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FACTS TO BE CONSIDERED.
From an early period-prior even to Aaron across it. After standing some time face to Burr's celebrated though baffled expedition face, it was agreed that the Spaniards should -adventurers in the United States bave re- retire across the Sabine and our troops fall
garded with covetous eyes the ricb, warm back to Natchitoches. From that time the Uprairies of Texas, with the famous mines and Sabine was the acknowledged provisional
glittering churches of Mexico. But for a boundary between the Anglo-Saxon and generation this spirit was repressed rather Spanish power on the Mexican Gulf. There than encouraged by our rulers. When in was in 1812 an insurrection in Texas against 1803-4, Louisiana was delivered up by the the Spanish domination, which was put down; Spanish authorities to France, in pursuance but our Government claimed no right, and of a Treaty of Cession just made by the im- manifested no desire to meddle with the becile Spanish monarch, Charles IV. with combatants. In 1816-17, our Collector at Napoleon, and immediately sold and deliv- New Orleans wrote to the Secretary of the ered by the latter to our Government, it was Treasury at Washington, complaining that| intimated in some quarters that Texas, and Galveston Bay had become a resort and ref. indeed the whole region East of the Riolage of smugglers, freebooters and hard cases Grande, ought to be included in the cession. generally, to the serious detriment of the But no single point or post West of the Sa- commerce and revenue of New Orleans bine and South of the Red River was deliv. Still, nothing was done by our Government ered by Spain to France, nor by France to our in the premises—not even a vessel dispatched Government, nor even demanded on our part. Ito the Texan coast to discipline these out On the other hand, Spain claimed that Mexi- laws, as it was our solemn duty to do if their co, including Texas, rightfully extended to rendezvous was within the United States. Yet the Mississippi. Natchitoches, on the Red in making a treaty of Boundaries with Spain River, within the present limits of Louisiana, in 1818-19, of which the chief object was was formally surrendered to us, while Nacog-the acquisition of Florida, our Government doches, a few miles farther West, remained set up a claim that Louisiana (not Texas) in undisputed, unquestioned Spanish posses-rightfully extended to the Rio Grande ; and sion down to the overthrow of Spanish domi- this claim was ably argued and enforced nation in Mexico.
by John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of In 1806, there were serious forebodings of State. It was surrendered, however, in the la collision between the Spanish forces under formation of the Treaty wbich gave us Flori Don Antonio Codero, Governor of Texas, and da, and by which the United States solemnly Gen. Simon Herrera, and our troops under renounces all rights, claims and pretensions Gen. Wilkinson. The Spaniards appeared to any territory lying West of the Sabine in force several miles East of the Sabine, and South of the Red River of Louisiana. claiming that the provisional or traditional This same boundary was re-stated and boundary between Louisiana and Texas ran agreed to by our Government in its Treaty| through the Arroyo Hondo, seven miles West with Mexico in 1828. Thus, if we ever had of Natchitoches, and considerably East of the any color of right to Texas, under the Louis Sabine. Gen. Wilkinson, on the other hand, iana Treaty, we deliberately renounced and acting under instructions from President Jef- surrendered it in 1819, and reiterated the ferson, insisted that the Sabine was the right- surrender in 1828. Yet in 1845 our Embas ful boundary, and the Spaniards must retire sador Shannon declared in an official commu
nication to the Mexican Government that the Grande. He agreed also to acknowledge the acquisition of Texas had been a cherished independence of Texas, but the Mexican object with our Government for the last Government refused to ratify this engagement, twenty years!
to which, according to common sense and the In 1830, the designs of a portion of our Laws of Nations, no prisoner of war could people upon Texas had become quite trans- bind his country. The war was afterward
erable number had gone prosecuted in a desultory, languid fashion, there as settlers, and had obtained large ihe Mexicans rarely disturbing the Texan grants of land from the Government of Mex- settlements, which gradually spread westico, upon condition of settling thereon a stip-ward to the Nueces. In two instances only alated number of immigrants of the Catholic did the Texans cross that River in force and faith. Some of these grants of land were ob- advance to the Rio Grande, and in both they tained under the false and groundless pre-were speedily repelled or hastily retreated. tence that the applicants were Catholics who It was now evident to all intelligent, re. were not allowed the free enjoyment of their fecting men that Texas had been wrested Religion in the United States, and therefore from Mexico by citizens of the U. States for wished to migrate to a Catholic country. Of the purpose of annexing it to this Union, and course, many of these immigrants were not with the additional intent of legalizing theremerely undesirable settlers but turbulent and in the institution of Negro Slavery, which seditious, and were regarded with suspicion had been expressly abolished by Mexico in by the Mexicans.
1824, but which many of the Texan setilers II. In 1834–5, after repeated attempts had had nevertheless persisted in, not only holding | been made by our Government to purchase the slaves they already had, but introducing Texas, and been met with indignant refusal more from the United States and even Africa. by Mexico, one Samuel Houston migrated Conscientious men became aroused, and ap. to Texas. He had been Governor of Ten-pealed to the moral sense of their country. nessee a few years previous-had married a men. Prominent among them was the great wife and suddenly abandoned her without Dr. WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING of Boston, publicly krown cause, retiring into the far who, in 1836, in a letter of great clearness Western wilds among savages, who made and cogency, denounced the whole Texas him a sort of Chief. Becoming wearied of conspiracy and its obvious purposes as calcuthis, he returned to Little Rock and ultimate-lated to cover us with infamy. In this letter ly to Washington, where he renewed his Dr. Channing says: former close intimacy with Gen. Jackson, “TO ANNEX TEXAS IS TO DECLARE PERPETUAL then President, and with other prominent war with Mexico. THE SEIZURE OF TEXAS WILL men of the same stamp. When he departed, NOT STAND ALONE. IT WILL DARKEN OUR FUTURE it was quite notorious in well informed circles HISTORY. IT WILL BE LINKED BY AN IRON NECES
SITY TO LONG-CONTINUED DEEDS OF KAPINE AND ingion that he had set out for 1 ex18 BLOOD. AGES MAY NOT SEE THE CATASTROPHE OF
ington that he had set out for Texas B to raise an insurrection there and wrest the THE TRAGEDY, THE FIRST SCENE OF WHICH WE ARE country from Mexico. On reaching Little S0 READY TO ENACT.” Rock, on his way thither, this design was no This was no outburst of fanaticism, but the longer concealed. The Arkansas State Ga- calm dictate of an enlightened understanding zette, in announcing his departure for Texas, and conscience. Its substance was affirmed significantly remarked: “We shall doubtless by a unanimous vote of the Massachuse hear of his raising his flag there shortly.” So Legislature so late as 1843, and, in general we did.
terms, by public bodies and the Press throughThe Texas Insurrection, the open and es- out the Free States, down to 1844. In 1837, tentations dramming up of men. munitions Gen. Jackson having retired from the Presi. and money throughout the South-west to sus- dency, the first formal application was made tain it-the most active and conspicuous par- on the part of Texas for Annexation to the ticipators in the pablic meetings and other Union. It was laid by Mr. Van Buren before appeals for this purpose being officers of the his Cabinet, who unanimously decided to re U.S. Government-the march of a U.S. Army ject it. Mr. Forsyth, Secretary of State. cominto Texas notoriously to give countenance municated this decision to the Texan Minisand aid to the insurgents and the triumph ters, in a letter of which the following extract of this nefarious land-gambling, slave-jobbing gives the import : conspiracy over the feeble, cowardly, badly- "So long as Texas shall remain at war, while the United officered legions of Mexico on the field of San States are at peace with her ndversary, the proposition of
the Texan Minister Plenipotentiary necessarily involves the Jacinto, are all matters of public history. San
in question of War with that adversary. *** The United ta Anna, surprised with his advanco-guard, States might be justly suspected of a disregard of the friend while cut off by a sudden freshet from his Gen. Hunt were to be even reserved for future considerr
by a sudden frecher from hilly purposes of her compact with Mexicoj if the overture of main body, was routed, taken prisoner, threat- tion, as this would imply a die position on our part tn esenerl with death, and constrained to order a pouse the quarrel of Texas with Mexico-a disposition
wholly nt variance with the spirit of the Treaty, and with the retreat of his headless forces across the Rioluniforın policy and obvious welfare of the United States."
This decision, and the reasons assigned for unanimity, with all that pretended to keep a it, were received by the American People conscience among the Loco-Focos-Henry with universal approbation. The positions Nicoll. the Congressman elect from the lower of Mr. Forsyth were so manifestly sound that District, being one of the Vice-Presidents. not even the most unscrupulous instruments The chair was taken by the venerable ALof the Texas land specalators and slave-job- BERT GALLATIN, the most eminent citizen bers dareri publicly to controvert them. Need of New York and the highest authority on we now argue that they emphatically con- International Law among us. He is one of demn any Amexation of Texas to the Union the patriarchs of Jeffersonian Democracy, until Peace should be established between and now a Whig. though he takes no active her and Mexico ?
part in politics. That meeting, after full delibBear in mind that this was after Mexico eration. on motion of David D. Field. chairbad committed, or permitted, most of all the man of a retiring committee, unanimously spoliations upon our citizens so justly com- " Resolved. That the Annexation of Texas to this Union, as plained of, and before she had adjusted them now contemplated, would, according to the acknowledged
1. Laws of Natious, be a positive Declaration of War against by treaty and commenced paying them by Me.cico-a War of Conquest and an unjust Wor, in which installments-a process only interrupted by this Nation would be supported by no venre of right, and be our Government's assent to Annexation.
condemned by the unanimous voice of the civilized and Chris
tian world." Mr. Van Buren in 1844 reäffirmed and enforced the doctrine laid down by Mr. Forsyth
Such was then the universal sentiment of in 1837, as still pertinent and impregnable,
the entire Whig party and a majority of the notwithstanding the long cessation of actual
Loco-Focos who had any opinion of their hostilities against Texas by Mexico. In his own, throughout the Free States at least. letter to Mr. Hammett he said:
Mr. Clay, writing (Sept. 23) his last public
letter before the Presidential Election, reiter"If, ag sensible men, we cannot avoid the conclusion that
lated his inflexible hostility to Annexation the immediate Annexation of Texas would draw after it a War with Mexico, can it be expedient to attempt it?" while Texas should continue at war with
"Cuail we hope to stand justified in the eyes of mankind and her independence unrecognized by Mexfor entering into such a war? more especially if ita com mencement is to be preceded by the appropriation to our ICO, saying, Owe uses of the territory the sovereignty of which is in die.
"I think it would he dishonorab
“I think it would be dishonorable, might involve us in War. pute between two nations, one of which we are to join in the land
m e and would be dangerous to the integrity and barinony of thell struggle? This, Sir, is a matter of the very gravest inport-Union one in respect to which no Anerican statesman or citizen Hean posibly afford to be indifferent. Ye have a character perfect accordance with this. Gen. Housamong the nations of the earth to maintain. It has hitherto beren our pride and boast thint, while the luet of power, with ton remarked in the United States Senate!! fraud and violence in its train, bas led other and differently when Congress was deliberati on Mr. constituted Governments to aggression and conquert, our Polk's War Message, (May 13, 1846.) that it movements in there re perts have always been regulated by reason and justice. Should not every one, then, who sin
was too late now to deliberate-that Texas cerely loves his country, consider, and that deeply, whether and Mexico had long been at war, and that we would not, by the immediate Annexation of Texas, place a weapon in the hands of those who look upon us with Jis the United States became a party to that trusttuland envious eyes, that would do us more real, last. War in consenting to Annexation. ing injury as a nation than the acquisition of such territory, |
Nood we valuable as it is, could possibly repair!"
Need we add one word to show the impu
dent falsity, the utter absurdity, of the preCan the bearing of this on the right and wrong of the present War be misunderstood ?
tence that this war grew out of Mexican
Spoliations, or was instigated by any act of About the same time. (April 17, '44,) Mr.
Mexico whatever ? Clay, in atter ignorance of Mr. Van Buren's letter, wrote from Raleigh to the National In-/ -A single word on the Rio Grande boundtelligencer a frank and brief exposition of ary of Texas, in addition to Senator BEN. his own reasons for opposing the Annexation Ton's emphatic testimony: (See Almanac for scheme, whence the following is an extract: 1'46.) Silas WRIGHT, in his famous Wa|
ortertown Speech, in 1844, observed: "Mexico has not abandoned, but perseveres in the assertion of her right to Texas) by actual force of arms, which, “I felt it my duty to vote against the ratification of the lif snepended are intended to be renewed. Under these cir- Treaty for the Annexation. I believed that the Treaty Ilcumstances, if the Government of the United States were to from the boundaries that must be implied from it, einbraced Jacquire Texas, it would acquire with it all the incumbrancesa country to which Tecas had no claim. over which she had which Texas is under, and among them the actual or Bus never asserted jurisdiction, and which she had no right to!!
ended war between Mexico and Tearas. Of that consequence cede." "It appeared to me then " le continued "if Mex:there cannot be doubt. Anneration and War with Merico co should tell 118, . We don't know you; we have no Treatyil fare identical. Now, for one, I certainly am not willing to in to make with yru' and we were left to take possession bu Ilvolve this country in a foreign war for the sake of acquiring force, we must take the country as Texas had ceded it to us. 1 Texas,' &c.
land in doing that, we must do injustire to Mexico, and take all Between the writing and the publication large portion of New Mexico, the people of which have never
been under the jurisdiction of Teras. This to me was an in lof this letter, while we were all ignorant of surmountable barrier--I could not place the country in that its existence, a great meeting of the citizens position." of this Emporium was held at the Tabernacle Can these men have been grossly misto enter our solemn protest against this An-taken? Or did they mean to utter outrageous nexation business, then pending. All parties falsehood? What temptation had they tol united in it; the Whig party with entire swerve from the truth?
MR. CLAY'S SPEECH
At the Lexington (Ky.) Mass Meeting, Nov. 13, 1847.
After the organization of the meeting, Mr.ftion, while they last, but Society soon recovers Clay rose and addressed it substantially as from their effects. War is the voluntary
Twork of our own hands, and whatever refollows :
proaches it may deserve should be directed Ladies and Gentlemen :
to ourselves. When it breaks out, its duration The day is dark and gloomy, unsettled and is indefinite and unknown-its vicissitudes uncertain, like the condition of our country are hidden from our view. In the sacrifice in regard to the unnatural War with Mexico. of human life, and in the waste of human The public mind is agitated and anxious, and treasure, in its losses and in its burdens, it af is filled with serious apprehensions as to its fects both belligerent nations, and its sad ef. indefinite continuance, and especially as to fects of mangled bodies, of death, and of the consequences which its termination may desolation, endure long after its thunders are bring forth, menacing the harmony, if not the hushed in peace. War unhinges society, disexistence, of our Union.
turbs its peaceful and regular industry, and nder these circumstances I present scatters poisonous seeds of disease and immyself before you. No ordinary occasion morality, which continue to germinate and would have drawn me from the retirement in diffuse their baneful influence long after it has which I live; but, while a single pulsation of ceased. Dazzling by its glitter, pomp and the human heart remains, it should, if neces- pageantry, it begets a spirit of wild adventure sary, be dedicated to the service of one's and romantic enterprise, and often disqualicountry. And I have hoped that, although I fies those who embark in it, after their return am a private and humble citizen, an expres-from the bloody fields of battle, from engaging sion of the views and opinions I entertain, in the industrious and peaceful vocations of might form some little addition to the general life. stock of information, and afford a small as. We are informed by a statement, which is sistance in delivering our country from the apparently correct, that the number of our perils and dangers which surround it. countrymen slain in this lamentable Mexican
I have come here with no purpose to at- War, although it has yet been of only 18|| tempt to make a fine speech, or any ambitious months' existence, is equal to one-half of the oratorical display. I have brought with me whole of the American loss during the seven no rhetorical bouquets to throw into this as- years' War of the Revolution! And I vensemblage. In the circle of the year Autumn ture to assert that the expenditure of treasure has come, and the season of flowers has which it has occasioned, when it shall come passed away. In the progress of years, my to be fairly ascertained and footed up, will be Spring-time has gone by, and I too am in the found to be more than half of the pecuniary Autumn of life, and feel the frost of Age. cost of the War of our Independence. And My desire and aim are to address you earnest- this is the condition of the party whose arms| Ily, calmly, seriously and plainly, upon the have been everywhere and constantly victograve and momentous subjects which bave rious! brought us together. And I am most solici- How did we unhappily get involved in this tous that not a solitary word may fall from War? I
edicted as the consequence me, offensive to any party or person in thejof the Annexation of Texas to the United whole extent of the Union.
States. If we had not annexed Texas, well War, Pestilence, and Famine, by the com- should have had no War. The people were mon consent of mankind, are the three great-Itold that est calamities which can befall our
verall our species : ensue. They were told that the War beand War, as the most direful, justly stands tween Texas and Mexico had not been ter. foremost and in front. Pestilence and Famine, minated by a treaty of peace; that Mexico no doubt for wise although inscrutable pur-still claimed Texas as a revolted province;/ poses, are inflictions of Providence, to which and that, if we received Texas into our it is our duty, therefore, to bow with obe-Union, we took along with her the War exdience, humble submission and resignation. isting between her and Mexico. And the Their duration is not long, and their ravages Minister of Mexico formally announced to are limited. They bring, indeed, great afflic- the Government at Washington, that his na-l