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Nor had the President any impulse or when we proposed, by an official act, to motive of patriotism, or of liberal and take Texas to our embrace, while she and enlightened statesmanship, to offer as an Mexico were in a state of war. We had excuse for this fatal proceeding. He had offered to throw our shield over Texas, formed a plan of illustrating his reign of and we told Mexico that when that was four years, and perhaps securing thereby the done, if she fought anybody, any further, succession to himself, by adding vast re- for the possession of that country, she gions of Mexican territory, and consider- must fight us. In this state of things able numbers of Mexican population to the | Mr. Polk came into power. United States—a secret, selfish and wicked Before Annexation was consummated, plan, which he dared not disclose to the and while, therefore, Texas was still as American people ; since he well knew foreign to us as Cuba or Canada--while how sternly the faces of all considerate it still remained for Congress to deterand disinterested persons would be set mine and pass upon the final question of against it, and how surely a project of | her admission to our Union—she being that sort, if known in time, would be re- still an independent Republic—the Presipudiated, scouted, disclaimed and dis-dent undertook the defence of that country carded by the whole sober sense of the against a threatened invasion of her old country. His design was to clutch and enemy. This was done, he said, because secure the object, if he could, before the the authorities of that country had invited country should be made aware of his pur- and appealed to him for support and depose; or at least to push matters so far fence! It was, then, what Texas demanded, that retreat would be impossible, without and not what the Constitution prescribed personal discredit, when at least he would or allowed, that governed the decision of be sure of the support of his party, and the President in that matter. This was thereby of the acquiescence of large por- | his first unauthorized movement towards tions of the community, who have never a war with Mexico. Anarmy was marched any time to think for themselves, and to Texas and took post on the Nueces, allow others to think for them--especially | ready, according to positive instructions in matters of high public concern. He from the President, to defend that country knew very well—it required only a very and repel all invaders. And thus, if Texas little observation, and some low calcula- had been invaded by Mexico, as was tion, bottomed on the worst aspects of threatened, the President, in that way and human nature, to know—that the imagina- at that time, without the slightest authority tions of men in a country of speculation from Congress or the Constitution, would and enterprise like this, are easily caught have involved us in a war with Mexico. and dazzled with what may seem to be We believe, with the objects he had in a grand movement—something, anything, view, he would have seen a collision of done or achieved out of the ordinary course arms, at that time, with gratification, not of things. If he could fasten his hand on as likely to lead to a protracted conflict, New Mexico and California so as to be but as the probable means of bringing able to hold them up to the wondering Mexico, weak and timid as he believed gaze of the American people as a prize her to be, more easily to the point of that already secured, and only awaiting their heavy sacrifice of territory to which he acquiescence and consent, he calculated had resolved to reduce her, than perhaps with entire certainty on the issue.
could be done by naked negotiation, and Texas had been annexed-itself a pro- the mere appliance of money. ceeding in utter contempt of constitutionalThis plan failed, because Mexico insisted limitations and forms ; and there was a on putting herself strictly on the defensive question of unsettled boundary, which it against her new enemy, and would not, was the duty of the President to have therefore, venture on an invasion of Texas. fixed by negotiations. That question was, The President then set on foot a diplomawhether the Nueces was the utmost limit tic intrigue-it deserves no better nameof Texas in that direction; or whether to effect his grand design of acquiring any other and what line should be taken Mexican territory. He would secure bis beyond it. Mexico had withdrawn herself object by negotiation and voluntary cesfrom all relations with us from the time sion, obtained throngh the weakness or
treachery of some false and corrupted | towns and forts in that quarter. Who Mexican chieftain, or he would make the could have believed—who among that failure of the intrigue the occasion and band of noble spirits who assisted in framexcuse for a military demonstration, and, ing this goodly form of Government, and if need be, for war. He sent a Minister in putting it into operation, could have Plenipotentiary to "reside” near that believed, that the time would arrive so government, as if nothing had happened soon when a President of the United to interrupt the harmony of the two States, a man, too, of no particular force, powers. It was not the object of that and having no hold on the popular feeling mission to find and fix the proper line of or confidence, would dare to entertain and boundary between Mexico and Texas, devise a project for the dismemberment of which was simply the duty of the Presi- a neighboring power, and actually begin a dent after Annexation had been consum-war for this object, into the support of mated, so far as any question of territory which he should finally wheedle or force was concerned between the two countries. the nation, and to carry on that war to the The object was, by threats of war, and point, or prospect, of ultimate and comjudicious pecuniary appliances, to bring plete success! Yet all this has been done Mexico, or some chief or another in Mexico, in the time of the tenth President of the to consent to sell to the United States United States, and when the Constitution large portions of her territory. The Pleni- was not yet sixty years old. potentiary, it is understood, carried with It would be unreasonable to expect that him proposals for the purchase, 1st, of a President who had deliberately set the the country up to the Rio Grande-that Constitution aside in order to make a war, very country to which it has been so would give that instrument much heed or much insisted our title was clear and un- consideration in conducting his military questionable ; 2d, the remainder of New | operations, Mexico beyond the Rio Grande ; and, 3d, It was important, in order to carry his a part or all, or nearly all, of Upper Cali- war of conquest as promptly as possible fornia. The amount of our claims upon towards the heart of the enemy's country, Mexico-four or five millions of dollars— and at the same time to make the war was to be offered for the first parcel ; five popular at home, if it could be made so, millions more for the second ; and twenty to take advantage of the national and inor twenty-five millions more, according to stinctive bravery and enterprise of our quantity, for California. The Mexican people, and to accept the services of such government refused to receive Mr. Slidell, as might be disposed to engage in the as a minister resident, until the ground for work of carrying the conquering standard a restoration of friendly relations had been of the country into a foreign land. It was prepared by some proper understanding not difficult to find persons enough who in regard to the offensive measure of An-, were willing and anxious to bear commisnexation. Baffled in this attempt, the sions in such a service. But it so bappens, President did not hesitate about his course. that none but soldiers regularly enlisted in In anticipation, indeed, of this event, he the army of the United States, and under issued orders to the army to take posses the command of officers, of all grades, apsion, on the ground of indisputable owner- | pointed and commissioned by the United ship and right, of a part of the very terri- | States, can, by the Constitution, be emtory which he had been endeavoring toployed in a war, the operations of which secure by negotiation and purchase. are to be carried on beyond the limits of
Thus was this shameful war brought on. the Republic. Militia--and all troops are It began on the Rio Grande ; but with so militia, whose company and field officers much certainty had the President calcu are appointed and commissioned by State lated on this issue, that our naval forces authority--cannot, by the Constitution, be on the coast of Mexico in the Pacific, employed in war, except “to repel inunder the direction of Com. Sloat, were vasions." Yet the President called for ready, with instructions of a date long large bodies of volunteers, which, as they previous, on the first notice of hostilities, are organized and officered, are only milito make a demonstration on California, tia, and procured the sanction of Congress and secure the possession of the principal | to his demand, with the design of sending them, and he did send them, into a foreign | better councils in that body, he would land, in a war of invasion and conquest. have inevitably brought the two nations
It was a natural consequence of a suc- into the conflict and strife of arms. Hapcessful war of conquest thus begun and pily we escaped, in that instance, the conprosecuted, that the President should claim sequences which his course and conduct himself to be the conqueror of the coun- were preparing for us. Unhappily, howtries brought under the power of our arms, ever, we have not been so fortunate in and should proceed, in his own name and respect to the line of policy pursued by by his own authority, to establish civil him towards Mexico. governments over all territories where the In following the President, now or at any submission of the inhabitants should be time, through his tortuous course towards received, and to institute, in all places the Mexican nation; whenever, in fine, we under his military occupation, a regular undertake to look at the various and consystem for the imposition of taxes and the tradictory reasons offered by him, at suncollection of a revenue for the exclusive dry times, to justify his proceedings and and independent use of the military chest. his war, we shall need, in order to avoid The President makes a war of invasion and being misled, to keep this main fact conquest, employs militia to carry it on, constantly in mind, namely, that his desets up civil governments in conquered | sign of dismembering Mexico lay at the places without the aid of Congress, and, bottom of the whole affair. When he sent finally, undertakes to support his army, in Mr. Slidell to Mexico, not to soothe that part at least, by a regular Executive sys- power for the loss of Texas, and to fix the tem of taxation and revenue. So much boundary between the two countries on for Mr. Polk's observance of the solemn just and liberal terms, but to prosecute a promise which he made to the nation in dishonest demand for territory, Herrera his inaugural address, and to which he had was at the head of affairs, and every way just then bound himself by a solemn oath. | disposed to make a just and reasonable “ The Constitution," said he,“ will be the accommodation with us. Paredes soon chart by which I shall be directed. It after displaced Herrera. This chief did will be my first care to administer the goy- not at all suit the views of the President. ernment in the true spirit of that instru- | What he wanted was a chief who might ment, and to assume no power not ex- / be approachable, for a consideration, with pressly granted, or clearly implied in its propositions distasteful and dishonorable terms."
to Mexico, and he turned to Santa Anna II. The next rule which we have quoted as the man for his purposes. Santa Anna and laid down as proper and necessary for was then in Cuba, having been expelled the government of the President in his from the government and driven into exile official conduct, has been no better kept | by his countrymen, There are abundant than that we have just been considering. grounds for believing that he was invited This rule has reference to the conduct of to return to Mexico by the President, to the President in the matter of our relations overthrow Paredes and resume his sway with foreign powers. It requires that he in that distracted country. On the same shall govern himself in these relations, by day on which the President sent his war the law of justice and of strict right, and message to Congress, which was not till that he shall leave all other nations to he had brought the armies of the two coun: manage their own internal affairs in their tries into collision, he dispatched an order to own way. It enjoins upon him the policy Com. Conner, in the Gulf, to admit Santa
and the duty of non-interference, and strict Anna to pass freely into Mexico, should he • neutrality.
present himself for that object. This was In this connection we can only refer to in May. In June he was passed in, accordthe line of conduct adopted by him to- ing to order, and shortly after succeeded wards England in regard to the Oregon in effecting the proposed revolution. question, without pretending to enter into Now the pretence and apology for this an exposition of that conduct. It was intrigue and interference with the internal wholly wanting in moderation, truth and affairs of Mexico, were, that Paredes was dignity, and but for the timely interposi- / suspected of favoring a monarchical party tion of the Senate, and the adoption of in that country. In two different proclamations, emanating directly from the Gov- | the case. But we must refuse to give ernment at Washington, and addressed to the President credit for sincerity in ascribthe Mexican people, it was avowed and ing to himself such a motive. It was not declared that a principal object of the war Mexican liberty that he was after-it was from the beginning had been to put down Mexican territory. There was no feeling the monarchists, and secure the triumph or consideration for Mexico in the matter of the republican party and system in that -except such as vultures have for lambs. country.
It was a naked design of dismembering that That the fatal movement of our troops country, through the treachery and betrayto the Rio Grande, by which the war was al of a government, or chief, to be set up precipitated, and the further prosecution of and established for that purpose, by which military operations on the line of that he was governed. It was a naked feeling of river, had a principal reference to the rapacity which dictated his whole policy. bringing about of a revolution in the gov- He wanted her territory, and he was reernment of Mexico, we suppose admits of solved to have it. Paredes stood in his way, no doubt. Hear what is said in one of the and he set on foot a plan to revolutionize the proclamations referred to:
government. He believed, undoubtedly, “Reasons of high policy and of continental
that Santa Anna would be found purchasAmerican interest precipitated events, in spite of 40
| able, and he procured his return to the the circumspection (!) of the cabinet at Wash. | country. He began in the stupid belief ington. .... When it was indulging the most that when he and Santa Anna together fattering hopes of accomplishing its aim by had effected a revolution in the governfrank explanations and reasonings (!) address- ment, there would be nothing left to be ed to the judgment and prudence of the virtuous
done but divide the spoils of their victory and patriotic government of Gen. D. J. Her- | rera (!), the misfortune least looked for dis
between them--he to take the land, and pelled this pleasant hope, (that is to say, Paredes
Santa Anna the money. He acted under assumed the government, and at the same
| a delusion, as men of small cunning are time blocked up every avenue which could very apt to do. All that he accomplished lead to an honorable settlement between the was to give back to Mexico her ablest chief two nations. The new government discarded
| and general; to impose on himself the the national interests, as well as those of Con
necessity of making the war one of tinental America, and elected in preference foreign influences the most opposed to these in
naked and undisguised conquest, and to terests and the most fatal to the future of Mex
track his way, deep, m
track his way deep in blood over every ican liberty and of the Republican System, which rood of ground trodden in his path towards the United States hold it a duty to preserve and the attainment of his grand object—the protect. Duty, honor, and dignity itself imposed dismemberment of a country, for whose upon us the necessity of not losing a season of “liberty and Republican System” he had which the monarchical party was taking the
professed such tender concern. most violent advantage, for not a moment was to be lost; and we acted with the promptness
III. But we pass to other topics. And and decision necessary in a case so urgent,"
we desire it should be understood that we &c.
do not profess to do more in this article,
than to indicate and present, in the most The object which the President had in general way, the several subjects of political view-the overthrow of Paredes, and the debate, connected with the conduct and substitution of Santa Anna in his place— policy of Mr. Polk and his administrais doubtless truly enough stated in this tion, and arranged with some regard to manifesto; but the true motive and the order and convenience, which, as we supultimate design are not here disclosed. It pose, are likely principally to occupy and was altogether foreign to his duty, and a employ the thoughts and the polemic gross violation of every sound principle, | strife of parties and political men, in the for him to interpose, and that too with the approaching presidential canvass. They army of the United States, to change the are subjects to which it is probable our government or administration of affairs in own humble labors may be a good deal Mexico, upon any ground or pretext of devoted in the stirring period just now at serving the cause of “Mexican liberty and hand. of the Republican System,” even if that! What, then, shall we say of President had been the true and honest motive in | Polk and his policy and proceerlin - when we come to consider the question—always | tration has been carrying forward. It will a vital one in a republic—whether the take some millions more to replace the government, under his lead, has made, as stores and munitions which had been it was bound to do, the practice of a rigid | gathered in years of peace and laid up for economy in the public expenditures, a the defence of the country, and which have cardinal point in its policy, and whether been expended and destroyed in the career it has strenuously aimed to avoid creating of rapacity and bucaneering ambition, by a public debt? There are some plain which the President has illustrated his brief facts which must be written down in this term of official domination. connection. As an example of what the Sixty-five millions of dollars, then, of Government is doing, it is found that its current expenditure has been as little as expenditures, during the present fiscal could suffice Mr. Polk for carrying on the year, ending on the first of July next, will operations of the government for a single not be less, probably, than sixty-five mill year. At the end of his four years he will ions of dollars. This is one fact. Another have expended in cash, received into the is this: that the public debt at the end of Treasury from ordinary sources of revenue, the present fiscal year, supposing the war and including the balance which he found to have ended by that time, and including there when he came in, about one hundred twenty-five millions of dollars to pay for and twenty-three millions, and he will have Mexican territory-a purchase which gives created and saddled upon the country beus no domain, but fastens a perpetual sides a debt of at least one hundred milcurse upon us—will amount, according to lions more. Mr. Adams's administration the best calculation we have been able to cost the country, exclusive of payments on make, only in ascertained and ascertaina- account of the public debt, an average ble items, to the formidable sum of yearly sum of about twelve millions $98,800,000. If peace shall be made on six hundred thousand, or about fifty millthe basis of the treaty lately ratified by ions five hundred thousand for four the Senate, which is yet a very doubtful years. This contrasts rather strongly issue, still the expenditures will go on out- with sixty millions, exclusive of payments running the revenues of the government; on account of public debt, expended in a and when the fourth of March, 1849, single year of Mr. Polk's administration. shall come round, bringing the present But there was no war in Mr. Adams's time. term of Mr. Polk to a period, the public There was, however, a war--a war with debt of the country will not be less than Great Britain, which taxed and tasked the one hundred and ten millions, if it shall be energies of the country to the utmostless than one hundred and twenty millions during Mr. Madison's administration; and of dollars. At the close of the pre the comparison of expenditure in this case ceding Administration, the amount of the is as little to the advantage of Mr. Polk. public debt was just about ten millions The sum of the expenses for the EIGHT of dollars, after deducting the balance years of Mr. Madison's administration was left in the Treasury. The amount of debt, | ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR MILLIONS SIX therefore, created in the time of this Ad HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, or an average ministration, and which it will leave as a of eighteen millions a year; while the sum legacy to the country, if circumstances of the expenses for the FOUR years of Mr. the most favorable shall attend it from Polk's administration, exclusive of payments this time to its close, will certainly not be on account of debt, will be more than two less than one hundred millions of dollars — HUNDRED MILLIONS ; though this will init may be a hundred and twenty millions.clude twenty-five millions to pay mainly All this, however, is exclusive of the millions for vast barren wastes of desert and expended, or promised and due, or which mountain in Mexico, or rather for jurisdicwill become due, in the shape of bounties in tion to the Imperial Government at Washpublic lands, and other millions with which ington, over such a country, and over the the Treasury will be burthened for long sparse and wretched population that vegeyears to come, in the shape of pensions, tates upon it. and to pay for claims and losses, and all | It will be for the country to say whether the odds and ends which are sure to follow any sufficient apology can be found for on after such enterprises as the Adminis- | these vast expenditures and this public