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Contents for January.
The President's Message_The War. By Hon. D. D. Barnard, .
TO THE PUBLIC.
The undersigned, Administrators of the Estate of George H. Colton, deceased, beg to inform the patrons of this Review, and all interested, that the work will continue to be published as heretofore, at No. 118 Nassau street, and that the plan for its improvement, devised by the late editor, will be carried out. To this end they have engaged the services of James D. WuelPLEY, Esq. ; a gentleman who has been connected with the Review from the beginning, as one of its most valuable contributors, and for a year past, intimately associated with the late lamented editor in conducting it; and in whose ability, principles, and judgment we have the utmost confidence.
In the political department, the Hon. D. D. Barnard will continue his valuable assistance, which we conceive to be all that is necessary to say, to give the party to which this journal is devoted perfect confidence in its course.
The work has attained a wide circulation, and we believe has the confidence of the public in all parts of the country. It is of the utmost importance to the party, and we believe to the nation, that it be maintained in the independent position it has always occupied ; and we think we may confidently appeal to all, who believe the welfare of the nation requires that the great fundamental principles of the Whig party—those which underlie all sectional differences—should be constantly set forth, to maintain it in its present position.
I. C. COLTON,
New-York, January 1st, 1848.
Next to the interest which our friends! Were it possible to explain the difficulfelt in the beginning of this enterprise, ) ties, delays, and losses, which attend the must be their desire to have recorded, its collection of the dues of such a journal, successful establishment. The patrons of reducing the average value of its subscripthe American Review, who generously and tions by more than a third, the friends of patriotically aided its first struggles into the Review would find less difficulty in unlife, may be desirous of knowing its pres- derstanding why all the necessary improveent position and future intentions. A sad ments were not sooner made. They have decree has forbidden the hand that should been kept constantly in view, but are the have made the record.
work of much time, and of the joint labor The experience of three years, with the and enthusiasm of many persons. counsel and advice of many able and ju- In the midst of these plans, and in the dicious friends, had determined the Editor bloom and vigor of his youth, the generous to begin a new Series of his Journal, upon spirit who strove to execute them, and a more liberal scale of expenditure, and thereby to deserve well of his country, with an infusion of greater vigor and at- was cut off by a severe and lingering illtention in every department. The proper ness; but as he was a man free in his conconduct of the whole was found to surpass fidences, and loving to make common cause the abilities of any one person, and a greater with many, he left those behind him who outlay became necessary to obtain the had taken an equal interest in the work, requisite aid. The price paid for valuable and had advised and strenuously labored articles, though it already exceeded what with him for its accomplishment : it was the finances would bear, had to be in their part, therefore, to make this statecreased, that none but good material might ment, both for the regard they bear his be used. The political department, espe- memory, and for the duty they owe to cially, it was found, must be improved in the friends and supporters of the enterquantity, and the standard of the best prise. maintained.
It has always been borne in mind that a To the accomplishment of these ends, it truly national journal must represent the was necessary that the subscription list spirit and principles of the Nation, in its should be increased.
best moods, and as they appear in the VOL. I. NO. 1. NEW SERIES.
wisdom of its earlier lawgivers. In every | will not suffer themselves to be led by the free nation, two great parties have arisen, example of any other nation, into advocating tending towards opposite extremes. Dif- measures suitable, perhaps, to that nation, fering in this particular from all ancient, but unsuitable and injurious to our own; and even from modern European nations, believing that a judicious regard to the that we are not composed of an inferior, circumstances of a people, should govern politically mingled, and sharing power with | its legislation. à superior race—a commonalty with an In a choice of rulers and legislators, aristocracy-both parties, with us, profess they mean to sustain such men as seem to sustain liberty and the common right. fitted to represent, not the will only, but In the spirit and heart of the nation there the virtue and common sense of their concan be no division. The nation, as a body, stituents. extends freedom-political, social, and reli- That the power of the Executive be regious—to all men equally ; and out of this stricted within its just limits, they will spring all our national and political pecu- strenuously urge. liarities.
That the rights and power of the States Yet it will happen, for the most part, be preserved inviolate, as the sole defence that even in pursuit of a good, men are of the individual against Executive usurpeasily misled and deceived into radical ex-ation, they will also advocate ; but no less, tremes.
that individual States be not suffered to The friends and conductors of this jour- impair the high privileges of the citizen, in nal incline not, therefore, hastily to despise his relation to the nation as a whole. and subvert the institutions of our fathers. That every means be employed to preThey mean to abide by the Constitution. vent the converting of offices into political
They believe that reforms should in all agencies, for corrupting and subverting cases grow from, and be limited by, neces- the popular will. sity; and that the State, like any natural In brief, the conductors of this journal organization, should gradually shape itself, are Whigs, in principle and practice, and by a healthy and spontaneous growth. mean to use it, as far as in them lies, for
They believe that the designers and sup the promotion of that cause. porters of schemes of conquest, to be car- As a vehicle of opinion to reach all ried on by this government, are engaged | classes of intelligent persons, it has been in treason to our Constitution and Decla- found necessary to regard the interests of ration of Rights, giving “aid and comfort” | general literature in the REVIEW, equally to the enemies of republicanism, in that with those of politics—the two being they are advocating and preaching the necessary to each other. doctrine of “the right of conquest.” These | In regard to sectional questions, a jourtraitors to all humanity, and to God, must | nal professing to be purely national must be met and vanquished, or the principle either avoid them, or discuss them in the which sustains us, as a nation, will be sub- | light of general policy and morality: inverted.
difference to the decision of such questions In meeting and discussing new phases would betray either an immoral, or an of opinion, they will favor with their imbecile spirit. whole heart and mind, all plans for the 1 Enough, perhaps, has been said on amelioration of society, and all such new former occasions, of the importance of a ideas of social and physical science, as truly national organ of opinion, whose seem to have their foundation in nature | purpose should be to promote union and and experience. Yet they can never for- | singleness of principle in the Whig party. get that truth is old, and the principles of The sole desire of the conductors of this human nature, like the moral law, by no l journal is, that it may in some measure means a discovery of yesterday.
satisfy the want that is felt for such an In questions of political economy, they | organ.
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE-THE WAR.
As often as the President comes before. war. It is his fate also, in order to render the nation with a new manifesto in regard his attempts at justification any way to the unhappy war, in which, by his own plausible, that he must take care to make deliberate, unauthorized and criminal act, all his subsequent conduct and acts as he has involved the country, no choice is consistent as possible, in error and crimileft us, as the faithful conductors of a nality, with his original offences. Beginjournal of American politics, but to follow ning wrong, which he is resolved never him to this well-trodden field—to set up to acknowledge, he must continue to go there, again and again, in the face of the wrong, sinking deeper and deeper at every American people and of the world, the step, until he becomes involved in difficullofty standard of historic truth, of inter ties from which he is obliged to confess national law, of real justice and honor, i he sees no certain way of escape. Preand of true national renown and glory, cisely as, on the one hand, the path of the against the wretched perversions, the false just shines brighter and brighter to the glosses and miserable plausibilities in which perfect day, so, on the other, does that this high functionary of the government path in which the President has chosen to habitually indulges, whenever he comes walk, darken, at every remove, into thicker before the country to justify himself for and more palpable gloom. On this point, the great Measure of Blood and Conquest his recent Annual Message to Congress, by which he has undertaken to signalize when rightly understood, exhibits the his administration. If truth, as affecting most melancholy proof. Of course, it is the highest question of national concern, passably ingenious, adroit and plausible. have not lost all value, it must be defended But it is not difficult to urfravel and expose even against the mistakes or perversions its plausibilities. And it is a bold docuof a President of the United States. Nay, ment, because no other tone would suit, at this duty becomes doubly important and all, the condition of desperate hazard to imperative in such a case, on account of which he has been brought in the legitithe authority which attaches to his lofty mate progress of the game he undertook to position. And he must not be allowed to play. The most timid are known to beuse his eminent station to indoctrinate the come brave, when all retreat from danger people of this country in any false princi- is found to be cut off. In this instance, ples, whether of the law of nations or the | however, the bold tone of the Message is not law of national justice and honor. He sufficient to hide altogether that terrible must not be allowed to seduce the Ameri- conflict of secret emotions which, we doubt can people from the allegiance which they not, has been going on all the while in owe to a higher law than any which the the heart and conscience of its author. kings or rulers of this earth can impose or The President undertook to make a little teach—the law of right and of duty—the war. He has found it a great and terrible law which has its sanction in the con- war. He ordered an army to invade the sciences of men, and its seat in the bosom Mexican State of Tamaulipas, then in the of God.
undisputed and undisturbed occupation of Of course, we are not weak enough to its Mexican inhabitants; and he did this expect anything less than that the Presi with the expectation and belief, that a milident should continue, at every opportunity, tary demonstration of this sort, perhaps to put forth all his own energies, and all with a single collision of arms, just sufficient the energies he can buy or borrow for the | to manifest our undoubted superiority in purpose, in defence of his original crime in war, would be enough to bring Mexico to plunging this country into an unnecessary | such compliance and concessions, as would