As early as 1803, just after the United States negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, discussions in the United States of annexing the territory west of Louisiana first began. The annexation talk increased after Texas’ independence from Mexico. Fear of war with Mexico coupled with anti-slavery sentiment within the states kept the United States from entering into negotiations with the Republic of Texas.
In 1843, U.S. President John Tyler proposed annexation of Texas; the issue became part of the presidential election of 1844, during which citizens elected James K. Polk president on a pro-annexation platform. Polk recommended that the U.S. Congress and the Republic of Texas Congress jointly resolve to move forward with annexation. The U.S. Congress passed the annexation resolution in February 1845 and in June, the Texas Congress accepted the resolution. On the final day of 1845, Texas legally entered the union of the United States, though the formal transfer took place two months later, when Anson Jones relinquished his leadership of the Republic of Texas to a new leader, Texas Gov. James Pinckney Henderson.
Enter the Annexation Exhibit