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Boon's Lick times. [volume] (Fayette, Mo.) 1840-1848, December 18, 1847, Image 1

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President's Message.
FeQou Citizens of the Senate
and House of Representative! :
'' The annual meeting of Congress ia al
ways an interesting event. The represen
tative of the States and of the people,
come fresh from their constituents, to take
counsel together for the common good, af
ter an existence of near three fourths of a
century, as a free and independent republic.
The problem no longer remains to be solved
whether man is capable of self govern
ment. The success of our admirable sys
tem is a conclusive refutation of the theo
ries, of those in other countries, who main
tain that a favored few are born to rule,
that the mass of mankind must be govern
ed by force one subject to arbitrary or
hereditary authority. The people are the
only sovereigns recognized by our consti
tution. Numerous emigrants, of every
lineage and language, attracted by the ci
vil and religious freedom we enjoy, and by
our happy condition, annually crowd to our
shores, and transfer their hearts, not less
than their allegiance, to the country where
dominion belongs alone to the people. No
country has been so much favored, or
should acknowledge with deeper reverence
the manifestations of the Divine protection.
An All-wise Creator directed and guarded
us in our infant struggles for freedom, and
has constantly watched over our surprising
progress, until we have become one of the
great nations of the earth. It is in a coun
try thus favored, and under a government
in which the executive and legislative
branches hold their authority for limited
periods, alike from the people, and where
all are responsible to their respective con
stituencies, that it is again my duty to coin
municate with Congress, upon the state of
the Union and the present condition of
public affairs.
During the past year, the most gratify
ing proofs are presented, that our country
has been blessed with a wide spread and
universal prosperity. There has been no
period, sinee the government was founded
when all the industrial pursuits of our peo
ple have been more successful, or when la
bor in all branches of business has received
a fairer or belter reward. From our abun
dance, we have been enabled to per
form the pleasing duty of furnishing
food for the starving millions of less
favored countries. In the enjoyment of
the bounties of Providence al home such
as have rarely fallen to the lot of any peo
ple, it is cause of congratulation that our
intercourse with all the powers of the
earth, except Mexico, continues to be of an
amicable character. It has ever been our
cherished policy to cultivate peace and
eood will with all nations, and this policy
has been steadily pursued by me.
No change has taken place in our rela
tions with Mexico since the adjournment
of the last Congress. The war in which
the United States were forced to engage
with the government of that country, still
I deem it unnecessary, after the full ex
position of them contained in my message
of the 15th of May, 1846, and my annual
message at the commencement of the ses
sion of Congress in December last, to reit
erate the serious causes of complaint which
we had against Mexico before she com
menced hostilities. It is sufficient on the
present occasion to say, that the wanton
violations of the rights of persons and
property of our citizens committed by
Mexico, her repeated acts of bad faith
through a long series of years, and her dis
regard of solemn treaties stipulating for
indemnity to our injured citizens, not only
constituted ample cause of war on our
part, but were of such an aggravated char
acter as would have justified us before the
whole world in resorting to this extreme
remedy. With an anxious desire to avoid
rupture between the two countries, we
forbore for years to assert our rights by
force, and continued to seek redress for the
wrongs we had suffered, by amicable nego
tiations, in the hope that Mexico might
yield to pacific counsels, and the demands
of justice. In this hope we were disap
pointed. Our minister of peace, sent to
Mexico, was insultingly rejected. The
Mexican Government refused even to hear
the terms of adjustment which he was au
thorized to propose, and finally, under
wholly unjustifiable pretexts, involved the
(wo countries in war, by invading territory
of the State of Texas, striking the first
blow, and shedding the blood of our citizens
on our own soil.
Though the United States were the ag
grieved nation, Mexico commenced the
war, and we were compelled, in self-defence,
to repel the invader, and to vindi
cate the national honor and interests, by
prosecuting it with vigor until we should
obtain a just and honorable peace.
On learning that hostilities had been
commenced by Mexico, I promptly comma
nicated that fact, accompanied with a sue
cinct statement of our other causes of com
plaint against Mexico, to Congress, and
that body, by the act of 13th May, 1846.de
dared, that by the act of the Hepublic of
Mexico, a state of war existed between
that Government and the United States.
This act, declaring war to exist by the act
of the Hepublic of Mexico, and making
provision for its prosecution, to a speedy
and successful termination, was passed
with great unanimity by Congress, there
being but two negative votes in the Senate,
: end but fourteen in the House of Repre
sentatives. The existence of the war ha
ving thus beerr declared by Congress, it be
came my duty, under tho constitution and
the laws, to conduct and prosecute it. This
duty has been performed, and though at
ievery stage of its progress,! have manifes
ted a willingness to terminate it by a just
peace, Mexico has refused to accede to any
terms which could be accepted by the Uni
ted States, consistently with the national
honor and interests. The rapid and brill
iant success of our armies, and the vast
extent of the enemy's territory, which had
been overrun and conquerred before the
close of the last session of Congress, were
Vol. 8.
fully known to that body. Since that time
the war has been prosecuted with increased
energy, and I am gratified to state, with a
success which commands universal admira
tion. History presents no parallel of so
many glorious victories achieved by any
nation, within so short a period. Our ar
my, regulars and volunteers, have crowned
themselves with imperishable honors, when
ever and wherever our forces have en
countered the enemy. Though he was in
variably superior in numbers, and often en
trenched in fortified positions, of his own
selection and great strength, he has been
defeated. Too much praise cannot be be
stowed upon our officers and men, regulars
and volunteers, and their gallantry, disci
pline, indomitable courage and persever
ance all seeking the post of danger, and
vieing with each other in deeds of noble
daring. While every patriot heart must
exult, and a just national pride animate ev
ery bosom, on beholding the high proofs
of courage, consummate military skill, stea
dy discipline and humanity to the vanquish
ed enemy, exhibited by our trallant army,
the nation is called to mourn over the loss
of many bravo officers and soldiers, who
have fallen in defence of their country's
honor and interests. The brave dead met
their melancholy fato in a foreign land, no
bly discharging their duty, and with their
country's flag triumphantly waving in the
face of the foe. Their patriotic deeds are
justly appreciated, and will long be remem
bered by their gratelul countrymen. The
parental care of the government they love
and served, should be extended to their sur
viving families.
Shortly after the adjournment of the last
session of Congress, the gratifying intelli
gence was received of the battle of Buena
Vista, and of the fall of the city of Vera
Cruz, and with it the strong Castle of San
Juan d'Ulloa, by which it was defended.
Believing that after these and other success
es, so honorable to our arms, and so disas
trous to Mexico, the period propitious to
afford her an opportunity, if she thought
proper so embrace it, to enter into negotia
tions for peace, a Commissioner was ap
pointed to proceed to the headquarters
our army, with full powers to enter on ne
gotiations, and conclude a just and honora
ble peace. He was hot directed to make
any new overtures of peace, but was a
bearer of a despatch from the Secretary of
Slate ot the United states, to the Minister
of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, in reply to
one received from the latter, of the 22d
February, 1847, in which the Mexican Go
vernment was informed of his appointment.
and of his presence at the headquarters of
ot our army, and that he was invested with
full powers to conclude a definite treaty of
peace whenever the Mexican Government
might signify a desire so to do. While I
was unwilling to subject the United States
to another indignant refusal, I was yet re
solved that the evils of the war should not
be protracted longer than might be ren
dered absolutely necessary by the Mexican
Government. Care was taken to give no
instructions to the Commissioner which
could in any way interfere with our milita
ry operations, or relax our energies, in the
prosecution of the war. He possessed no
authority, in any manner, to control these
operations. He was authorized to exhibit
his instructions to the General in command
of the army, and, in the event of a treaty
being concluded and ratified, on the part of
.Mexico, he was directed to give him notice
of that fact. On the happening of such a
contingency, and on receiving notice there
of, the General in command was instruct
ed, by the Secretary of War, to suspend
active military operations until further or
ders. These instructions were given with
a view to intermit hostilities until the trea
ty, thus ratified by Mexico, could be trans
mitted to Washington, and receive the
sanction of the United States.
The Commissioner was also directed, on
reaching the army, to deliver to the Gene
ral in command, the despatch which he
bore from the Secretary of State to tho
Minister of foreign Atfairs of Mexico,
and, on receiving it, the General was in
structed, by the Secretary of War, to
cause it to be transmitted to the comman
der of the Mexican forces, with a request
that it might be communicated to his gov
The Commissioner did not reach the
headquarters of the army until another
brilliant victory had crowned our arms at
Cerro Gordo.
The despatch which he bore from the
Secretary of War to the General in com
mand, was received by that officer, then at
Jalapa, on the 7th day of May, 1847, to
gether with the despatch of the secretary
of state to the minister of foreign Affairs
in Mexico, having been transmitted to him
from Vera Cruz. The Commissioner ar
rived at the herdquartcrs of the army a few
days afterwards. His presence with the
army and his diplomatic character, were
made known to the Mexican Government
from Puebla, on the 13th of June, 1847,
by the transmission of the despatch from
the Secretary of State to the Minister of
tureign anairsof Mexico. Many weeks
elapsed after its receipt, and no overtures
were made, nor was any desire expressed
by the Government of Mexico to enter
into negotiations for peace.
Our army pursued its march upou the
capital, and, as it approached, it was met
by a formidable resistance. Our forces
first encountered the enemy, and achieved
signal victories in the contested battles of
Contreras and Churubusco. It was not
until after these actions resulted in decisive
victories, and the capital of the enemy was
in our power, that the Mexican Govern
ment manifested any disposition to enter
into any negotiations for peace, and even
s lick ti.
then, events have proved, there is too much
reason to believe, they were insincere, and
that in agreeing to go through the forms of
negotiation, the object was to give time to
strengthen the defences of the capital and
prepare for fresh resistance.
The General in command of the army
deemed it expedient to suspend hostilities,
temporarily entering into an armistice, with
a view to the opening of negotiations
and commissioners were appointed on the
part of Mexico to meet the Commissioners
on the part of the United States. . The
result of the conferences which took place
between these functionaries of the two gov
ernments, was a failure of a treaty of
peace. The Commissioner of the United
States took with him the projetof a treaty,
prepared, by the terms of which the indem
city required by the United States was a
cession of territory.
it is well known, that the only indemnity
which it is in the power of Mexico to make,
in satisfaction of tho just and long defer
red claims of our citizens asainst her. and
the only means by which she can reimburse
the United States for the expenses of the
war, is a cession to the United States of a
portion of her territory. Mexico has no
money to pay, and no other means of ma
king the required indemnity. If we re
fuse it, we can obtain nothing else. To re
ject indemnity, by refusing a cession of
territory, would be to abandon all our just
demands and to wage the war, bearing all
us expenses, without a purpose or definite
A state of war abrogates treaties
previously existing between the bellig
erents, and a treaty of peace puts an
end to all claims for indemnity for tortuous
acts committed under the authority of one
government against the citizens and sub
jects of another. A treaty of peace which
would terminate the existing war without
providing for indemnity, would enable
Mexico, an acknowledged debtor, and her
self the aggressor in the war. to relieve
herself of her just liabilities.
By such a treaty, our citizens, who hold iust
demands ngainst her, would have no remedy for
them, either against Mexico or their own govern
ment. Our duty to these citizens must ever
prevent such a peace, and no treaty which does
not provide ample means of discharging those
demands, can receive my sanction.
A treaty or peace should settle all existing dif
ferences between the two countries. If an ade
quate cession of territory be such a treaty, the
U. S. should release Mexico from all her lia
bilities, and assume their payment to our own
citizens- If. instead of this, the United Slates
now to consent to a treaty by which Mexico
should again engage to pay the heavy amount
of indebtedness which a just indemnity to our
government and citizens would impose upon her,
it is notorious that she does not possess ihe means
to meet such an undertaking. From such a trea
ty, no result coulc be anticipated but the same
irritating disappointments which have heretofore
attended the violations of similar treaty stipula
tions on the part of Mexico. Such a treaty
would be but a temporary cessation of hostilities,
without the restoration of the friendship and
good understanding which should characterize
the intercourse between the two countries.
That Conzr33 contemplated the acceptance
of territorial indemnity, when that body made
provision for the prosecution of the war, is obvi.
ous. Congress could not have meant when, in
May, 1846, they appropriated ten millions of
dollars, and authorized tho President to employ
the militia and naval and military forces of the
United States, and to accept the services of ten
thousand volunteers, to enable him to prosecute
the war: and when at their last session, and after
our army had invaded Mexico, they made addi
tional (appropriations, and authorized the raising
of additional troops for the same purpose, that
no indemnity was to be obtained from Mexico, at
the conclusion of the war; and yet it was certain,
that if no Mexican territory was acquired, that
no indemnity could bo obtained.
It is flintier manifest, that Congress contem
plated territorial indemnity, from the fact, that,
at their last session, an act was passed, upon the
hiecutive recommendation, appropriating three
millions of dollars, w'uh thai express object.
The appropriation was made to enable the Pres
ident to conclude a treaty of peace, limits and
boundaries, with the Republic of Mexico, to be
used by him in the event that said treaty, when
signed by the authorized agents of the two gov
ernments, and duly ratified by Mexico, shall
call for the expenditure of the same, or any part
ihereol. the object of asking this appropria
tion was distinctly stated, in the several mes
ages on the subject which I communicated.
Siinlar appropiiations, made in 1903 and 1806,
which were referred to, were applied in part
consideration for the cession of Louisiana and
tho Floiidas. In like manner, it was antic
ipated that, in seuline the terms of a treaty of
limits and boundaries with Mexico, a cession
of terrtory, estimated to be of greater value than
the amount of our demands against her, might
be obtained, and thai the prompt payment of
this sum, in part consideration lor tne territory
ceded, on ihe conclusion of a treaty, and its rati
fication on her part, might be an inducement,
with her. to make such a cession of territory as
would be satisfactory to the United States: and,
although the failure to conclude such a treaty
has rendered it unnecessary to use any of the
three millions appropriated by that act, and the
entire sum still remains in the Treasury, it is still
applicable to that object, should the contingen
cy occur making such appropriation proper.
The doctrine of no territory is the doctrine of
no indemnity, and if sanctioned, would be a
public acknowledgment that our country was
wrong, and that the war declared by congress,
with extraordiuary unanimity, was unjust and
should be abandoned; an admission unfounded
in fact and degrading to the national character
The terms of tha treaty proffered by the United
States were not only just to Mexico, but, con
sidering the character and amount of our claims,
the unjustifiable and unprovoked commence
ment of hostilities by her, the expenses of the
war to which we have been subjected, and tha
success whicb had attended our arms, were
deemed to be of a most liberal character
The commissioner gf tht United Slates was
authorized to agree to tha establishment of the
Rio Grande as the boundary, from its entrance
into the Gulf, to its intersection with tho southern
boundary of New Mexico in north latitude about
twenly-two degrees, and to obtain a cession to
the United States of tha province of New Mex
ico and the California, and the privilege of the
right of way across the isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Ihe boundary ot the Kio Urande and the ces
sion to the United Mates of JSew Mexico and
Upper California, constituted an ultimatum
which our commissioner was, under no circum
stances, to yield; that it might be manifest, not
only to Mexico, but to all other nations, that
the United States were not disposed to take ad
vantage of a feeble power, by insisting upon
wresting from her all her other provinces, in
cluding many of her principal towns and cities,
which we had conquered and held in our military
occupation, but were willing to conclude the
treaty in a spirit of liberality. Our commissioner
was also authorized to stipulate for the restora
tion to Mexico of all our other conquests.
As Ihe territory to be acquired by the boundary
proposed might he estimated to be of greater
value than a lair equivalent Tor our just de
mands, our commissioner was authorized to slip
nlate for the payment of such additional pecu
niary consideration as was deemed reasonable.
The terms of a treaty proposed by the com
missioners on the part of the Mexican Govern,
ment, were wholly inadmissible. They nego
dated as if Mexico were the victorious, and not
tho vanquished party, or they must have known
their ultimatum could never have been accepted.
It required the United States to dismember Texas,
by surrendering to Mexico that part of the Ter
ritory of that Stale lying between the Nueces
and the Rio Grande, included within her limits,
by her laws, when she was en independent Re
public, end when she was annexed to the United
Stales, and admitted by Congress, as one of the
States of our Union. It contained no proposi
tion for the payment, by Mexico, of the ju't
claims of our citizens. It required indemnity to
Mexican citizens for injuries they may have sua
tained by our troops in the prosecution of the
war. It demanded the right for Mexico to levy
and collect the Mexican duties levied on goods
imported into her ports while in our military oc
cupation, and the owners of which had paid to
officers of the United States the contributions
which had been levied upon them; and it offered
to cede to the United States, as a pecuniary con
sideration, that part of Upper California lying
north ol latitude 6i degrees, such were the
unreasonable terms proposed by the Mexican
The cession to the United States by Mexico,
of the province of New Mexico and ihe Cali-
fornias, proposed by the commissioner of the
United States, it was believed, would be more in
accordance with the convenience and interests of
both nations, than any other cession of territory
which it was probable Mexico could be induced
to make. It is manifest to all who have observed
the actual condition of the Mexican government
for some years past, and at the present, that if
these provinces should be retained by her, she
could not long continue to hold and govern them.
Mexico is too leebie a power to govern these
provinces, lying as they do, at a distance of more
than a thousand miles Irom her capital, and if
attempted to be retained by her, they would con
stitute, but for a short time, even nominally, a
part of her dominions. This would be espe
cially the case with Upper California. The
sagacity of powerful European nations, has long
since directed their attention to the commercial
importance of that province, and them can be
little doubt, that the moment the United States
shall relinquish their present occupation of it, as
indemnity, an eflort would be made by some for
eign power to possess it, either by conquest or
purchase. If no foreign government should ac
quire it by either of ihess modes, an independent
revolutionary government would probably be es
tablished by the inhabitants and such foreigners
as may remain in, or remove to the country, as
soon as it shall be known that Ihe United States
have abandoned it. Such a government would
be too feeble long to retain its separate inde
pendent existence, and would finally become
annexed to, or a dependent colony of, some
more powerlul State.
Should any foreign government attempt to
possess it, or as a Colony or otherwise to incor
porate it with itself, the principle announced by
President Monroe, in IS Jo, and reaffirmed in my
hist annual message, that no foreign power shall,
with our consent, be permitted to plant or estab.
lish any new colony or dominion on the North
American continent, must be maintained. In
maintaining this principle, and in resisting its
invasion by any foreign power, we might be
involved in other wars more expensive and more
difficult than that in which we are now engaged.
The provinces of New Mexico and the Califor-
nias are contiguous to the territories of the Uni
ted States, and if brought under ihe Government
of our laws, their resources, mineral, agricul
tural, manufacturing and commercial, would
soon be developed.
Upper California is bounded on the north by
our Oregon possessions, and if held by the Uni
ted Stales, would soon be settled by an enterpris
ing and intelligent portion of our population.
The Bay of San Francisco, and other harbors
along the California coast, woulJ afford shelter
for our navy. Our numerous whale ships, and
other merchant vessels employed on the Pacific
ocean, would, in a short period, become marts
of an extensive and profitable commerce wilh
China, and other countries of the East.
These advantages, in which the whole com.
mercial world would participate, would at once
be secured to the United Stales by the cession
of this territoiy, while it is certain, that as long
as it remains a part of the Mexican dominions
they can be enjoyed neither by Mexico herself
nor by any other nation.
New Mexico is a frontier, and has never been
of any considerable value to Mexico. From its
locality, it is naturally connected wilh our west,
em settlements. The territorial limits of the
State of Texas, too, as defined by her laws be.
fore her admission into tha Union, embraced all
that portion of New Mexico lying east of the
Rio Grande, while Mexico still claims to hold
this territory as a part of her dominions.
There is another consideration which induced
tha belief, that the Mexican government might
even desire to place ihis province under the pro
tection of the government of the United States.
Numerous bands of fierce, warlike savage wan-
I der over it and upon its borden. Mexico has
' been, and must continuo lo be too feeble to re
T." - Jeffeb
IVo. 41.
strain them from committing depredations, fob
beries, and murders, not only upon the inhabi
tants of New Mexico itself, but upon those of
the other northern Slates of Mexico. It would
be a blessing to these Northern Slates to have
iheir citizens protected against them by the power
of the United States. At this moment, many
Mexicans, principally females and children, are
in captivity among them. If New Mexico were
held and governed by the United Slates, we
could effectually prevent these tribes from com
mitting such outrages, and compel them to release
these captives and restore them to their families
and friends. In proposing to acquire New Mex
ico and the Californias, it was known that but
an inconsiderable portion of the Mexican people
would be transferred with them, ihe country em
braced within ihese provinces being chiefly an
uninhabited region.
These were the leading considerations which
induced me to authorize the terms of peace
which were proposed lo Mexico. They were
rejected, and negotiations being al an end, hos
tilitics were renewed, and an assault was made
by our gallant army upon the strongly fortified
places near the gates of ihe city of Mexico and
upon the city itself; end rfter several days of
severe conflicts, the Mexican forces, vastly supe
rior in numbers to our own, were driven from
the city, and it was occupied by our troops.
Immediately after information was received of
the unfavorable result of negotiations, believing
that his continued presence could be productive
of no good, I determined to recall our Commis
sioner. A despatch to this effect was transmitted
to him on the 6th October last. The Mexican
Government will be informed of bis recall, and
that, in the existing stale of things, I shall not
deem it proper to make any further overtures of
peace but shall be, at all limes, ready to re.
ceive and consider any proposals which shall be
made by Mexico.
Since the liberal proposition of the United
Slates was authorized te be made in April last,
large expenditures have been incurred, and the
precious blood of many of our patriotic fellow
citizens has been shed, in the prosecution of the
war. This consideration, and the obstinate per
severance of Mexico in protracting the war,
must influence the terms of peace which it rcny
oe deemed proper herealter to accept. Our arms
having been everywhere victorious having sub
jected, to our military occupation, a large portion
of the enemy's country, including his capital, and
negotiations lor peace having failed, the import
ant question arises, in what manner the war
ought to be prosecuted and what should be our
future policy? 1 cannot doubt, that we should
secure and render available the conquests we
have already made, and that for this purpose,
we should hold and occupy, by our naval and
military forces, all the forts, towns, cities and
provinces now in our occupation, or which may
hereafter fall into our possession that we should
press forward our , military operations, and levy
such military contributions on the enemy as may,
as far as practicable, defray ihe future expenses
of the war.
Had the government of Mexico acceded to the
favorable and liberal terms proposed, that mode
of adjustment would have been preferred. Mexico
having declined to do this, and failed to otter any
other terms which would be accepted by the
U. States, the national honor, no less than the
public interests, requires that the war should be
prosecuted wilh increased energy and power, until
a just and satisfactory peace can be obrained.
In the meantime, as Mexico lefuses all in
demnity, we should adopt measures to indemnify
ourselves, by appropriating permanently a por
tion of her territory.
Early after the commencement of llie war,
New Mexico and the Californias were taken
possession of by our forces. Our military and
naval commanders were ordered lo conquer and
hold them, subject to be disposed of by a treaty
of peace.
These provinces are now in our undisputed
occupation, and have been so for many months.
Ail resi.stanco on the part of Mexico having
ceased within their limits, I am satisfied that they
should never be surrendered to Mexico. Should
Congress concur with me in this opinion, and
that they should be retained by the United Stales
as indemnity, I can perceive no good reason why
the civil jurisdiction and laws of the U. S.
should not at once be extended over them.
To wait for a treaty of peace, such as we are
willing to make, by which our relations to them
would not be changed, cannot be good policy. w hi'st
our interests and that or the people inhabiting
them, require lhat a stable, responsible and free
government, under our authority hhould be, as
soon as possible, established over them. Should
Oonrre9S determine to hold these provinces perma
nently, and that they shall hereafter be considered
constituent parts of our country, the early estab
lishment of territorial government over them will
be important fur tho more, perfect protection of
persons and property, and I recommend that such
territorial governments be established. It will
promote peace and tranquil ity among thfl inhabi
tant, by al'ayin; all apprehension that thay may
entertain of being subjected again to tha jurisdic
tion of Mexico. I invite ihe early and favorable
consideration of Congress to this important sub
Besides rew Mexico ana lamornia, there are
other Mexican provinces which have been reduced
.o our possession by conquest, laeso other Mex
ican provinces are now governed by our military
and naval commanders, under the general author
ity which is conterred upon a conqueror bv the
laws of war. They should continue to be held as
means of coercing Mexico lo accede to ju9l
term ot peace. Civil, aa weil as military
officers, are required to conduct such a govern
ment. Adequate compensation, to be drawn from
contributions levied on the enemy, should be fixed
by law fur such officers as may be thus employed
What further may become necessary, and what
final disposition it may be proper to make of thein,
must depend on the future progress of the war.
and the course .Mexico may think proper hereafter
to pursue.
Wilh the vion-i I entertain, I cannot favor the
policy which has been suggested, either to with
draw our army altogether, or to retire to a desig
nated line and simply hold and defend it. To
withdraw our army altogether from the conquests
they have made, by deeds of unparalleled bravery,
and at the expense of to much blood and treasure,
in a war just on our pan, and one whicb. by the
act of the enemy, we could nut honorably have
avoided, would be to degrade the nation in Us own
estimation and in that or the world, lo retire to
a line, and simply hold and defend it, would not
terminate the war. On the contrary, it would
encourage Mexico to persevere, and tend to pro
tract it indefinitely.
Iti not to be expected, that Mexico, after re
fusing to establish such a line as permanent
boundary, when our victorious armies are in pos
session of her capital and the heart of her coon
try, would permit ua to hold it would resistance.
That the would continue the war, sad that io tha
most barrassing and annoying forms, there can bs
no doubt. A border warfare, ol a most savage
character, extending over a long line, would M
unceasingly waged. It would require a large
army to be continually in the field, stationed at
ports and garrisons along such a line, to protect
and defend it. The enemy, relieved from the
pressure of our arms on his coast and in the popu
lous parts of the interior, would direct the opera
lions, and, selecting an isolated post for attack,
would concentrate his fores upon it. This would
be a condition of affairs which the Mexicans, pur
suing their favorable system of guerrilla warfare,
would probably prefer to any other. Were we lo
assume a dclensive atlitudo, on such aline, a'l
the advantsge of such a state of war would beon
the side of the enen.y. We could levy no contri
butions upon him, or in any other way make bint
feel the pressuro of the war; but must remain
inactive and await his approach, being inconstant
uncertainly at what point of the line, or at what
time, he might make the assault. He may assem
ble end organize an overwhelming force in the
interior, on his own side of the line, and, con
cealing his purpe, make a sudden assault upon
some one of unr post, so distant from any other
as to prevent the possibility of timely succor or
reinforcements, and in this way, our gallant army
would bo exposed to the danger of being cut off
in detail, or if, by their unrivalled bravery and
prowess, everywhere exhibited during the war,
they should repulse tho enemy, the numbers sta
tioned at any point, might still be too small to
pursue him. If the enemy be repulsed in one at
tempt, he will have nothing else to do but retreat
to h'S own side of the line, and, being in no fear
of a pursuing army, may reinforce himself at
eisure for another attack on the same, or some
other point. He may, too, cross a line between
our posts make incursions into the country wo
hold murder the inhabitants thereof, and then re
turn to the interior, before a sutficient force can
be concentrated to pursue him. Such would prob
ably bo the harrassins character of a mere defen
sive war on our part. If our forces, when at
tacked or threatened, be permitted to cross the
line, drive back the enemy and conquer him, thi
would be again to invade the enemy's country
alter having lost all the advantages of the con
quests we have already made, by having volun
tarily abandoned them. To hold such a line suc
cessfully, and in securi'y, it is far from being
certain that it would nut require as large an army
as would oe necessary to hold ail the conquest
we have already made, and to continue the pros
ecution of the war in the heart ot the enemy's
country. It i also far from being certain that
the expenses ot the war would be diminished by
such a policy.
1 am persuaded that the best means of vindicat
ing the national liounr and interest, and of bring
in the war lo an honorable clo-e, will be to prose
cute it with increased energy and power in tha
vital part of the enamy's country. In my annual
mcssnge to Congress I declared that the war had
not been waged with a view to conquest, but bar
in? been commanced by Mexico, it hss been car
rind into the enemy's country, and will be vig
orously prosecuted there with a view to obtain an
honorable peace, and thereby secure ample in
demnity for the expenses of the war, as to our
much injured citizens who hold large pecuuiary
demands ajjuinst Mexico. Such, in toy judgment,
continues to be our true policy indeed the only
policy which will probably secure a permanent
It has never been contemplated, by me, as an
object of the war, to make a permanent conquest
of the Hepublic of Mexico, or to annihilate her
separate existence as an independent nation; on
the contrary, it has ever been my desire, that she
should maintain hrr nationality, and, under a good
government, adapted to her condition, be a pros
perous and free republic. The United States were
the first among ti n nations to recognize her in
dependence, and has aUvas desired to be on term
of amity and coed neighborhood with her. Thi
she would not Miller. By her own conduct, we
have been c unpolled to engage in the present
war in its prosecution, we seek hot her over
throw asuii'i'ion, b'it in vindicating our national
honor, we seek to nVain redress fur the wrong
she hus done us. ami indemnity for our just de
mands againsl her. Wo demand an honorable
peace, and that peace must bring with it indem
nity for the p's. and security fjr the future.
Hitherto, Mexico has reused all accommodation,
by which such a peace could be obtained.
Whilst our annies have advanced from victory
to victory, from '.in? commencement of the war, it
has always teen wiili ihe olive branch of peace
in their hands, and it has been in the power of
Mexico at every step to arrest hostilities by ac
cep'ing it.
One creit injection to the obtainmrnt of peace,
has undoubtedly arisen from the fact, that Mex
ico has been so li n; held in subjection by one fac
tion, or military u-urpcr. after another, and audi
hos been the cwvlit'cn of insecurity in which
their au-eessive aonsmmeni have been placed.
lhat each I us Iter, deterred from making peace.
led for this very cjue, u rival faction might expol
it from power.
Such was nictate or rresidcnt flerrera's ad
ministration in lor being disposed even to
listen lo the overtures of the United Stales, to
prevent the war, us is fully continued by an offi
cial correspondence which took place, in the
month of August last, between him and his gov
ernment, the cony of which is herewith commu
nicated For this cause alone, the revolution,
which displaced him from power, was set on foot
by Gen. Parades. Such may be Ihe condition of
insecurity of the pre-ent government.
J here can oe no cjuut, timt the peaceable and
well disposed inmionants ol Mexico, are con
vinced that it is the true intere-t of theircountry
to conclude an honorable peace with the United
States, but the apprehension of becoming the vic
tims or some m i.iary lac ion or usurper, may
have prevented them from manifesting their feel
ings by any public act.
ii.e removal ot any sucn apprehension woulJ
probably cause them to speak their sentiments,
ar.d to adopt the measures necessary for the res
toration ot peace with a peop.e distracted and
dividdd by contending factions, and a government
subject to constant changes by successive revolu
tions. The continued successes of our arms may
fail to secure a satisfactory peace. In such eveRt,
it may become proper for our commanding gen
eral in the tield to give encouragement and as
surance of protection to the friends of peace in
Mexico, in the establishment and maintenance
of a tree republican government of their own
choice, always willing to conclude a peace which
would be just to them, and secure to us the in
demni.y we de-rnaiid.
This may become the only mode of obtaining
such a peace. Should such be the result of thi
war, which Mexico has forced upon us, it would
thus be converted into an euduriug blessing tj
herself. After finding her torn and distracted by
factions, and ruled by military usurpers, we
should then leave her with a republican govern
ment, in the enjoyment of real independence and
domestic peace and prosperity, performing all her
relative duties in the great family of nations, and
promoting hor own happiues by wise law and
their lawful execution.
If, after affording encouragement and protec
tion, after all the perseverance and sincere ef.
foils we have made, from the moment Mexico
commenced ihe war, and prior to that time, lo
adjust our differences wilh her, we shall ultimate
ly fail, then we shall have exhausted all honor.
able means in pursuit of peace and must con
tinue to occupy ber country with our troops, ta
king the full measure of indemnity wilh our owo
hands, and must enforce lb terms which our
honor demands.
To act othefwiae, in the existing stat of
' Continual on ith pnge )

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