State Dep't [Washington] 16th Sep't 1844
MY DEAR SIR, The mail of yesterday brought the melancholy intelligence of the death of General Howard, our Charge
at Texas; an event, which may be justly regarded, under present circumstances, as a publick misfortune.
The state of things in Texas is such as to require that the
place should be filled without delay and to select him, who
under all circumstances may be thought best calculated to
bring to a successful decision, the great question of Annexation, now pending before the two Countries. After full deliberation, you have been selected as that individual; and, I do
trust, my dear Sir, that you will not decline the appointment,
however great may be the personal sacrifice of accepting.
That great question must be decided in the next three or
four months, and whether it shall be favorably or not, may
depend on him who shall fill the Mission now tendered to you.
I need not tell you how much depends on its decision, for weal
or woe to our country and perhaps to the whole Continent.
It is sufficient to say, that viewed in all its consequences, it is
one of the very first magnitude, and that it gives an importance to the Mission, at this time, that raises it to the level
with the highest in the gift of the Government.
Assuming, therefore, that you will not decline the appointment, unless some insuperable difficulty should interpose, and
in order to avoid delay, a Commission is herewith transmitted, without the formality of waiting your acceptance, with
all the necessary papers.
You will be entitled to an outfit of $4500 and a salary of an
equal amount, commencing with } T our acceptance. There is
no outfit appropriated, as no vacancy was anticipated, but application will be made to Congress to make an appropriation
when it meets. In the mean time, the President has ordered
that a quarter's salary should be advanced, which you will find
done by a draft on N. York. I hope it may be sufficient for
the present. It was all that could be done. If, by any possibility, you should be prevented from accepting it, as I trust
will not be the case, you will please return the draft.
You will find, also, enclosed a copy of the dispatch, with its
enclosures, forwarded a few days since, to the late Charge, by
a Special Messenger. They are transmitted to you, in order
to put you, in advance, in possession of the views of the Government, in reference to the threatened invasion of Texas by
Mexico. They are for your own eye, but you are at liberty
to show them to General Jackson and to consult with him on
I shall be anxious to hear from you at the earliest period,
and take the liberty of wishing you, in anticipation of your
acceptance, much success in your Mission. As I expect to
leave this, for ray residence in South Carolina, before your
answer can reach here, I will request you, in addition to your
official letter addressed to the Department, to address a private letter to me at Pendleton, South Carolina.
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.