I read a lot of self-help this past year for the blog and I lost some weight (which I'm pretty sure I've gained back by now) and I learned what my love language is (housekeeping) and how to save money on things I don't need but the only book I really wished I'd had to read, but which just never made it to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, is the 1845 tract by Edward Everett Hale, "How to Conquer Texas, Before Texas Conquers Us". It holds the answers to all my questions and it only costs three cents. I just learned of this gem's existence last week when it made its way into my cubicle for immediate perusal I mean cataloging.
I didn't have time to read it until today and had my pad and pencil at the ready to copy down all the steps it would require of me to conquer this place. Obviously, having been written in 1845, "How to Conquer Texas" doesn't really apply to this modern gal's situation. After all, back then, Texas was an empty, uncultured wasteland. Ah, how far we've come.
First, Hale sets up the dangers of the annexation of Texas. The big ones come last and are aptly named:
"V. The introduction into the Union of an unprincipled population of adventurers, with all the privileges of a State of naturalized citizens.
VI. The creation of an enormous State, in time to become the real Empire State of the country. Texas, with three hundred and ten thousand square miles of territory, is admitted as one State, into the Union. If she remains such, she will prove the Austria of the confederacy, to overrule all opposition." [I might add that I have advised Austria to sue Hale's estate for slander.]
So here I learned where Texans got the idea that having more land equals better. Which is why they have boasted so many times to me that you can fit France into Texas. Yeah, well you can fit the United States into Siberia, but you don't hear the Siberians blowharding about it.
Hale's advice is simple: Are you an abolitionist New Englander thinking about emigrating? Hows about Texas? It's supposed to be nicer than Wisconsin. All right, Hale. Here I am. Can I have my three cents back?