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Weekly national intelligencer. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, January 15, 1848, Image 2

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CONGRESS [ON
IN SENATE?Thi wdav, J.4NIARV 6, 1848.
INCREASE Oh' THE ARMY.
The I'ili to '>r a time, a? additional military
force, was rt'a I u llii <1 time.
The .).;??< i..n la? tog the } us*agc of the bill?
.Mr. 11 ALL' said: Feeling compiled from my convictions of
duty to take a cour?e iu reference to this hill in which 1 am
aware i't?ty fl \v Senator* w ill entirely coincide, I have thought,
humble ??* tiic sphere it: which I move, I bat it was due to
those who {'ii.fil m?' in the position I occupy, to let my vote
upnn ihe l'i 1 ?"> out lucotnpauicd with the reasons which have
induced hi to take the course which I asu about to t;.ke. I
would ban lu en glad if older -aid abler Senators had favored
the Senate with their views in opposition to this till. 1 would
have b?en glad if the action of the Senate upon the bill had
Iaen delayed until the documents coining from the several
Di'iartim nts, nnd which we ate <Vt II nigh getting, hud been
placed before us, so that we might have hud ail the light tbat
cpukl be thrown upon that, which in my mind is a dark s'.H>
jict at the lightest ; but seeing that the bill is likely to go
through the forma of legislation, and become a law without
having tho?e lights before u?, I have thought it npcess-rv to
trespass briefly upon the time of tho Senate, in order to ex
press the views which I entertain, h may bo paid that I do
not stand i'i a j osition to be aidel by li^ht fiom any quarter,
because I-have already declared that 1 stand here prepared to
vote agu.nst the war in all its forms ; against any treasures for
the supply ot troops, either regulars or volunteeis, (and if
there are any bther kinds, I go again*' them,) because I stand
prepared to vote against the appropriation of a single dollar
beyond the simple amount?as 1 have before suggested?
which will i e sufficient to bring home your troops by the
shortest aud cheapest route. Entertaining these views, l>efoic
entering upon the discussion of the bill, 1 want to say a word
in regard to a sentiment which I have heard avowed here
aud elsewhere : and it is, that when the country is engaged in
war we lose all discretion; we haVe nothing to do but grant the
supplies that are demanded of us ; an appeal being made to
our patriotism, patriotism can only find rightful action in a
support oi the w#r; Uiat there is no pa'riuti?n? wiy wIuk-Jm,
and that the Administration, which has been so fortunate or
unfortunate as to plunge the country into a war, has only !o
appeal to the country, and expect to receive no other response
except hearty and unanimous sjj.poit. AnJ this doctrine j
has been carried so far, ai.d in sjch high places, that the ,
President ol the United 'States has denounced-as treason the ]
opposition of Congress, although they believe the war to have j
been unnecrs-orily and unconstitutionally commenced, and '
prosecuted for purposes which their judgment condemns, and '
tending to the overthrow of our institutions of Government.
I recoiled but one incident iu my reading of history which 1
is analogous. It is stated by an English historian that when
l^ueen Elizabeth had summoned her Parliament, and they
were about to organize for busimss, she sent her messenger
to them with this royal mandate : to be very careful thatthey '
did r.ot meddle with affairs of State, ?? because," said she !
'? such things are altogether l>eyond the compass of your nar
row understanding." Will, our royal President did not fol
low exactly in the footsteps 0f Elizabeth. He did not ques
tion the understanding of Congress, but their patriotism.
-Now, let us see where this doqtrit.e will carry us. Let us
see to what it will lead. Suppose you should have an ex
ceedingly oad and cormpt Administration?mind I do not say
that tins is ?uch an Administration, or that wc arc ever likeJv
to have such an o rte. I neither affirm nor deny aught on that mat"
on'y thp supposition for the purpose of illustrating my
nrguiin i:t. Ljt suppose that such a thing were possible, and that
t jc measures ot the President had become exceedingly odious
oppressive, Uordetinome, and intolerable, and that'notes of
disapprobation were beginning to be heard from the people as
sembled in their primary meetings; that the tones of indig
nation at la*t penetrate the walls of the palace, and the Pre
sident, finding that he cannot stand against the united will of
an injured people, begins to look about for the means of es
capmg from that torrent ot popular odium which threatens to
overwhelm him, whA has he to do ! To desist in his course
of wrong-doing, or to retrace bis steps > No, sir ; this is not
the path to popularity. According to his new school of ethics
and morals, he has only tog) on and plunge the country into
war, and, if he cau manage so skilfully as to involve tho
country into two wars at once, fo much the letter?.-omuchthe
more glory for him , a popularity greater than that of Wash
ington and Jackson ! This is the inference, the plain and un
mistakable inference. War. instead of k-ing, us it is said to
be by all writer, on ethics orotic., the direst calamity which
Heaven ,n its wrath can send upon a na'i m, is conv/rted bv
his alchemy mto a healing Bethesda, in which political pro
fligacy and corruption of the darkest hue may wash itself and
t e clean.
Sir, I utterly deny the soundness of fhis doctrine thatCon
grna oa^ht to have no voi c beyocd granting the supplies.
II there ever is a tune when opposition should 1* vigdant.
scrupulous, watchful, noticing every thing that is wrong, it
* t>tne Jhrough the acts of the Administration,
ihe country is burdened with an unnecessary wai. When
Ihe neacclul pursuits of life art interrupted, the fruiU of in
du*try are consumed, the treasure of the nation wasted, and
the lives ot its citizens sacrificed for th* support of such a
war, and tm country involved in all the horrors which it
brings in its tiain. If there ever is a time that should put
men upon their individual judgmen', re flee ion, and responai
Uhty, it u sucn a time < and is not such our condition now ?
Primarily cjrne.l m the manner I prop ?e hereafter to show,
has^ned and precipitated upon us by the unadvised, uncon
stitutional, and illegal nets of the Pre# dent, I propoae to do
what I may, f?eble as it may be, to place the country right. I
have never learncJ in that school of m rat or poitical science
whica leeches tlat by persevering in the wrong, we shall ever
come out right.
And, <.r, there is nnothtT view that is sometimes taken,
which certainly dpee not accord with my own convictions,
and upon which I wish to say a word or two at this time,
and I do it with deference lo the opinion, of ablet men about
. I?,y and which relates to the course which those should take
r ]hr WJ; lo >*' radically wrong. I think
have bearj ?u ule* WI)iethin? ,(ke th[,, The coun'rv is
; m * W4f ?? unjustifiable-we confer it is
? 1? ;? WP,*r " wrong?nevertheless ue
a ? ?"? at w.r, anJ the President caHs on us for supplies of
money 31,1 'W"nJk>['i vote men and
fomreVr Lw wt ?f a pro ess which escapes any
? prcMii-ioo, they .magme they are to throw the re
how'he^are'to ^1 I ^ not understand
. ?l-7 ?ust share
act be what it may IfVw^w^ ^ f th'
at ones. I hive no doubt ihe P,Culent ?in'w *" *** r **/'
gratified with opp eWon of this kind Yi u ail IC<*
at?ut a factious opjoiiii?n in tb/o7,a? /I*
The President would care
world if it were of this kind. ? veTl^e
who happened to find himself in prison, ?,d a ,?r^? .hum
?h met was bewaihng tbe misfortunes of having a thousand
pounds lc t to him by will, which circumstance had Ikch the
..ccasion of In. imprisonment. " I wi?h," exclaimed Sam
a I mv eirnne. would try to ruin me in that way."
Just so wi;h^lc Prr.wJent. Vou tell him 1m i. wrong, vsltile
be a'.k.Tru'd?" 7?a t0<e him ,he nten ,n,i money tlat
BetirMug that the cause of this war is radically wreng, I
ivi'iKK 11* e ' t'* l,r '' tl,e an^ 'he simplest dutv to
lUhol, .up.be. and compel the P.cedent to do what'we
an.Wv Jr e,,e,rlnf there is * *tri<t and pettmer,.
?h.i ? I " , C"Ur,r l > hJ Ingres, and
ha Which IS taken by the Uritfch Parliament, I consid-r that
'.nVZT.oV ^ Uli"k th' W#r dear,
. i"ii.i.a<e. I p >n .qacstion ofvo'inc supplies,
. e '!' in''J,r"' * Co"*re- i -Aether
< ,m:iri,' .Tft! ""''J'1"** are de mam led i. one which
Ifi I . " or*' 'e consideration of Congress.
,he 0 ls ? l-'oj er one, let the sup
"Tf
?... f' nature ol our Constitution. I have
iXLZc?T?r,,,.nt ' f "? T"vernm?nt of check,
the rimer tn L y#? ",M ,k of ,he ^?>dent having
not C??5My*!can
^eSiT" V? - S -1 >n'?"itutTonal l"'
?bkh7Sml* ?? ,!">r-!o 1 *,hi?
Of S? *??' 10 f "TUtK^, 4 ,hat '< r,Ft ?t the very bottom
ot the que.tion of sup; he?. I mil i ?
th/. .k procev I lo give my views lo
ine -"Senate and the connirv. AmI r t,*. _
r.h..?hjw,/i?...
. "."f"v"1'?1 T'y!->0n>.(.,?,ic,?h?
2Ti?l2, '"C'tn *' trrni' ri movements wex
? thr War' - l-v?t to the
u-.ju.ry o. what is its primary cause. Tne l|M ,ir
deeper than ahy of th?^H , an I when I ? ?k of C'rJ ' .Z
'he war, p, rout me to ssy ih?,t I do it with no ,!*? re
duce exerting .,r a igry diseu^sion, ?r toaroosj nnpleasiint leel
jatr t bur, hav.ng H July to perform here, I must do it fe iriess
*" An,,,"C4n Senator, feeble as it mty be. An-1 ?h? n
we speak ot the < .use. of this war, I moat avow r?. wnfjc.
tn>n, beyon<l a cav.l or a doubt, to b>, that it lies i? ,h.. RT?,V.
Jf / r American Government?a policy wt?r?, W4B
avowed four year? "go?to make the extension of InjoiHr, ,|n
very one of it, primary motives of action. And when I ?v
ft !t!TT b*.B,,"?ndemtood. I refer to the principle .v?w
ed in the diplomat orreVondence which preceded the
r.exauon of Texas to the United Sutes. And permit me to
?ay, that, in approaching this question, I do it with a desire and
a disposition to do full justice to the officers of this (Jovernrnn.t
wb? were ?o*s*r,j , n i|?t correspondence. I * ill do them the
O" rT7 tS" "5" ^ J,iJ U'^ 'l,d ?nd abo?
board. There was ho concealment. They rame out l?oldlv
I heir course was very different from that of a s^t of men a,
have among a. called Northern men with princi
profit* to be a^Kn^Mivt ry? >i^9PWre ne' I
ve. tWfc^ eulisted in the ultivcholH% interest, ready to do
.r r. (i skidding. Tbut was not the can- with At im'" 10
:11 1 li.ive referred. Tlv y came out boldly and avowed
the object at which they aimed, ai:d the incurs l?y which they
proposed to attain it. Let this be ever said to their credit.
In that correspondent* the object* of this (J .vernmcnt are
a# evident, as much beyond controversy as any thing can pos
sibly be. No, sii ! M tho lingers of a hand were sent Irom
the throne of Eternal light to write this upon the wall over
vour lie id, it would not flash conviction more readily to the
mind than is done by a perusal of that c 'rrispondenco. 1 will
not go through the whole of it, but will content myself with
sending toJthe Clerk and asking Litu to read an extract from
this let' or :
Mr. UjJihur tu Mr. Murphy.
Dki'ahtmknt of Stats,
II a*hingt'j>i, JtngiUt 8, 1843.
Siu: A private letter from a citizen in Maryland, then in
London, contain* the following passage :
'? 1 kxrn, from a source enliiled lo the fullest confidence,
that there is now here a Mr. Andrews, deputed by the aboli- j
lioniits ol Texas to negotiate wiih tbe British Government 5 ?
that he jas seen Lord Aberdeen and submitted bis prnject^ for
the sbolition of slavery in Texas ; .which is, thul theie shall 1
be organized a company in England who shall advance a sum
sufficient to pay for the slaves now in Texas, and receive in :
tiu* ineut Texas lands; that the sum thus advanced shall be paid ;
over a1 hi Indemnity for the abolition ot slivery ; and 1 am
attthcrzcd by the Texan Minister to say lo you that Lord ;
A hero-en has agreed that the British Government will gua
ranty the payment of the interest on this lean, upon coudi
tiiyiV.at the Texan Government will abolish slavery."
This proposition, it wll l>e seen, was exceed-ugly simple
and ?a*> to be understood. It announced not that there was
a s lietne on foot amongst a set of faratical politicians to do- i
coy away the slaves, not to steal them?nothing of thatsort
hut u proposition had been entertained by which the Govern- ^
mcnt and slaveholders of Texas agrcel to abolish slavery ; ,
arid, for this agreement on their part, it was eaid that a com- :
pany hail ogreed to advancc a stipulated price. What right
had our Government to interfere * Tho Secicfary s^ys: " A j
! movement of this sort cannot be contemplated in silence." I
.jjrrec it thoulil not; but what should every American heart
hat? said when it was found that a scheme of this kind was ,
on foot ' Should they not have burst out in thankful aspira- j
? .vtmighty God that such a scheme of benevolence as 1
that had even been thought of ? 1 think the Secretary says 1
well in faying that ih?y could not look 011 in silence.
The Secretary further says : "Such an attempt upon any
neighboring country would necessarily be viewed by this Gov
ernment with very deep concern."
Certainly they should have looked on with deep concern?
as deep as that with which atlection watches by the side of
dying love, now gathering hope from the symptoms that the
smiles of health will again smooth the cheek of love, and
then trembling lest the pall of despair should settle on its
hope*.
Again he says: " It cannot be permitted to succeed with
out the most strenuous efforts on our part to arrest a calamity I
so serious to every part'of our country." A calamity so se !
rious to every pait of our country ; so serious to New- Hamp
shire, to Massachusetts, and the other New England States!
And, sir, this bill which is now before you is one of the
measures which are to bo adopted to redesm the pledge thut'
made. In the same letter it is said :
"The establishincnt, in the very midst of our slave-holding
States, of an independent government,.forbidding the exist
ence of slavery, n,nd by a people born for the most part among
us, reared up in our habits, and speaking our language, could
not fail to produce the most unhappy effects upon both parties.'
When I saw it formally anngpneed by the Government that j
it could not produce anv but " unhappy effects," I thought
' that I was mistaken in the reading j I thought it must be a mis
take of the printer; but I found that it was no mistake, that the
announcement wa^ really made. What u mistake 4t< n did
the Pilgrim fathers make in coming to found a colony in the
New World, where they might avoid the consequences of
slavery ! Had they not slavery enough at home ? Did they
bid farewell to every thing that bound their hearts to the land
of their birth, the land where the bones of their fathers repose,
and came over to found the institution of American slavery '
Was it for this that tho Mayflower Hailed from the coast
where slavery prevailed ' Was it foi this that those patriots
wandered from England to Holland, and from Holland here
In -Heaven's name was net England oppressive enough
Again:
" Few calamities could befal this country more to be de
plored than thie establishment of a predominant British influ
ence and the abolition of domestic slavery in Texas."
Few calamities could befall the country like this ! I j
had understood, up to the time when I read this declara
tion, that the institution of slavery, for good or bad, was a
State institution. I thought it was one which the General
Government had no right to touch. Every thing that I had
' ever heard upon the eubjcct had tended to take that institution
! from the cognizance of the General Government, and make it
exclusively a subject of Slate policy ; but here I find it bap
tized, and made oue of the Gods before which the whole pco- (
pie are to bow docvn and worship.
Mr. Calhoun, in a letter to Mr. Green, dated Department
! of Htatc, Washington, April 19, 18-14, says; " The step (an- ?
nexation of Tex**) w as forteJ on the Government of the Uni
ted ^tatrM in con*-quenee of the pclicy of Great Britain in
reference to the al?olilion of slavery in Texas." In the same
letter he savs the Governmi nt ha* taken this step " in full
view of all j-iN-ible consequences." Can this language bo
misunderstoo I * Was not war one of the possible conse
quences in full vie* of wbi-:b this measure wa* adopted ? But
I forbear ? the whole correspondence is full of tbe mwt irre
fragsble proof of my position, ai.d is familiar to the Senate and
the coui*y. From this cause, whether r< m< le or immediate,
this war proceeded Can any man dt ny this > We may
!. have our doubts whether, if th<*re had been more caution and
prudence, this war would have been precipitated upon us at so
early a period. But is it not evident that the whole matter
springs from this * Was not annexation itself an act of war ?
War was exis'ing between Mexico and Texas at the time.
By the vrry fact of annexing to ourselves one of the belliger
ent nations we incurred the responsibility of fighting her bat
i ties ; although, even after that, subsequent history his demon
strated that, owing to the feeble and distracted sta e of Mexico,
the motl ord.nary prudence on the part of the Executive might
and prchakH would have avoided flagrant war.
If this, then, l>e the cause of the war, I come next to the
question how this war comaii need } Well, sir, it may seem
exceedingly strange that one should be found asking that ques
tion at this time when the President has told us over and over
again s > many times bow it commenced ; that it coinmenced
bv the act of Mexico. Said the President, in his* message to
Corigre.s of the 11th May, 1846 :
" In my message at the commencement of lite present ses
sion, 1 informed you that, upon the earnest appeal both of the
C-Ingres* and convention of Texas, I had ordered an efficient
military force to take a position ' between ihe Nueces ami ihe ,
| >,-| Norte.* This had become necessary to meet a threatened
invasion lATexas by the Mexican forces, for which extensive '
military prep*rations had been msde. The invasion was
ibn-atciM-d solely beeause Texas hail determined, in accord
ance With a solemn resolution of the Congress ot the United
States, to annex herself to our Union j and under these circum
stances it uas plainly our duty to extend our protection over
her citizens and soil.
" Thi* force was concentrated at Corpus Chi isli, and remain
ed then: until afttr I had received such information from Mex
ico a* f-mWed it probable, if not certain, that the Mexican
Gov. minent would refuse to receive our envoy.
" Meantime Texas, by the final action of our Congress, had
become an integral part of our Union. 1 he Congrtss of I ex
1 as, by it* act ot December 19, bad declsred the ltio del
N ite to be the boundary of that Republic. Its jurisdiction
bad been extended and excrciaed beyond the Nueces. Tbe
I country b lwern that river and the Del Norte had been repre
sented' in ;h Congress and in the convention of Texas ? had
thus taken jiart in the act of annexation itu-lf, and is now in
cluded within one of our Congressional districts. Our own
Congress bad, moreover, with great unanimity, by the act ap
proved December .)t, 1845, recognised the country beyond 1 e
Nuece* as a part of cur territory by including it within isir own
revenue s)*tcm, and a revenue ottteer, to reside within that
district, has l?cen sjniointed, by and with the advice and con
sent of the Seiiate. It liecnme, therefore, of urgent necessity
lo provide lor the d? fence of that portion of onr country. Ac
cordingly, on the f .iifi lit'January last instructions were issued
to the general in ruuimaiid of tliese -troops to occupy the left
I bsnk of the Del S ?He.*1
And in his annual me sage to Congress on ihe 8th of D< -
c mber, 184B, h<* rc|.?-a'? ihe J??ertion, and he not only r ?
pcifs the devlH'at.oti that wsr exista by the act of Mexico,
but he asvs every honorable effort has l?een made by him to
prevent the wsr. liut all proved in vain, and the war h??
cum'*, notwitlnt inding he was so exceedingly eppoeed 'o it.
Now I d??ir# to exurnine this matter.' The President in n->t
xa'islied with thus telling us that the war aroee from tbe act
of Mexicov and that he h*d used errry honoralde exertion to
avoid it. He comr* forward in his metsoge this year, and tel'.s
us fourteen times di.unctly, and arveral times impliedly, that
it ar. sa from the s t of Mexieo. It ?.-enr?s a part of the Presi
dent's religion to a-eimnpany his more solemn acts with th?
rontinoal derLration that "war exi?ts by the act of Mexico,
. as it waa of the follower* of Mu'^nmmed lo preface tli? ir in ire
aerious sayings wnhN;i?? oft.reptated avowal thst there wa .
"notiod but Allah ahd Milto nmed Ilia proj?het." No v let
us exainir.e this nivtw-r Did i' commence liy the art of Mex
ico * Such is nor rny reading. The taking poas^snion of
Texaa wit of it elf an act of wsr. Sir, at the time of the
American Revolution, When France signed a treaty of alliance
with ua, Great Britain was-not long in finding out that that
waa an act of war. But suppose that act was not one of war,
what follnwa '
Onf of the fundamental conditions of tbe joint resolnUon
for annexing Texas to the United Mtates was war.
" First, said Stsfe to be formed subject to the sdjustment by
this Government of all questions of boundary."
" Sulijeet to the adjustment of all questions of boandsry.'
That was the very first condition which the Amearsn Con
gress fixed lo the set of snnexation. Well, i? it necessary
for me to stand here to-day to tell tbe American people that
if there is a question of boundary existing, and one party goes
j and occupies the territory to the extreme verge of the claim,
I 0?i ? ao art of war > W hy, I think the Pre.id*nt himself,
in the cour.ect the controvert *,ih Great Britain, must have
found that this was the case, although one of the lir.t acts of
hu admm,.tration wa? to (ell the people in hi- inaugural ad
l? -r.eg?"n .Wab d?ar "nd un4ue8,i?njble I
saw the President, amid the dripping of the storm, landing
at thi eaat front of th.a Capitol, reminding the Mople how
young a man he wa?, and yet he would have the whole of
Oregon. I almost expected to hear him aay ?
" You'd scarce expect one of my age
lo speak iu poblie on the (.luge."
I know not whether I waa most amused at the juvenility of
the resident or his detcrnmiatiou lo seize upon the whole of
Oregon. Ho would not even submit the question to arbitra
tion, beciUM that would be admitting lhat Great Britaia bad
aouiesort of title there. Nothing ahort of the \*h?le would
aatwfy Into. W hy, u man ould haidly be recognised us a
democrat in .he hastem State, unle- he wa. forcUimiogthe
wh de ot Oregon. He murt go for 51? 40' or he wan no
democrat; and one Slate Legislature wus so violent in the
cause that they were for claiming 54* 43'. I wonder it never
occurred to the 1 resident to send our officers and lake posse.
?on of the territory up to that line. Why did he not do
this It ecu use he kr.ew, and every body knew, it would be
an act nl war. He knew it would be ao considered by Great
Ur.tain and rented hy her. Well, so it was here The
sending of General Taylor to the Rio Grande was beyond all
controversy, an act ul war. Hut I propose t0 give you the i
1 resident a own account of it. |D his message ot May 1816
he says lie kept the troops at Corpus Christi until it was rcn
dered cettain that the Mexican Government had refused l? re
ceive .Mr. Shdell. Well, on the 10th day of November this
commission was appointed, and, not bein- much acquainted
with matters ot diplomacy, I of course lake what the l'reti
dent tti'd as being what he meant.
Mr. SlideII s Letter of Credence.
JAMES K POLK,
PremletU of the United Stales of Jimeriea,
Ciikat AND Goon FillESD : 1 have made choice of Jmi.y
Si.im.LL, one of our distinguished citizens, to reside near .he
Government ot the Mexican Republic in the quality of Kiwoy
Extraordinary and Minuter Plenipotentiary of the United
States ot America. He is well informed of tha relative inter
e?ts ot ihe two countries, and of our sincere desire to restore
cultivate, and strengthen friendship and good correspondence j
conduct' iV ' .S U c".?Wle,)h'C ?r "" fi,lelitv "'"1
Sy ?ve entire.eonfidence tliat he will ren.ler himself
l)Ulb'e 'o-the Mexican Government by his constant endea
vors to preserve and advance Uie interest and happi.ess ol both
nations. I, therefore, request your excellency to receive him i
th . ?'V? iU" crcJcnce 10 whatever he ,IihII say on
the part ot the United Statea. And 1 pray God to mve you in
hn safe and holy keeping!
\V ritten at the city of Washington, the tenth day .f Novem
ber, in Ihe year of our Lord one thousand eiKht hu.dred and
toriy-hvc, and ot the independence of the L'nitedStates the
se?eutiet^ Your good friend,
n ,, ? ., JAMES K.POLK.
Ry the President :
T , . Bcchasu*, Secretary of State.
t o his Excellency Don Joax Joaiu'im Heuiikha,
President of the Mexican Ripublie.
in ",:)nd Pray.God to liave you in hn holy care nd keep
ng How pious the President is ! He prays fo, hia ene
mies. J his was written on the 10th of November. Now I
want to read another document, to show how Mr. Polk was
treating his good friend on the 15th of June preeediig. In a
confidential communication from the War DepaHmmt, dated
June lo, 1815, to Gen. Taylor, 1 find the following:
. " ' *!' P?,nt of your ultimate destination is the we??rn fron
tier vt I ex as, where you will select and occup*, on o near the
. ,ninde del Norte, such a site as will consist with the
health of the troops, and will behest adapted to repe invasion
and lo protect what, in the event of annexation, wil be our
, c,:'rn bo4r'1.er- * ou limit yourself to the defense of the
*Tu3*!?? U"'CSS MCXiC? Sl'OU,tJ decU,e W"
" Your movement to the Gulf of Mexico, and yourprepara
rations to embark tor the western frontier ot Texas, .re to be
made without any delay." ' w
On^r-^ U? yV ^if,k of lhU Pious P"-?'Jent >
On the 15th of June he ordered the troops to be reacv to em
ark for the coast ol Mcxico, and five months aftervards he
sends a messenger to Gen. Herrera, and by the ha, m of this
nir-.'ngera supplu-aticn toAlm.ghty God "to hav? him in
his safe and holy keeping !" Lett this prayer should fail, he
had taken the precaution to seed Gen. Taylor with lis army
live month, before, to lake him in bis care and leeping!
Well, I will not detain the Senate long on this pat (!f the
matter. It seems to me it is too plain for cavil; tt?d if I |,aj
the issue to be tried before twelve good men and true, the first
witness I would call would be James K. Polk; for I never*!
knew a witneu. who was consciou. of telling the t uth who
found it necessary to repeat so often the same assertim. Why
does the President go into so long and labored a. ettirt to
prove that we bad good cause of war > If this were he r-afH
and wc had not commenced it, in.tead of beinK to ?,r credit
it would have been a disgrace to us : it would have Mown us
a pusillanimous nation. It is, therefore, n fe/o d- , ^ llis
argument. Becauw, if thi. were the ease, it show, th^ve
should have done what the President has labored to --hoiJvL
' not dooe- 'rh** Presideut may conquer Mexico, lmNfli
, can never -ucceed in conquering the truth. lie ma\ dir.et
many r ,n? to bear upon it as it would require to silence a
Mexican lottery, but he will not tie successful.
? el', ii this was the cau?e of the war ; if thi. was ta?
manner il which the war commcnced, what ara we earnnr?
? 0? for I cw > What do we propose ? What do we wl t >
V\by m : e nicMage of the President to Congress, i? Isjr,
h t. IU us iht it was not conquest that he desired 5 but it, t!,e -
of this year he nrnhiia. it a li-tle. Now, the . 1
' Jf MeiL r"W" : ,hal s"' 1C djC8 not n,, an lo t?ke the whiole
of Mexico. I tbat bc megtJis ,o divi<Je .
L? "1 Abwd*n divided Oregon with him, to take whit he
wants an,! leave the rest. He say. ; ?It wa? ncver conu m.
plated by mo to make a permanent conquest of Mexico, ,o
, df stroy h i nationality. ' Well, .ir, action.apeak loud, r tlnn
word,, ai d I need not admonish gentlemen on this floor of I
1 'r '"7 pr??f in ni* har4d Wh?l do^ U'e Pre- !
?ident tell you ? I heard it asserted by a Senator the o'her
day that Senator, voted for the appropriation of the wnr I 1
f 2X.S*.
Th? P i * C" P?"Uon in which he was i,lnr,,l 1
r"d lnade the'''"Hi"*announcementt'at
Ameiu.ri l.| hkJ had been .hed on American Mil. And nhile
every heart palpitated at .uch an outrage, Senator^ .,ui !
(nn- r#ylor, were now willing to vote thcjiupnlirs
Z r ""L1" ?" -.JICSS
?e l by the declaration which, at that time they believed to!* I
un rue that " war existed bytheactof Mexic/'' They ,ie
their voteH under the protert that it was expressly for the re
hi Sen T'y,>r- vvAnd rh#t doe" lh' ^e.iint now
f Wh* b* "J' y?u Jid not mean ,nj
auch thing. \ on could not have meant it. You knew "
mdemmtv must be acquired. Senator^ when yo^p, t
Mkl ^ h" *f ST 10 1tt>mt0rj Tb* h.s
kn ? , ?v T,?Ur e*ccut,Te offif*r' surely he oiil'Iw t0
know ; and the President has a right to say ir bee. L. t
Jioiia,spe?k louder than words. You voted him the men allj !
e?ve hi", V ! r?U R"? Wm the ?word ?nd 'he purse, .nd V(H1
1 Tn>\ n?r Unl"M,">' ,lcen#e 10 candu?l ???e war as he pie,,! J
*r '"^7 VOU n!uV l'n" thu bi". ti?e him the ten regimes
andX hTm Ihlf ro?imen" of ^lunte. s
and is? hi.n thus, according to the Senator from Kentucky m
r"V l?,CM Mexi<,? U' n'n"y thousand, 'anJ
fh? L ! *""? c?un"y- Ami what will he tell von ,t
the next session > He now tell, you : 5 1 j
" Loiigre?( could not have meant?when, in Mar IfUf, ii ?
dLnri'"""Cf Un ",i,lion,of ^ollsrs, and aathorised the Fv'Z
fute s^,; 0y ,he.n?i,i,,,r> .'r"1 ?' forces of tie Um,^
to enside iL .T'1 ,h^,Crree, of fif,r thousand vol?n?,.ri
. * "e ,,,m to prosccute the war j and when st i !
^ "il'lo, #'U'r ?"r "rr"V ,""1 "'??dcd Mexico, they n,"e
ti-nal ?PpropriaUqBe, and authorized the raising of ?,!,!,
nal iri>ops lor the same purpose?that no indemnitv ?
ttT''1. ,r?ra :M,*.ico ?f theconchision of the w^ "'^
? certain that, if no !!Vfextoari tcrritorv wm ? .
??? indemnity could be obtained. v 1 ^ j
" It ?s further manifest that Congies. contemnLle.l
iTsV-'HS J f7mtihe f*ct ,beir ?? Mionl, art
j. * , the Eaeewtive recommendation, aiinronriui
..rt milbm,, of dollars with that expre., oi.jwf 'rhij
appropnation was made 4 to enable the President to j
* 'reaty ot pe.?., limita, and iMM.ndaries with the Rew.ld
Mexico to oe used by him in the event that ?id teS" wh^
?iRHwl liy the authorized arents of the twfi ! ?.. *' hcn ,
ami duly ratified by Mexico, shall call for ihe expeX?~tf
?'< ?.w, or any part there,rf".' The obj, ct of ,
pmpriation was distinctly stated in the several me? . P"
tie subject which I communicated to Congress." ?n
u n K'.b!r D,,W ,h* nwn and mone7 f?e now ask-, arh| what
will he tell you at the n?-xt session ' Whv tli.i i
int. n.led to overrun all Mexico! He will sav vmi'"*^
";n' 1 Hhou'd ""J de?truction ihrmighout the whole oHhl !
country ? that ' ,n>l j
" I should dip my s#ord in blood, and write my
On deu>late<l lands and cities."
A nd he woo'd have a right to aay .,. Vote him the men j
he money he want.; let him have ninety thoma ?| tro<Z
there, and he will enact scene, that pcrbn,* wo I,,,;,.
"I. and at the next ?s.,on be will come and tell Us ,.S? u',
>vsh what we meant, .nd he will have a right to do JL h?
"?.se action, .peak louder than word.. We ce,t??|l in
g.vmg our vo'es, must be support to have a,m, o!,j,rl
tain that object the President can construe for him,elf
In regard to the amendment which has been r.r i *
! b'!Jj ? of m"kin? **UT, it leaves it mori
"J1 * U ,Mre* ? ,oth? President'. ?Mretion whether Jo
?m!?<dy then, troop, or not, but that is the very tl,in' we
I ought not to do. He has hail discretion enough. Ws? ft n .
?! his dbcretion that our tr,or, were marched t, , J JL
Grande ? It seem, to me that tl.e t,Ue course i. t(,, lkn ,h,
'Iferetion into our own handa, and make menfie ^
?traz
I Zittatss i~;L
| to 1* given. Indemnity for what? Security for what I
lind the indemnity be wanted was not only indemnity for our
' claims, and lor ail the ex pen** of the war, but, m addition
to all this, he wanted to drive a bargain with thein , he wa.
not willing to make peace unless tney would sell lum a psit
of their country with i* inhabitant!; for I r*od in the 5th and
Gili article# ol ihe treaty proposed by our Government to
Mexico a* follow#, viz :
<? Art. 5. In consideration of the extension of the limits ol
ihe United State., as they are defined by the preceding arti
cle, and by tbe atipulations which are further contamed in ar
ticle 8, the United State, abandon forever again* tbe United
Mexican Slates all reclamation on account ot the costs of this
war i and, be.ide., agree to pay to tlic L ulled Mexican Stale.,
in the citv of Mexico, the sum ot ?-. ,?:?..1i
?' ArC 6. In full consideration ol tbe stipulations contained
iu articles 4 and 8 ?f this treaty, tbe United States agree to as
sume and nay all sums at present due'to claiiuauts, arid those
which ni6y be hereafter established, according, to the conven
tion concluded butweeu the two Republics, in the city ol Mexi
co, on the 90th of January, 1843, to provide lor the payment
of what shall be decided in favor of the claimants, according to
a convention between tbe United Slates and the Mexican Re
public, on lite 11th ol April, 183'J. And the United States
!,,?ally agree to assume and pay all reclamations of ciltzin.s ol
the United Stales against the Government ot the United Mexi
can States not previously decided, to an amount not exceeding
three millions of dollars, which have arisen prior to the 13tb
of May, 1846, and which shall he adjudged to be due by a com
mission established bv the Government of the United Slates,
1 whose decisions shall be definitive and conclusive : Provided,
(ilwMJi, That, iu deciding on the validity of the said demands,
the commission shall be guided and governed by the principles
and rules prescribed by the first and tiltharticles ot the unrati
tied convention, concluded in the city ot Mexico on the '20ih pi
November, 1843, and in no case .lull they gi ve judgment in ,
favor of any claim not embraced by these principles ant. rules.
And the United Stales, for the present and the future, exoner
ate the United Mexican States from any ol the said demands
whatsoever, which may be admitted or rejected by said board
of commissioners."
He requires-payment of our unliquidated claims ; ho re
quites Ihe expense if of the war, and, in addition to these, he
requires that they shall sell him just as much territory as he
net s fit to buy at his own price ; this is the indemnity and se- i
curity he wants. Are Senators prepared to sanction these
views > Can they face the indignation of the world after hav
ing insisted on them ? Here is a Government enfeebled, bro
ken down: a people distracted, having a natural attachment
to the homes of their birth ; to tbe soil beneath which moul
der the bones of their fathers 5 and because they do not choose
ti sail their country and themsclv?#, the President says the war.
must be prosecuted and carried into the vital parts ot Mexico.
Well, now, the course of ihe President seems to me decidedly
reprehensible. Perhaps I have commented upon it in a man
ner not quite becoming to this place. I hope not.
I cannot help remarking, in justice to him, that he has not J
shown a disposition for war in all cases. I think, in the man
agement of the Oregon treaty, he exhibited meekness to asur
prising degree. But he did not inherit the blessing of the
meek. He did not get the land. He would not submit to
arbitration. Well, how did he settle it '
Let Mr. Pakenham, the British Minister, tell Lis own story :
" WxsHiKOTOJr, Ji*xe 13, 1846. ?
" Mr Loan : In conformity with what I had the honor to
state*in niv despatch (Nn. 68) of the 7th instant, the Presi
dent sent a message on Wednesday last to the Senate, submit
ting for the opinion of that body the draught o a convention
for the settlement of the Oregon question,
strutted by your Lordship's despatch (No. 19) of the 18th
VIav to propose f?r tl,c acceptance ot the United States.
" Afler a few hours' deliberation on eacli ol ihe three days, i
f Wednesday, Thursdav, and Friday,) the Senate, by a major
ity of 38 votes to 12, adopted yesterday evening a resolution
advising the President to accept the terms proposed by Her
Majesty's Government. The President did not hesitate to act
on this advice, and Mr. Buchanan accordingly sent for me this
morning, and informed me that the conditions offered by Her
Majesty's Government were accepted by the Government of
ihe United States, without the addition or alteration of a sin- |
gle word. , .
.. 1 have the honor to be, kc R-pAKENHAM.
??The Right Hon. the Karl of Aberdeen."
Mark Mr. Pakenham's significant close of his letter?" with
out the addition or alteration of a single word ! - his was
too cruel in Lord Aberdeen ; he ought to have let the Presi
dent add that " war existed by the act of Mexico. But no;
he must take it just as the British Cabinet dictated it; and
that, too, notwithstanding he had, in his inaugural, dec.ared
it to he his "duty to assert and maintain, by all constitutional
means, the right of the United States to that portion of our
territory which lies beyond tho Rocky Mountains. Oar title
to the country of the Oregon is clear and unquestionable.
Of this territory, our title to which was clear and unquestion
able, he peaceably g.ves up to Great Britain a tract extending
five hundred miles on the teacoast, und back to the Rocky
Mountains, by a treaty proposed by that Government,
"without the addition or alteration of a single word.
He takes it just exactly as it was cooked up tor him, very
much as sick children are directed to do when they have an
unpalatable dose of medicine to takes ".hut your eyes and
open your mouth and down with i'.' Now \ have not a
word to say against the settlement of the Oregon question ;
J,ut it a. ems to me that it would have read a little lietter in
history, if it had not been preceded by so much blustering and
bragging. And it was a liltle amusing to see the effect it had
on our Eastern Democracy. The innn who did not go for
54? 40' was a Federalist, a Traitor ; and some were so zea
lous that they even got up to 54? 49'. I pon them the treaty
came like a thunderclap, and they had to reverse ihe steam so
suddenly that it came nigh producing a fatal collapse in the
^But, sir, the President is not so entirely warlike in his na
ture as his conduct to Mexico would indicate; he has other
and milder qunlities ; he surely has none of that ferocious
spirit, characterized by the poet as? , ? |
V That stern joy which warriors leel
" In foemen worthy ol their steel."
\nd in the selection of an adversary, he has surely display
ed great prudence, which is said to be the better part of valor.
It is a colder country at 54? 40'. ,
Now, if right in the pjaition I ha*c taken here, the question
is what i? the doty of the American Senate > What are they
to' do ? To go on and vote these ten regiments ? The hon
orable Senator from Kentucky the other day said he did not
know why regulars were preferred to volunteeis. I do not
know that I do. But Yankees guess sometimes
War is to be made, sir, not only upon Mexico, but on the
free laborers of the country, and the first onslaught is to lie made
in the ahapc of a tax on tea and coffee ; and it is the patronage
which the creation of these ten regiments is to give bim which
he thinks will enable him to effect it, and the President has
probably come to the conclusion, taught by tho experience of
the past, that, with the patronage of ten regiments at his com
mand, "Burnt thingi may be done as well at olher$.
I think the Senator from Kentucky, with his great acumen,
may discover why the'Preaident pn-fers regulars.
Well, why cannot Senators who think with me that the
war is wrong, radically wrong, come out and declare so by ;
their votes > Why sit here denouncing the President, and
then be guilty of the inconsistency?with ail deference I say it |
of voting men and money to carry on the war W hy, it is
said it would be unpopular to withhold the supplies. Are we
afraid to trust the people with a great question of right ?ir,
I think those who are afraid to tru?t the people underrate
them. Are men afraid to do that which is right because it
msv not be popular ? Sir, it is this ghost of the unpopularity
of opposition to the war which seems to sit like a nightmare
upon American statesmen. Sir, I think there was more truth
than poetry in what was said by a Western man. He said he
Kot caught by opposing the last war, and he did not mean to
net caught again?he intended now to go for war, pestilence,
and famine. And I think there is a good deal of that feeling
in the country now. Men are afraid to take a bold stand. |
It ia sa d the people have already decided this matter; that
they have settled that the war shall be prosecuted. I deny it
entirely. I do not believe it. People have settled it . I t
have never met among the people one in ten who thought the
war was right, or thought that it would be right further to
Pr<Tbeheve, air, that the heart of this whole people is sick o(
this miserable temporizing policy, which is pu't'ng justice,
and right, and truth out, in order that expediency may walk
in and govern, control, ami direct our actions. I wish thst
the experiment might be trij.l by Congress of acting and vot
ing on this matter according to tho convictions of their own
understanding, as expressed by themselves, when they apeak
of tbe eh iructer of thia war. I listened the other day with
great pleasure to the remarks of the honorable Senator from
South Carolina. I trust I heard with profit the suggestions
which he threw out when speaking on kis resolutions. j
I confess that I was somewhat astonished that a man of hi-*
great experience?his vast learning?his keen observation
could really think that there could lie any virtue in the paa
asge of the e resolutions. I would like, indeed, to see ihoae
resdutior s passed, not that I think their pai-sagr would dopny
good in the present emergency, but they might, if adopted,
serve as a sort of landmark, showing with what rapidity and what
proclivity we have travelled ihe road to ruin i but that there
would be any virtue in them I have not the least idea. 1 a?s
thesi resolutions unanimous',* in both branches of Congress,
and let the President ap|?end lo them hia usual d -claration
that the war.was commenced by Mexico i.nny, you may go
beyond that, and with all the forms and solemnities with which >
you could effebody them, you may maketfiem part of the writ
ten fundamental constitution of the land, and what would they
lie worth ' Not the paper u|K?n which they ere written ? lor
the very moment that they stood in the way of a popnlar ma- j
jority they wewld be utterly set at naught. He that is no
persuaded of that, has not read, it seems ?o me, the first primer |
of our history. I thwk that the resolutions themselves con
tain much that is just and true, and thst tbej-ssage of them
might be of some consequence in Ihe way wh ch I have sug
gested, but that tbeir |ms*age would check the downward ten
dency of affairs is altogether out of the question.
I believe that the people desire os to go right, and that w
have not faith enough in the people. Nothing is more com
mon than to find aspirants for public favor flattering the peo
ple and continually praising their intelligence and patriotism.
and c?ery thing which give# value and dignity to the human
character. But you do not find these eulogist* of the public
virtue at all prepared to ventuie a little upon the intelligence
which they vaunt so much. There is faiili in expediency, in
policy, in every thing but justice, truth, otid light.
The present is, I believe, a critical period in our history.
I believe that it is presumptuous in u* to affirm, as the Presi
dent has affirmed in hia message, that the great question of
the capability of tnan for self-government has been settled
It ia not settled, sir. We are now settling it- ^ hether the
manner in which we are settling it will favorably or unfavora
bly affect the condition of mankind hereafter, yet remains to be
seen in the future. We are settling the question not only for
ourselves, but for all who are to come after u*. It here the
experiment of self-government should fail, who can estimate
the consequences to our race ' We are to day writing our
history ; we are impressing that little space which we occupy
between the past and the future with footsteps which will be
indelible. Whither are those foolste|ts now lending ? Shall
thoae who are to succeed us find that the cotirse which we are
now pursuing lead to the btoad fields of liberty, of peace, and
of prosperity ? Or shall it be that we are only erecting monu
ments marking the by-paths that lead to the pitfalls of destruc
tion ? These are questions that must como home to the heart
of every man who loves his country and prize* its free institu
tions, and sees the dangers which now threaten them. Are
we so blind, so fanatical, so stupid as to believe that the great
laws ol the physical and moral world are to be reversed in our
favor ? Are we emphatically the children of destiny f Can
we take our destiny in our own hands and control it ' Not
so. It seems to me that there is a light streaming down the
pathway of ages illumiuating the destiny of nations, and that
it is written, in glaring characters, retribution. It is a law in
operation all around ua, in the physical, moral, and political
world. It is true of nations as of individuals, " whatsoever a
man sows, that shall he also reap." I would ask those dispos
ed to look at this question in the light of history, to go back,
and by its aid trace the long vista of ages that have elapsed }
let them go back, if they will, to the morning of creation,
when all the sons of Gixl shouted together lor joy, that Al
mighty Power had spoken a new world into being ; and they
will not find it recorded in any page of that history that any
nation ever ajwed the seeds of war and slavery, and reaped the
fruits ol peace and liberty. No, tbot passage remains to be
written, and it requires no very great effort of the imagination
to fancy tbat we can now hear the voice of all nations of the
past sounding a solemn warning in our ears. Let us beware
lest that fate which has constantly followed such a course of
policy may not soon be ours.
I have thus endeavored to discharge my duty. I am quite
aware of the imperfection of th* effnrt. But before I con
clude I wish to say a single word personal to myself, and to
let you know, sir, and the Senate know, that if it be fanati
cism which I havo uttered, 1 am not alone respom-ible for it.
It ia not peculiar to myself, sir, nor those with whom I act.
Wo had, a year or *j ego, jn the State of New Hampshire,
a pair of Democratic organs, and it was rather doubtful whe
ther they were entirely harmonious. But in May these New
Hampshire "patriots" came together?they' had an annexa
tion?and when they came together they undertook to define
the true Democratic faith upon this very doctrine of slavery.
I read from the " New Hampshire Patriot" of 27th of May,
.1847, from an article entitled, in capitals, " Whicu is the
Pno-8I.4VEnr PARTY ?"
" It is well known, as a general thing in the slave States,
the Democrats are the most favorable to the abolition of
slavery."
Again :
"The Democratic parly of the South contain* the men and
the elements which are operating to the amelioration of the
condition of the slaves, and will ultimately accomplish the
overthow of the institution of slavery."
Again :
"The Federal party is the pro-slavery party."
Sir, that was "New Hampshire I'atriit Democracy"
last May. I do not undertake to say what it is now. Our
annual election is neir at hand, and I have not seen the offi
cial organ for some weeks. So, if I am fanatical^* I am not
without authority for my fanaticism ; and a man may, it
seem?, entertain all the sentiments which I have advanced
without being cast out of the pale of the Democracy as it is
now organ.zed- But I leave the subject. I thank the Senate
for the patience, kindne?a, and candor with which I have been
heard. It is no pleasant duty that I have performed. It is not
agreeable to my feelings to occupy the place of an Ishmnelite
here; my hand being against every man's, and every mail's hand
against mine. If any remarks have fallen from me offensive to
the feeling of a single Senator, of whith I am wholly uncon
scious, I can assure (him from the bottom of my heait that
they were altogether unintentional. I have endeavored to
deal with principles and measures, not with men. I believe
that the institutions of the country are endangered. I be
lieve that the course in which we are proceeding, unless our
career be arrested, will most inevitably conduct us to destruc
tion ; and I have thrown out these suggestions in the hope of
doing something, however feeble the attempt, in order to ex
cite correct public sentiment on this all-vital question.
The Senate then procecdej to the consideration of Execu- !
tivc business. ___________
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS
Mr. ROCK WELL, of Connecticut, on Tuesday last, when
the.House of Raprcsentativoa wasin Committee of the Whole,
took occasion to allude to the late Message of the President of
the United States, on the subjret of Inrernal Improvements, in
a speech of cdnciderable force, of which we have the follow
ing sketch from our Reporters :
Mr. ROCKWELL, of Connecticut, next rose, but ?a d it
was not with the intention to occupy more than ten or fifteen
minutes of the time of the committee. He merely rose to say
a few words on one of the topics which had occupied no in
considerable portion of the time of the House for the last few
days. He wa?, he confessed, somewhat amused yesterday on
listening to the full and elaborate defcnco of the incases of
I the Administration by gentlemen who aildretucd the committee.
The ktate -of feeling must be, indeed, very agreeable with
which the President and the Secretary of the Treasury wit
nessed the success of all their measure*?if they were ?o sue- |
ceasful as gentlemen described them. He (Mr. R ) had aup
posed, however, there had been some trouble attendant on
their meaxuics, and that to sustain the burdens which the
country has now to bear had given sore affliction to the mind
of the Secretary of the Treasury. To enable the Government
to meet these expenses the Secretary of the Treasury reegpn
mended, first, a duty on tea and coffee 5 and, in the second
place, he had taken the position that the only way to raise
sufficient revenue was to reduce the pi ice ol the public lands. ,
Such were his great schemes of finance.
He did not design, however, on this occasion to go into
these mattera, and show their inconsistency. He had no in
tention to go into an examination of the statements of the Se
cretary of the Treasury, who aeemed to have more regard for
Mine abstract mode of argument than for practical details and
the preparation of just estimates of the means that were ne- ,
cessary to meet the demand* on the Treasury. Nor did be
nlean to undertake to aettle the impmtant difficulties of this
war, which afflicted his friends on the other side of the |
House j nor those which troubled them respecting the im
provements of harliora and rivers 5 and he could only express
the hope that his friend from Tennessee (Mr. Staktox) would
receive with due meekness the admonition which had been
administered by the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr.
Visarlk.) In such matters it was not for him (Mr. R.) to
interfere. But there was one single point in the reraarka of
the gentleman from Tennessee, in relation to the subject of
harbor* and rivers, on which he had rison to ray a word. He
bad had occasion to refer to the President'* meaaaga on thi*
subject, and he must confea* that some of iu statements bad
?truck him with great *urpri*e. The purport of one of these
statements was, that the system of harbor and river improve
ment* had, in fact, originated during the Administration of
Mr. Adams and that it was greatly restrain*!, and almost
abolished, during the administration of Gen. Jackson. In j
jihnrt, that it lay at the door of hi* (Mr. R.'*) *ide of the
House, and that the remedy was to be ascribed to the other.
He thought, however, that they were not entitled to the un
divided honor; and hence the statement fiad been made in
ignotance, or with a deaire to deceive the public mind.
With regard to thi* matter, he would refer to a few facta to
ahow that the President had not truly presented them to the
country. The President state* in hi* me?a?ge that the pdwer
to appropriate money for internal improvementa was never
claimed for thirty years after the organization of the Govern- j
ment. Now, it ao happened that it was claimed, and sus
tained by an able arRomcrit by Mr. Gallatin, in 1808, in a
report which be at that time made to Congreaa. He would
advert for a moment to the resolution under which it was
made.
The honorable gentleman heje reed Mr. W orthingfon a re
aoluiion of the 3d March, 1807, which was offered and adopt
ed as a substitute for two other*, which contemplated some im
provements in the Che apeake bay, Ac. The substitute was
adopted by the Senate almost unanimously, the yeas and nays
being taken, for there were but three in the negative, and
twenty-two in the affirmative. Thoae in the negative were
from the Statee of New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New
Hampshire.
Thua at that early period net only waa that right claimed,
but the Secretary was directed to make a full inquiry, and re
pott thereon, and that report he (Mr. R-) had before him.
He should not, however, undertake to read it, for it embrac
ed twenty pages of the volume which he held in hla hand,
going minutely into the details of the subject. He, however,
read extracts specifying different classes of public works, and
1 recommending an expenditure of twenty millions of dollars,
which improvementa, at an annual appropriation of two mil
lions, could all be accomplished in ten years. This then af
forded evidence to contradict the express declaration of the
President, which he had so recently made to the country.
But that waa not all. In 1818 Mr. Calhoun made a re
port on this subject when he waa in the Department of War.
I From that report the honorable gentleman read various ex
I iracu, and al?o from other document*, to bustain
| which he had taken that ihe President had not iruttpSlly re
presented the origin of ihia claim- The honorable genilenioi:
L also proceeded to controvert another statement of the Pre?
aidrnt'a message, which set forth that during Mr. Adams's ad
ministration many appropriations were made cmbraciq^oad*,
rivers, harbor*, and canals.
The idea conveyed by thia wos, that some new doctrine was
established by Mr. Adama'a administration, which was not
the fact. No appropriations were made during that Admin
istration for the construction ol roads, except such at had been
provided for from the beginning of the Government. The
roada for which appropriations were made were those of the
territories, for which the Government had alwaya and dees
still provide. The honorable gentleman here read troxo a
I Congressional report a statement of appropriations made aud
the objects to which they were devoted, to ahow that they
were for roads lying in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arkansas, and
Florida, There was, however, one bill signed by Mr. Adams
1 for a road in Maine. In explanation of this, and to ahow
that Gen. Jackson signed hills of a similar character, the fco
' norable gentleman read an extract from some work, the title
: aud contents of which were not distinctly heard at the Repoiter'a
desk. He then proceeded to show that the accusation that
Mr. Adams approved and signed bills for making and impro
ving canals was not true. By voluminous documentary evi
dence, he pioceedod to sustain the Administration of Mr.
Adams, and to show that it had been misrepresented by the
President, and with that view referred to the course pursued
and the appropriations made during the Administrations of
Gen. Jackson, Mr. Van Burcn, and Mr. Tyler.
He further read that part of the message which states that,
prior to 1826, there had been made no appropriations for the
improvement of navigable rivers. This statement, he said,
was also erroneous. In 1824 an act was pasted appropriating
$75,000 for the improvement ol the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers; in 1825 an act Tor removing obstructions from the
mouth of the Grand river; and this in the very face of the de
claration of the President that, prior to 1826, the time fixed
upon as being the time Mr. Adams came into power, theie
was no appropriation for the improvement of any navigable
rivers. Here was another gross misstatement of facts. But
he had not intended to ?0 at all at length into this subject.
There was one other view contained in tliis message, which
appeared rather from the reading of it from beginning to end
than from any particular clause ; that was, that Gen. Jackson
checked and arrested the system of internal improvements ;
that he had found it in a very proejterous condition, plunging
the country into bankruptcy and immense expenditure ; and
that by his timely interference this system was destroyed.
That was totally untrue. There never was a more gross mis
statement. What were the facts > By referring to the
report which he held in his hand, which gave the de
tails of every single measure of this character, it would l>e
found that prior to 1826, between 1806 and 1824, the ap
propriations of this character for roads were $965,112.
From this report it appeared that the whole amount appro
priated during Mr. Adams's administration for roads, harbors,
rivers, and every thing of that character, was $2,311,475 26;
and during Gen. Jackson's administration, which it was
claimed had chcckcd this whole system, what did they sup
pose was the whole amount of these appropriations ' Why,
10,582,000 and odd dollars?more than four times as much as
was appropriated during Mr. Adams's administration. And
during Mr. Van Buren's administration, after this system had
been killed, as was claimed, when it was entirely dead, the
amount of bills of the same character approved by him was
2,223,000 and odd dollars. In the first year of Mr. Van Bu
ren's administration, $2,000,000 of this was appropriated ; so
that these appropriations, in one year of Mr. Van Buren s
administration, after this much-boasted execution of this whole
system by Gen. Jackson, amounted to as much Within a very
small sum as the whole amount appropriated during Mr.
Adams's entire administration. It further appeared from this
report that the whole amount ever appropriated for works of
internal improvement was $17,199,223, of which they had
seen that more than ten and a half millions were for b.lls ap
proved by Gen. Jackson.
Now, he was [wrsuaded that upon this subjeot the coun
try at large were not at all aware of the facts, and, from
the reading of this message, an impression was conveyed to
tally adverse and directly oppored to the real facts as ho had
shown them to exist. But it was said that these works were
of a different character from those works which were
signed during Mr. Adams's administration. Such was not
the fact. With regard to the appropriations embraced in
the bill which was vetoed by Mr. Polk at the last session,
a very large part of them were for the very same works
which were commenced during Gen. Jackson's administration.
Now, it appeared to him, in view of these well knowD facts,
that the statement mode by the President of the history of
this syrtem was grossly untrue and deceptive, and unworthy
of any chief magistrate. He ought to have known the truth
concerning this matter; he ought to have been informed in
relation to it. If so, he should not have sent forth a document
intended to convey a false impression. If he was ignorant of
the facts, he-ought to have informed himself before making a
ptatement upon the subject. Whatever might be the case,
the mes-agc was calculated to produce an entirely erroneous
impression upon the country.
In relation to the apportionment of these appropriations
among Ihe different sections of the country, he had but a word to
say. He had said that the whole amount of appropriations of
this character ever made was about $ 17,000,000. From these,
his section of the country, or his State, had never been particu
larly benefited, although upon the Atlantic seabcard, and'
very l&rgelv interested in foreign and domestic commerce. Of
I this amount of $17,000,000, the New England States had
received, in round numbers, $1,106,000 j the Middle States,
including Virginia, $5,927,000 ; the South and Southwest,
exclusive of Virginia, $4,395,000; and Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, $5,77(^000.
His honorable friend from South Carolina near him (Mr.
Holmes) wanted he should see how much had been expended
in South Carolina. He tgould endeavor to oblige the gentle
man, if he could, by ascertaining the amount. He referred,
nlavfullyt ^ (he proposed appropriation for Charleston harbor
which was last session struck out in Ihe House, and remark
ed that it was struck out probably against the gentleman's vote.
Mr. COBB inquired if it was not understood that it was
stricken out because no gentleman from South Carolina
would vote for the liHl'
Mr. ROCKWELL replied that be could not undertake to
say what was the understanding iridic House. It was sug
gested by those around him that it was not put in because
his friend from South Carolina went behind the Speaker's
chair and did not vote.
Mr. HOLMES. I voted directly against it.
Mr. ROCKWELL. Against the bill ? But how did the
gentleman vote upon the particular item for thia harbor >
Mr. HOLMES'S reply was not heard by the Reporter.
Mr. ROCKWELL concluded by remarking that the sub
ject was one of great national importance, and not confined
merely to local interest. And no portion of the country re
ceived as little aa his did, not only in proportion to the num
ber of vessels engaged in commerce, both foreign and domes
tic, but in proportion to the number of harbors which needed
to be improved, and to the entire population.
The following is an extract of a letter from an
officer in the army, now in the city of Mexico ; one
(says the New York Express) who has been through
the whole campaign, and is a judge of the state of
affairs connected with our Mexican neighbors :
"Maxico, Dkckmrkh 2. 1848.
"There ia nothing new here since my last. Troopa are
daily arriving ; but not enough to effect much. All those that
are on the way here ought to have been on the ground before
the last battles. We ought to have seventy-five thousand
men to-day, and proceed at once to take posaeaaion of the
country. It ia no merit of our Government or Army that we
have not been destroyed before this. Our successes are all
owing to the weakness of the *n?my."
AFFAIR8 OF TEXAS.
We have an account of the proceedings in the Legislature
of the State of Texas to the 18th ultimo. The session com
menced on the 13th. J. W. Hawnanso* was elected 8peskcr
of the House of Representatives, receiving 34 votes, againat
24 for General L am a a.
On the 15th ultimo the two Houses met and re-elected
Gen. Hovsto* as Senator in Congress for six years. He re
ceived 69 votes.
The returns of the late election ahow that Gen. Woo* is
elected Governed, and Judge Gaza* Lieut. Governor. Tho
vote for Governor was aa follows s Wood 7,154, Miller 5,106,
Darnell 1,437, Robinson 480. The new Governor ami
Lieut. Governor were to be inaugurated on the 21st ult.
The whole population of Tcxaa ia stated in the official re
turns at 140,000.
WINTER UPON US.
For the information of distant friends we state that we here
have Winter in earnest. The thermometer stood yesterday
morning, in exposed positions, at 8 dsgreea above zero, or 2*
degrees below the freciing point. The Potomac al>ovc the
bridge was hard frozen across yesterday morning i and if the
weather continues as cold as when thia notice ia written, the
ordinary navigation of the river below the bridge cannot fail
al*o to be suspended.
Natai.?-A letter from Vera Cruz, dated the 17th ultimo,
states that Captain Hznrt Eaolk, U. 8. Navy, has been
appointed Oovemor of Tabasco, and would leave for that port
in a few daya. The brig Etna, steamer Scourge, and schooner
Varita are to he placed under hie command. The frigate
United Stain, Com. Rbab, from the coast of Africa via Cape
Verd Islands, Madeira and Cadiz, arrived at Gibraltar 1st ult.
and remained to the 6th, to sail for Port Mahon in two or
three daya. U. S. sloop of war Mariim was in port sanM
i time, to sail for Maraeillea in two or three days.

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