U.S. Congress approves annexation of Texas
On this day in 1845, the United States Congress voted to annex Texas. Statehood was first proposed in 1837, but was rejected by President Martin Van Buren. Constitutional scruples and fear of war with Mexico were the reasons given for the rejection, but antislavery sentiment in the United States undoubtedly influenced Van Buren and continued to be the chief obstacle to annexation. Under President James Polk the United States Congress passed the Annexation Resolution in February 1845. Texas president Anson Jones called the Texas Congress into session on June 16, 1845, and a convention of elected delegates met on the Fourth of July. Both the Texas Congress and the convention voted for annexation, and a constitution was drawn up. The document was ratified by popular vote in October 1845 and accepted by the United States Congress on December 29, 1845. On February 19, 1846, President Jones of the Republic of Texas handed over control of the new state government to Governor James Pinckney Henderson.