Oregon and Texas
DESCRIPTION: "Hark! Freedom's eatly loudly calls, His cry rings through our hill s and halls...." "March away, 'tis freedom beck us, On for Oregon and Texas." The singer condemns Mexico, recalls San Jacinto, and urges a fight for Texas and Oregon
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1848 (Rough and Ready Songster, according to Cohen)
KEYWORDS: patriotic political battle war
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Cohen-AFS2, p. 633, "Oregon and Texas" (1 text)
NOTES [121 words]: In 1844, James K. Polk campaigned for President on the basis of annexation of Texas and demanding a large Oregon country -- that the U. S. should take the entire Oregon region up to latitude 54 degrees 40 minutes (hence the slogan "fifty four-forty or fight"). Polk was elected, and he did start a war with Mexico over Texas (or, rather, over California, which is what he really wanted) -- but he compromised over the Oregon boundary, knowing he could not fight two wars at once.
All the talk about freedom in this song is rather ironic, because one of the main reasons Texas rebelled against Mexico in the 1830s was because the American settlers there wanted to keep slaves. Mexico forbid slavery; the United States did not. - RBW
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