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the 30th degree of latitude, and then West to the Pacific”!! It was, however, on reflection, thought this was more than was necessary; and so, on the 16th December of the same year, the Texan Legislature voted themselves parts of New Mexico, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, about equal in extent to the whole of Texas itself. This additional territory is bounded by the Rio Grande, and hence, and in virtue of this act of the 16th December, 1836, when the Texan Government did not own or possess jurisdiction over one inch of land on the Rio Grande, Mr. Polk ordered General Taylor, 15th June, 1845, to hold himself in readiness to march his troops into Texas, where “ you wlll select and occupy, on or near the Rio Grande del Norte, such a site as will consist with the health of the troops, and will be best adapted to repel invasion, and to protect what, in the event of annexation, will be OUR WESTERN FRONTIER.

The act of the Texan Legislature, of course, no more deprived Mexico of her right to Santa Fé, than it could have deprived us of our right to Oregon. Mr. Polk, in claiming thus early the Rio Grande as the western boun. dary of the United States, and ordering a military force to take possession of it, acted in his capacity of chief magistrate, and either with or without authority. As the claim he advanced to this boundary, and his measures to enforce that claim, led to hostilities, it is important to inquire how far this .gentleman was authorised by the laws of his country, to involve it in the calamity of war.

It was only in the event of annexation, that Mr. Polk claimed the Rio Grande as the western boundary of the United States. Hence it becomes important to ascertain, if the act of annexation did indeed transfer to the United States the territories voted to itself by the Republic of Texas. The Tyler treaty of annexation was silent as to boundaries; and why? Let Mr. Calhoun, who negotiated it, answer. No sooner was the treaty signed, than the Secretary officially informed the Mexican Government, that the United States had “ taken every precaution to make the terms of the treaty as little objectionable to Mexico as possible ; and, among others, has left the boundary of Texas without specification, so that what the line of boundary should be might be an open question, to be fairly and fully discussed and settled according to the rights of each."

Notwithstanding this letter, it was objected to the treaty in the Senate, that the very absence of all specification of boundary might be regarded as an implied sanction of the ridiculous pretensions of Texas. Mr. Benton who, as we have seen, was one of the earliest advocates of annexation, indignantly rejected the idea, that Texas could confer upon the United States title to territory she never owned. In his speech against the ratification of the treaty, he used the following language: “I wash my hands of all attempts to dismember the Mexican Republic by seizing her dominions in New Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas. The treaty, in all that relates to the boundary of the Rio Grande, is an act of unparalleled outrage on Mexico. It is the seizure of two thousand miles of her territory, without a word of explanation with her, by virtue of a treaty with Texas to which she is no party. By this declaration, the thirty thousand Mexicans in the left half of the valley of the Rio del Norte are our citizens, and standing, in the language of the President's Message, in a hostile attitude towards us, and subject to be repelled as invaders. Taos, the seat of the Custom-house, where our caravans enter their goods, is ours; Santa Fé the capital of New Mexico is ours— Governor Armijo is our Governor, and subject to be tried

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for treason, if he does not submit to us ; twenty Mexican towns and villages, * are ours, and their peaceful inhabitants cultivating their fields and tending their flocks, are suddenly converted by a stroke of the President's pen into American citizens or American rebels.

“I therefore propose, as an additional resolution, applicable to the Rio del Norte boundary only, the one which I will read, and send to the Secretary's table, and one on which I shall at the proper time ask the vote of the Senate. This is the resolution :

Resolved, that the incorporation of the left bank of the Rio del Norte into the American Union, by virtue of a treaty with Texas, comprehending, as the said incorporation would do, a part of the Mexican departments of New Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, would be an act of aggression on Mexico, for all the consequences of which the United States would stand responsible.”

There can be no doubt the resolution would have passed, had not the rejection of the treaty prevented a vote being taken. Mr. Silas Wright, a distinguished democratic Senator from New York, afterwards vindicating his vote against the treaty, asserted, “I believed that the treaty, from the boundaries that must be implied from it, if Mexico would not treat with us, embraced a country to which Texas had no claim, over which she had never asserted jurisdiction, and which she had no right to cede." It thus appears that, in 1844, Messrs. Tyler and Calhoun admitted the boundary of the Rio Grande to be an open question; while Messrs. Wright and Benton, and probably a great majority of the Senate, disclaimed and repudiated all right whatever to what Mr. Polk terms our western frontier.”

* The following are some of the Mexican towns and settlements along the east border of the Rio Grande, which according to Mr. Polk, are on our side “ the boundary line of the United States,” but in which, at the time of the invasion, was not to be found one single magistrate holding a commission either from the Federal Government, or the State of Texas-viz Taos, Peuris, Grampa, Embudo, Namba, San Juan, Vitior, San Domingo, San Branilla, San Aux, San Dios, Albuquerque, San Fernanda, Valencia, Fonclara, Las Nutrias, Alamillo, San Pasqual, Christobal, Las Pepuallas, Presidio, Dolores, Loredo, and Point Isabel.

On the 3rd March, 1845, Congress passed an act allowing drawback on goods exported to “Santa Fé in Mexico.But according to the Texan Act of 16th December, 1836, Santa Fé was in the Republic of Texas. Here, then, we have, on the part of the Congress of the United States, a distinct repudiation of the paper boundaries set up by the victors at San Jacinto. We had, moreover, a Consul at Santa Fé, recognized not by the Texan but the Mexican Government. Yet it was after this act was passed, and before we had acquired a title to a foot of Texan land, that Mr. Polk took measures to seize by force of arms the territory on the Rio Grande, in case of annexation.

Falsehood is ever inconsistent with itself. Mr. Polk, in his Message, 8th December, 1846, speaking of the actual separation of Texas from Mexico previous to annexation, uses the expression, “ No hostile foot finding rest within her territory for six or seven years.”

Yet all this time, Mexican villages east of the Rio Grande were governed by Mexican laws and magistrates, and the Secretary-atWar, in ordering General Taylor to advance to that river, warns him of the Mexican military establishments on this side of it. If no hostile foot had found rest in Texan territory for six or seven years, then most certainly the Rio Grande territory was not in Texas. Mr. Polk, moreover, tells Congress that, in December, 1836, a Texan law declared "the Rio Grande from its mouth to its source to be their boundary, and by the said act they extended


their civil and political jurisdiction over the country up to that boundary ;” and yet in this very same Message he announces to Congress that, “ by rapid movements the province of New Mexico, with Santa Fé, its capital, has been cuptured without bloodshed.” But Santa Fé was on the East of the Rio Grande, and far below its source, and therefore, according to the President, included within the Territory of Texas. And why was it captured if no hostile foot rested in it ?

Let us now inquire with what boundaries we received Texas. The terms of the joint resolutions were, “Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas, may be erected into a new State to be called the State of Texas, &c.; said State to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this Government of all questions of boundaries that may arise with other governments.” Here is no sanction of the act of 16th December, 1836, no claim of title founded on it, but an indirect admission that Texas has made unfounded claims, and we mean to take not what she claims, but what she rightfully owns; and this we will settle with Mexico of course by treaty, the President and Senate being “this Governmentmentioned in the resolution. The resolutions embracing this language were officially approved of by Mr. Polk, immediately on his accession to the Presidency; and yet, notwithstanding they thus rejected all title to territory founded on Texan claims, reserving to the President and Senate the decision of what should be “our Western frontier,” Mr. Polk resolved not merely to decide that question of his own will and pleasure, but to maintain his decision at the point of the bayonet, without any consultation with the Senate, and without waiting to discuss it with Mexico. For many years a question existed between Great Britain and the

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