Image from the U.S. Diplomacy website
Have you seen Clay’s third letter on Texas?
No. Does it differ from his other letters?
Oh, yes. He says he “would be glad to see” Texas annexed.
Indeed! Is that the truth?
Is it the whole truth?
Oh, he says he “would be glad to see it, without dishonor.”
Ah, that’s an importafit qualification! But is that all?
No. He “would be glad to see it, without dishonor AND without war.”
Better yet! Is that all?
N – o – t e – x – a – c – t – l – y. He “would be glad to see it without dishonor, without war AND with the common consent of the Union.”
Better and better! As I want to get the whole truth, I’ll make one more effort. Has Mr. Clay any other objections to the project?
Yes, he has. He says also, that it must be done “upon JUST and FAIR terms.”
And farther, that he “believes that National dishonor, foreign war, and distraction and division at home are too great sacrifices to make for the acquisition of Texas.”
Does Mr. Clay say all this?
And do you believe that Texas can EVER by annexed “without dishonor, without war, with the common consent of the Union, and upon just and fair terms?”
I do not. The signs of the times forbid such a thought.
Then in no event can Mr. Clay be regarded as the friend of Annexation; and I hope you will not be guilty again of such injustice as to quote two or three words from his letter and on the strength of them charge Mr. Clay with a desertion of the ground taken by him in his first letter. He is the consistent opponent of the Annexation scheme.
— Springfield Republic.
Madison Express (Madison, Wisconsin) Sep 26, 1844