On this date, December 29, in 1845 the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, forgoing the traditional territorial phase of statehood and making Texas the 28th state to join the union. The formal transfer of power occurred on February 19, 1846.
The annexation process had officially begun in 1845. On October 13, a large majority of American voters approved a proposal for annexation and admit Texas to the union as a slave state. On February 28, the U.S. Congress passed a bill authorizing annexation and setting its date for December. President John Tyler signed the bill soon after on March 1st. In addition to new lands, the U.S. also acquired the republic's southern and western border dispute with Mexico, which still was refusing to recognize the Republic of Texas's independence and had rebuffed U.S. offers to purchase the territory. The annexation would prove to be a significant driver in the start of the Mexican-American War in 1846.
One significant motivation for the Republic of Texas to forgo independence for union was its rapidly accumulating debts, which were coming due for payment. At its founding, the republic had inherited approximately $1.25 million in debt from its provisional and interim governments. By the time of its annexation, those debts had ballooned to an estimated $9,949,000. Efforts to secure international loans to cover upcoming payments due had received insufficient interest. As part of the Compromise of 1850, however, Texas agreed to drop its claims on territory that later became Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In exchange, Texas was provided with $10,000,000 in Federal bonds.
This Texan's Map of the United States' comes from a March, 1947 issue of Ford Times, a magazine published by the Ford Motor Company between 1908 and April 1917, when America's entry into World War I required the company to re-orient its activities, with publishing resuming in 1943 and continuing until the publication's final demise in January 1993. Each issue offered readers illustrated material, tales about travel destinations, and short stories from popular authors, interspersed with promotional material for current Ford products. Ford Times is call number TL1.F67 in Hagley Library's Published Collections.