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REILY, JAMES. Autograph letter signed ("J. Reily") to Col. Thomas Ward as Commissioner of the General Land Office, Washington, Texas, marked "Private"; Houston, 31 December 1843. One page, 4to, integral address leaf, docketed, remains of wax seal, small seal break, a few tiny marginal tears, other minor defects.

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REILY, JAMES. Autograph letter signed ("J. Reily") to Col. Thomas Ward as Commissioner of the General Land Office, Washington, Texas, marked "Private"; Houston, 31 December 1843. One page, 4to, integral address leaf, docketed, remains of wax seal, small seal break, a few tiny marginal tears, other minor defects.

"I AS SOON EXPECT ANNEXATION TO CHINA AS TO THE UNITED STATES"

"I never learned until a short time since your confirmation [as Commissioner] by the Senate. The majority after all the efforts made to displace you was a most gratifying one to your friends & must be to you. ..I have looked for your report, but I suppose it is not printed, altho I perceive that Congress has been roused to action by it. It is high time the people were called to reflect upon the right which foreign empressarios [sic] have of appropriating the public domain to their speculative designs, before those who have borne the heat & burthen of the day could obtain their rights.

"We have no news. Many of my fellow citizens believe we shall be annexed to the United States. I consider the chance as utterly hopeless & as soon expect annexation to China as to the United States and if our statesmen have no other policy by which to preserve us from Mexico, why you and your compatriots have been maimed in vain."

President Tyler had initiated the movement to annex Texas in the fall of 1843. His initial treaty proposing its annexation as a territory, submitted to the Senate in April 1844, was rejected. James Polk's election on a pro-annexation platform incited Congress to abandon its resistance to this major southward expansion, and three days before the end of his term Tyler signed a measure offering Texas its statehood. Texas was officially admitted to the Union on December 29, 1845.
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