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A New York Democrat Champions Territorial Expansion

Mike Walsh was an Irish immigrant, former gang leader, and editor of the radical Democratic newspaper The Subterranean. An advocate of working-class causes, he was strongly anti-abolitionist and supported the annexation of Texas. He gave the following speech in support of annexation at a public meeting in 1844. In 1846, Walsh raised a company of volunteers to fight in the war against Mexico and was also elected to the New York state legislature.

It has been alleged as a reason why Texas should not be annexed, that we have too much territory already. Such an argument may hold good where a government is compelled to maintain its right to territory by force; but here, under our free government, where every man’s voice can be heard, the whole continent, or the whole world, would not be sufficient. I go for the re-annexation of Texas, even if it should involve us in a war with Mexico, or with England, or with the whole world!

Source | Michael Walsh, "Address to public meeting," reprinted in Working Man's Advocate (New York), 11 May 1844.
Creator | Michael Walsh
Item Type | Speech
Cite This document | Michael Walsh, “A New York Democrat Champions Territorial Expansion,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed November 22, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1271.

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