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THE character of an Administration may often be seen in the kind of persons chiefly employed by it, and the sort of treatment such persons receive at its hands. If it be mean-spirited, low, and vulgar, in its sentiments, designs, and policy, and wanting in all generous feelings and aspirations, the agents it employs will generally be found to have an original touch of its own quality, and the highest honor will attend them. Or if, by accident, or the pressure of some inexorable necessity, men of high character are called into its service, they will commonly be subjected to all sorts of tricks, intrigues, and annoyances, while in place, and rewarded in the end for the most meritorious deeds by as much obloquy as envy and malice can heap on them. The general truth here announced finds a significant example and illustration, in the administration of Mr. Polk. Men without talent and without character have had the confidence of the President, and been advanced to stations of the highest dignity and importance; whilst other men, endowed with every quality which can exalt and dignify human nature, casually in the service of the Government, have failed to secure his confidence or to meet with even common justice at his hands. In diplomacy, he intrusts a most delicate and

difficult mission to Mr. Nicholas P. Trist, a clerk in the State Department, who had never shown any fitness for any public employment requiring either capacity or character. And in the field, his favorite General and confidant is Pillow, who is utterly destitute of military talent or information, and who is proved to have been guilty of acts which must forever exclude him from the society of gentlemen. The President makes this man a Major-general, and does not dare to submit the appointment to his constitutional advisers, the Senate, though composed of a large majority of his own political friends. On the other hand, Taylor and Scott, in office in spite of the President, men of the highest professional talent, and of the highest character, each in his own sphere, have found it impossible to command the confidence of the Administration, or even its just support. Both have had to complain, first of its neglect, and finally of its enmity—an enmity which has rankled towards them respectively just in proportion to their real merits and their glorious services. General Taylor, to whose native dignity of character it does not belong to use the language of complaint, except for the gravest causes, has this significant closing paragraph forced from him in his last published letter to the Secretary of War: “The apparent determination of the Department to place me in an attitude antagonistical to the Government, has an apt illustration in the well-known fable of AEsop. But I ask no favor, and shrink from no responsibility. While intrusted with the command in this quarter, I shall continue to devote all my energies to the public good, looking for my reward to the consciousness of pure motives, and the final verdict of impartial history.” What a pregnant sketch is this—what a graphic limning of the character of the Administration, in two lines! Here is an old soldier of the Republic, covered all over with the glory of his achievements and victories, who is forced to declare, in substance, that at the end of his arduous and eminent services, the Administration has turned upon him with a deliberate purpose of fastening on him a groundless quarrel. But it is our purpose to devote this article to some exposition—such as our limits will allow—of the treatment which General Scott has received at the hands of the Administration. Nothing more unjustifiable, and, to say truly what we think and feel, nothing more atrocious, in the same line, ever marked the conduct of any government. General Scott was a marked character in this country before the Mexican war. He had rendered great and distinguished services to the country. He had shown the truest devotion to its great interests, its honor, and its renown, and he had served the country with very striking ability, both in civil and military employment. And now in this Mexican war, in a single campaign, he has placed his name on the same roll of immortal fame with the highest military geniuses of the world; inferior to none in those grand qualities which constitute a great Commander so far as he has had opportunity to display these qualities, and superior to most, if not to all, in the grander virtues of a considerate, humane and Christian Warrior. The truly great men of a country are the best property it possesses, or can possess. Their renown constitutes its renown ; their fame is its fame. In the names of its great men the country lives, and becomes known and honored in the world. At this day, in every quarter of

the globe, when our own beloved country is spoken of, and designed to be named with distinguished honor, it is called THE Country of WASHINGTON. Without its great names no country is great, or even respectable. Greece, and Rome, and Italy, are immortal on account of the immortal names that lived in those countries and illustrated their history. Among the names of real and undying renown—comparatively few in number as yet—belonging to this country to be mentioned with respect and admiration wherever we are known, and wherever we shall be known in coming times, is undoubtedly, that of WINFIELD. Scott. We do not think it too much to say that no living American citizen, now that the campaign of 1847 in Mexico is closed, has done as much to give lustre and worldwide renown to the name of his country as General Scott. Taylor, we know, has done much, and other eminent citizens have had their share in different ways, in illustrating its history. Among the most eminent of these is HENRY CLAY. And there is one citizen in particular, whose name, in a sphere less dazzling and brilliant than that of Scott, but of quite as much solid worth and advantage, more than those of all our other living statesmen together, (as Burke said of Chatham, in reference to England,) “keeps the name of this country respectable in every other on the globe.” We refer, of course, to DANIEL WEBSTER. By the side of Webster, we place Scott, though mainly distinguished in another field of glory, as one who, from this time forward, is to keep the name of his country respectable, and give it lustre and renown, wherever its name is or shall be known in the world. His fame is the property and birthright of his countrymen, and is and will be dear to every American who loves his country, and his country's honor. It is this man whose characterthe men of the present Administration have shown themselves incapable of appreciating, and whose fame—the rich property of the country—has only attracted their attention to make him the object of their jealousy and their malevolence. This is the Eagle hawked at by the mousing owls. After along course of sinister and unmanly dealings with him, their rage has finally broken over all bounds of prudence, and vented itself in an open and undisguised effort to crush him at a blow. Personally absent from the country, a state prisoner at large in the proud capital of Mexico, conquered and captured under his lead, the Secretary of War takes this occasion to draw the well-earned reputation of the brave and gallant soldier within his rough embrace, to see if he cannot, after the manner in which the relentless Bruin treats his victim, at one rude hug, squeeze the vital breath out of it. Under the plausible pretence and pretext of defending himself and the President against the complaints of General Scott, on account of their neglects and unmerited rebukes, and their failure to give him their sympathy and support, he enters on an elaborate essay, running through nine columns of closely printed matter in a newspaper, to show that Scott not only wants the qualities of an able and even a safe Commander, but lacks also those of a just and honest man. This is the real object and scope of his communication. To say that this essay is ingenious and able, is only to ive Governor Marcy credit for the talent e is known to possess. To say that it is wholly destitute of generosity, candor, fair dealing, manliness, and regard for the truth of history and for justice, is only to characterize it as it deserves. That it may temporarily mar the brightness of General Scott's fame, as it was designed to do, until the public can be put in possession of all the facts, is not at all unlikely; but we have no fears for his eventual renown. Mr. Polk may have his day of power, and Governor Marcy—the only man of real ability in his cabinet—may be his chief executioner; but they will find there are some things which their official tyranny is not potent enough to reach. They may soil and smirch the reputation of General Scott, but they cannot permanently injure or obscure it. They may make Socrates drink poison, but he will be immortal in his fame in spite of them. It is impossible for us, in a single article, to review in detail the long and labored Letter of the Secretary of War of the 21st of April, to which we have referred;— though we hope to be able, before we are through, to examine some portions of its contents, from which the character of the whole may be inferred. What we pur

pose chiefly to undertake in this article, is to bring to the notice of our readers the conduct of the Administration—false, insincere, jesuitical, hollow and heartless as it has been—towards General Scott, from the commencement of the Mexican War. When the real character—the unmitigated baseness—of that conduct is once known to the country, the Secretary's Letter will then be read with no fear of danger to anybody's reputation beyond the circle of the Administration. When this war broke out, General Scott was Major-general commanding in chief the army of the United States, having his head-quarters at Washington. After the war had been carried on for six months, according to the President's ideas of prosecuting a war with vigor, and no peace or prospect of peace was secured, General Scott was called to the field. He carried the war to the capital of the enemy's country, by a series of achievements amidst difficulties and discouragements, never surpassed in any campaign in the whole history of human wars; and a treaty of peace was made—wanting, however, as yet, the ratification of the Mexican Government. When all this was done, General Scott was dismissed from the service of the country as commander of the army still in the field, in very exact accordance with his own prediction recorded in a letter to the Government, written on the 25th of July last. Detained still in Mexico by the order of the Government, he employed an early moment of leisure “to recall some of the neglects, disappointments, injuries and rebukes” which he had suffered from the Administration. This was his letter of the 24th of February, and which has been made the occasion of the Secretary's assault upon his character and fame in his elaborate paper of the 21st of April—a paper more replete with ill-disguised bitterness, with unfounded accusations, and slanderous imputations, than ever before emanated from an Executive Department of this government. General Scott's letter brought no new complaints, or none of any importance, against the Administration. The same complaints had been made before, in successive communications to the Department of War, as the events had occurred, and to which answers, and explanations, and argumentations had been

offered in reply—or such explanations and argumentations (apologies and excuses in reality) had accompanied the offensive acts. The General's present letter was a summary of these complaints, in which they were brought together, and placed on record, for more easy reference. And we make bold to say, in the face of all the ingenious plausibilities of the Secretary's reply, that there is not one of these complaints that has not a substantial foundation in truth, and so it will be made to appear when the facts shall be brought to light. The Secretary's Letter in reply had not so much for its object to defend the Administration over again against these complaints, as to attempt a justification before the country, in the absence of the General, for its contemptuous dismissal of him from the command of the army in the field, by this assault on his character and conduct. We shall undertake to show how much credit for candor and honesty is due to the Administration in this attempt. The substance of the complaints of General Scott, leaving all specifications out of the case, as these complaints are clearly gathered from his recent and previous communications, was this : That the confidence, and the active, candid and steady support of the Executive Government, had not been extended to him, as had been solemnly promised when he took the field, but on the contrary, he had been subjected to neglects, mortifications, disappointments, injuries and rebukes from the Government; and that the War Department, from which he had expected better things, so far from coming to his rescue or relief in the trying circumstances in which he had been placed, had wholly failed to give him its support,

or even its sympathy. This we say is the

substance of the complaints preferred by General Scott, and we are prepared to maintain and show that it is true to the letter, and that much more than this is true; though it has suited the purpose of the Secretary of War, in his defence, to talk as if he was really surprised that such notions should have found a lodgment in the General's mind, and to speak of the whole thing as “a delusion,” “a fondlycherished chimera,” and the offspring of “a mind of diseased sensibility.” We wonder a little that the Secretary should

have dared to venture on so bold a tone of defence as this, in the face of notorious facts, familiar to him certainly, and not less so to all intelligent and observing persons in the country, and which, wherever they are known, do not fail to convict the Executive Government, not only of having sent General Scott to the field without giving him its confidence, its candid support, or its sympathy, but of having acted towards him in bad faith, and entertaining towards him feelings of opposition and enmity, and a false disposition and design to betray him, and cast him off at the earliest moment at which it might be practicable or safe to do so. The treacherous, insincere and jesuitical conduct of the Executive Government towards General Scott cannot be fully exhibited and understood, without going back to the beginning of this war. When hostilities began, there had been no preparatory augmentation of our forces in the field. An Army of Observation, soon to become an Army of Occupation, was on the frontier towards Mexico, under the command of Taylor, then a Colonel in the line, but holding a brevet commission of Brigadier. It does not admit of a doubt that the President at that period was deluding himself with the notion, that a show of force on the Rio Grande, with perhaps an unimportant brush or two with any small amount of Mexican forces gathered there, would scare the Mexican Government into almost any terms of accommodation with the powerful Republic of the North which he might see fit to dictate. For such a little war, Brevet Brigadier-general Taylor, who was known already to be a judicious and brave officer, was regarded as being quite competent and sufficient. When, however, it became suddenly known at Washington that Mexico had assumed an attitude of determined resistance, and had already, by overwhelming numbers, placed Taylor and his little army in a condition of imminent hazard, a corresponding alarm was felt, and an immediate call was made upon Congress to adopt the war, and meet the exigency by authorizing the organization of a large force for the field. The act for this purpose was passed and approved on the 13th of May, 1846; and on the same day, General Scott, commanding the army in chief, by his com

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