« AnkstesnisTęsti »
individuals, there must be great room for operating on the minds and feelings of large portions of the inhabitants, and inducing them to wish success to an invasion which has no desire to injure their country; and which, in overthrowing their oppressors, may benefit themselves. Between the Spaniards, who monopolize the wealth and power of the country, and the mixed Indian race, who bear its burdens, there must be jealously and animosity. The same feelings must exist between the lower and higher orders of the clergy; the latter of whom have the dignities and the revenues while the former have poverty and labor.
In all this field of division — in all these elements of social, political, personal, and local discord — there must be openings to reach the interests, passions, or principles of some of the parties, and thereby to conciliate their good will, and make them coöperate with us in bringing about an honorable and speedy peace.
“ Availing yourself of divisions which you may find existing among the Mexican people — to which allusion has been made it will be your policy to encourage the separate departments or States, and especially those which you may invade and occupy, to declare their independence of the central government of Mexico, and either to become our allies, or to assume, as it is understood Yucatan bas done, a neutral attitude in the existing war between the United States and Mexico.
• It is far from being certain that our military occupation of the enemy's country is not a blessing to the inhabitants in the vicinity.*"
She is told that “to require ” supplies “as contributions without paying or engaging to pay therefor” is the ordinary mode; “ and you are instructed to adopt it, if in that way you are satisfied you can get abundant supplies for your forces.
It seems that $3,8-14,000 was thus and in various other ways taken from the Mexicans. Grave Senators doubted that the President had the right to legislate and levy contributions in Mexico, or elsewhere, without act of the Legislature, but cedant togae armis! Yet Mr. Buchanan could say on the 6th of October, 1847, “ We have paid fair and even extravagant prices for all the supplies which we have received." I
The war once begun it was to be prosecuted to a succesful termination;" that is, to the dismemberment of Mexico. Captain Sloat lands at Monterey, on the Pacific coast of Mex
* Letter of Mr. Marcy, July 9th and Sept. 22d, 1846, ubi sup., p. 333, et seq., and 341, et seq. See, also, more of the same sort,” in Executive Document, No. 14, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 5, et seq. † Jay, p. 238, and Executive document No.1, 30th Congress, Ist Session, p. 17.
Executivo Document, No. 52, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 92. See also
ico, on the 7th of July 1846, issues his proclamation and declares that, “ henceforward California will be a portion of the United States, ... and the same protection will be extended to them as to the other States of the Union." Commodore Stockton sets up his “ Ebenezer” at Cindad de los Angelos on the 17th of August, 1816, and says, “ I, Robert F. Stockton, do hereby make known to all men,
do now declare it (Upper and Lower California,] to be a Territory of the United States, under the name of the Territory of California.” † Here is annexation without the least delay; swift enough to satisfy even South Carolina.
One pleasant thing we find in looking through the disagreeble and often hypocritical documents connected with the Mexican war.
That is, the instructions sent by Mr. Bancroft to Commodore Connor, July 11th, 1845:
“ This is, perhaps, the largest fleet that ever sailed under the American flag; and while it is sufficient, in case of war, to win glory for yourself, your associates, and the country, you will win still higher glory, if, by the judicious management of your force, you
contribute to the continuance of peace.” I In his second annual message, Dec. 8th, 1816, Mr. Polk said, the war has not been waged with a view to conquest; but having been commenced by Mexico, it has been carried into the enemy's country, and will be vigorously prosecuted there, with a view to obtain an honorable peace, and thereby secure an ample indemnity for the expenses of the war.” But in the message of Dec. 7th, 1847, he says, “ as Mexico refuses all indemnity, we should adopt measures to indemnify ourselves, by appropriating permanently a portion of her territory."
New Mexico and California were taken possession of by our forces ;” “I am satisfied that they should never be surrendered to Mexico.”' || Some one said to General Pillow, "I thought the object of your movement in this war was a treaty of peace." “ True,” (replied General Pillow) “ that is the object of the war; but the object of this campaign was, to capture the capital, and then make peace ;” again, “ this army has not come to conquer a peace; it has come to conquer the country;" we will make them dine and sup on the horrors of war. The statements of Mr. Polk require no comment. We do not wish to apply to them the only word we know in the English tongue which describes them.
* Executive Document, No. 60, ubi sup., p. 261. † Ibid, p. 268.
Executive Document, No. 60. ubi sup. p. 232. $Executive Document, No. 4, 29th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 22. li See Executive Document, No. 1, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 12.
[ Trist's Letter to Buchanan, in Executive Document, No. 22, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 265.
We shall say nothing of the conduct of the administration during the war; nothing of the introduction of Santa Anna into Mexico; nothing of its quarrels with its officers, or their quarrels with one another; nothing of the contracts made with individuals for ships and other things needful in the war. The documents in the margin contain some remarkable things.t The President made the war, and Mr. Nicholas P. Trist, “ a Secretary in the department of State," made the peace. As the war was begun by Mr. Polk without legal authority, so the treaty was made without legal authority. The Senate confirmed it.
There is one valuable provision in the treaty, designed to prevent depredations on private property in case of war, and other gratuitous cruelty. One or two things in the correspondence of Mr. Trist are too remarkable to pass by. June 2d, 1847, he writes to Mr. Buchanan, speaking of a certain boundary :
" It includes a vast and rich country, with many inhabitants. ' It is too much to take. The population is mostly as dark as our mulattoes, and nominally free, and would be actually so under our government. The North would oppose taking it lest slavery should be established there; and the South lest its colored population should be received as citizens, and protect their runaway slaves." Again, Sept. 4:
Among the points which came under discussion was the exclusion of slavery from all territory which should pass from Mexico. In the course of their remarks on the subject, I was told
* Ibid, p. 275.
† See Executive Documents, Nos. 1 and 60, 30th Congress, 1st Session, (correspondence with Generals Taylor and Scott;) Nos. 33 and 65, (trial of Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont and Major-General Pillow;) No. 29, (contracts under authority of the War Department;) and No. 52, (correspondence of Mr. Tris and others relative to the negotiation of a treaty with Mexico.)
Articles XXII. and XXIII. of the Treaty, Executive Document, No. 52, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 62, et seq. The ideas and language thereof are copied from the celebrated treaty of 1785, between the United States and Prussia. See the treaty (negotiated by Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, ratified by Congress May 17th, 1786,) in Secret Journal of Congress. Boston. 1821. Vol. IV. pp. 25-43. (Article XXIII. et seq.)
that if it were proposed to the people of the United States to part with a portion of their territory, in order that the inquisition bhould be therein established, the proposal could not excite stronger feelings of abhorence than those awakened in Mexico by the prospect of the introduction of slavery in any territory parted with by her. Our conversation on this topic was perfectly trank, and no less friendly; and the more effective upon their minds, inasmuch as I was enabled to say, with perfect security, that although their impressions respecting the practical fact of slavery, as it existed in the United States, were, I had no doubt, entirely erroneous; yet there was probably no difference between my individual views and sentiments on slavery, considered in itself, and those which they entertained. I concluded by assuring them that the bare mention of the subject in any treaty to which the United States were a party, was an absolute impossibility; that no President of the United States would dare to present any such treaty to the Senate; and that if it were in their power to offer me ihe whole territory described in our project, increased tenfold in value, and, in addition to that, covered a foot thick all over with pure gold, upon the single condition that slavery should be excluded therefrom, I could not entertain the offer for a moment, nor think even of communicating it to Washington. The matter ended in their being fully satisfied that this topic was one not to be touched, and it was dropped, with good feeling on both sides."*
America had Mexico entirely at her mercy, and wanted "indemnity for the past, and security for the future ;” “ in. demnity for the cost of the war." She took California and New Mexico. The portion of the territory West of the Rio Grande, according to Mr. Walker's statement, amounts to 526,078 square miles, or 336,689,920 acres; (Texas, within its “ assumed limits,” contains 325,529 square miles, or 208,332,800 acres.) † For this, the United States are to pay Mexico $15,000,000, and abandon all the celebrated claims which Mr. Slidell estimated at $8,187,684, paying to our citizens, however, not more than $3,250,000. Taking the smallest sum — the United States pays Mexico for the territory $18,250,000, and throws in the cost of the war that being set off, it is likely, against the “ imperishable glory” with which the soldiers have " covered themselves." Certainly, we must be in great want of land to refuse to pay more than our “ claims,” and $25,000,000, and then actually pay the " claims" and 15,000,000, flinging in all the cost of the war, and the loss of 1,689 persons killed in battle, or perishing of their wounds received therein, and 6,173 who had died by disease and accidents.
* Executive Document, No. 52, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 199. † Executive Document, No. 70, 30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 9.
If England bad one of her victims as completely at her feet as Mexico lay helpless at ours, she would have demanded all the public property of Mexico, a complete “ indemnity for the cost of the war," and a commercial treaty highly disadvantageous to Mexico, and highly profitable to England. Why was Mr. Polk so moderate? Had the administration become moral, and though careless of the “natural justice” of the war, careful about justice in the settlement? We wish we could think so. But there were a few men in the land hostile to the war; some because it was WAR, some because it was a WICKED war. These men, few in number, obscure in position, often hated, and sometimes persecuted, reproached by the President as affording “aid and comfort to the enemy,” being on the side of the Eternal Justice, had it on their side. The moral portion of both political parties — likewise a small portion, and an obscure, not numbering a single eminent name, -- opposed the war, and the government trembled. The pretensions of the South, her arrogance, her cunning, awakened at last the tardy North. Men began to talk of the “ Wilnot Proviso;” of restricting slavery. True, some men fired by the Instinct for Office cried “ be still," and others, fired with the Instinct for Gold, repeated the cry,“ be still." There were those who had the Instinct for Justice and they would not be still; no, nor will not; never. The slaveholders themselves began to tremble — and hence the easy conditions on which Mexico was let off.
The cost of the war it is not easy, or perhaps possible, at this moment, to make out;ť but we can ascertain the sums already paid. The cost of the army and navy for the three years ending 30th June, 1846, was $37,615,879.15; for the three years ending 30th June, 1839, $100,157,128.25. The difference between them is a part of the cost of the war, and amounts to $62,541,249.10. There have been paid for “ Mexican War Bounty Scrip,” $233,075; a part of the money obtained from Mexico, say $3,000,000; 65,000 land warrants, each for 160 acres of land, at $1.25 per acre, (by
* Executive Document, No. 36, 30th Congress, 1st Session.
† See, who will, a Sermon of the Mexican War, &c., &c., by Theodore Parker. (Boston. 1848.) pp. 10, et seq., and 17, et seq.