas, is naturally one of the finest agricultural countries in the World.”

     Hale refers to the Texans as “an unprincipled population of adventurers.” His main intention, of course, was to somehow prevent Texas from becoming a slave state by diluting the present population with abolitionist New Englanders who would gain a voting majority if enough of them emigrated. Hale (1822-1909), author and a Unitarian minister to the core of his righteous soul, entered Harvard at age thirteen. He is described by DAB as: “Big of body and spirit, destined to grow, with his aspect of a shaggy prophet and his great, reverberating voice, into the very figure of a seer, Hale was precisely the man to put into action the prevailing beliefs of the Boston in which he came to maturity.” The present tract was his maiden voyage in his vision of Western emigration as a springboard for the betterment of human relationships, social, political, and personal. Some critics described him as a zealot in the anti-slavery cause, but recognized the good works he performed as the chief propagandist and historian of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which advocated organized emigration. In 1854 he wrote an emigrant guide conforming with those theories (Kanzas and Nebraska, Boston, 1854; Plains & Rockies IV:239A). Hale is best known for “The Man Without a Country” (Atlantic Monthly, December, 1863), considered to be one of the best short stories written by an American. See Johnson High Spots of American Literature, p. 36.


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $300.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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