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summation for any open demonstration Mexico was never ready to believe, or of her belligerent designs. Of course we rather to confess, that she could not yet accomplished the measure with every reconquer Texas, and impose her arbia reasonable dispatch. The joint resolu- trary laws on an unwilling people. This tion of Annexation was passed by Con was her error-her weakness, if we will gress, and approved March 1, 1845.
have it so. And it was an error and a Now it is to this fact to which we weakness that we could very well have wish to call th' attention of our readers; afforded to respect, and which we namely, that Mexico chose to take of- ought to have respected. We did not fence at this measure of Annexation- choose to do so. We took Texas; chose to regard it as an act which placed with how much profit or honor we shali the two countries necessarily in a state know by and by. The strict legal right of hostility, and as calling on her, as she to do so we think may be maintained and regarded her rights, her honor and her defended—just as an individual may dedignity, to make it cause of war against fend his legal right to the profits of a us; and that the necessary consequence bargain, though taking a very unfair or was, whether she attempted to prosecute ungenerous advantage of other persons' actual hostilities against us or not, or necessities in securing that bargain to made an actual declaration of war or not, himself. Having taken Texas by strict that, as at least all friendly relations and legal right, it seems to follow that, techall diplomatic intercourse were suspended, nically at least, Mexico is wrong in setshe should deem herself free, for the time ting up that acquisition by us, either as being, from all obligations toward us, by cause of war, or as a reason or excuse treaty or otherwise ; the question, there. for her failure to fulfill her treaty and fore, of her right temporarily to disre. other obligations towards us. She should gard these obligations—the question whe. have swallowed her resentment; and ther she has any and how much excuse we, the American people, tell her so, for her neglect and delay to pay her ac who would probably be the last on earth, knowledged indebtedness and to provide in the like case, to follow this teaching. for other undoubted claims upon her, de- She should have kept down her pride; pends altogether, in our judgment, on
she should have submitted to an inexoraanother question ; and that is, whether ble necessity. She might have appealed she can justify herself before the law of to the world against us, and got what nations, the law of God, and the civilized sympathy she could; but she should not world, in resorting to war, or carrying have talked or thought of war, and she her resentment so far as to assume an should have proceeded, as if nothing had attitude of hostility towards us, on ac- happened, to do us ample justice, by satcount of the Annexation of Texas to isfying all the claims of our citizens upon the United States.
her. We sometimes call the Mexican Into this question we have no inten. nation half civilized; here was a chance tion now to enter. We should not care for that Power to show us that, at least, to be obliged to defend the act of Annex. she understood the moral law almost as ation, at all points, in the face of the well as we do. world ; though we think that on strict We hold, then, that strictly Mexico grounds of legal right, as against other cannot defend herself, on the ground of nations, including Mexico, it is defensi. the measure of Annexation, for her failble-certainly not on any ground of wis ures to give us complete redress for the dom, generosity or fairness. And this injuries and losses which our citizens we will freely say of the matter, that no have sustained at her hands in times past; generous or liberal-minded man can won- and if we had chosen to do so, we might der that Mexico should bave indulged have regarded her failures to make repajust that feeling of wounded pride, and ration, at least if continued after a proper all that disposition to resent this act demand according to old treaty, stipulaas an injury and an outrage, which she lions, as cause of war. But have we has manifested. She felt as George III. done so, or have we had any real occadid when his American colonies were sion to do so? Neither the one nor the about to be wrested from him by force of other. We have not made war on Mexico arms. He is said to have been the last for this cause, though we have set up this man in his kingdom to be convinced of grievance as a pretence for hostilities. We the impossibility of reconquering them, have not declared war against her at all. and the necessity of giving them up. The President called on Congress “ to re
cognize the existence of the war;" Con- certainly as it has, if the Administration gress recited in the preamble of a Supply had entertained the same designs in regard Bill, that war existed; and the President to the extension of our territorial limits, issued a proclamation, to the effect that and had adopted the same measures to Congress had so recognized the existence secure that object. How we wish Mexof the war. Neither has Mexico declared ico had been both just and wise enough war against us.
to have satisfied our claims upon her “I solemnly announce,” says the Pro. promptly, at any sacrifice, when she vincial President, Paredes, in a formal saw this difficulty approaching, and so proclamation, " that I do not declare war left this modest and peace-loving Adminagainst the United States of America, be- istration of ours to pursue its designs of cause the august Congress of the nation, aggression upon her, if it dared, stripped and not the Executive, must decide defin- naked of every rag of defence or apology! itively upon that reparation which so She did not do this; and her failure has many insults call for. But the defence of complicated the relations between the two the Mexican territory which is invaded by countries. War has come on while this troops of the United States, is of para notable delinquency is chargeable on her; mount necessity, and my responsibility and, though certainly brought on with would become great if I did not command little real regard to this cause, still it gives that the enemy's forces should be repelled. this advantage to this Government, that I have done so.”
it marches upon her under cover of a fire War exists, then, between these two from this battery. She should have nations in the act::al collision and con- spiked this artillery beforehand. As it flict of their armies in the field, and is, she goes into the war-a war for other not by the formal declaration of war and distinct objects—with this admitted on either side. We marched an army cause of complaint against her, on our into a territory which Mexico claimed as part, and with the necessity fastened upon her own, the possession of which she her of making due reparation for this inheld, and had always held, by her people, jury before she can expect to come out of her municipal authorities, and her mili. it. The war cannot now he relinquished tary posts ; she called this a hostile in- by us till this satisfaction be made or sevasion of her soil, and forthwith under- cured. Would to God she understood her took to repel it by force. This made the interest well enough to make this advance war. And what, we ask now, has this at once, and without any further delay, war, in its inception, to do with our un- Public opinion in this country would satisfied claims on Mexico for wrongs soon settle the rest of the business, by and injuries done to American citizens? compelling our Government to make Manifestly, nothing. Our army was not peace with her, without robbery, or any sent into the field to make a military de. further attempt at robbery. monstration in behalf of these claims. But not only was this war begun, with That movement bad a distinct and a very no other than a pretended regard to our different object. It was territory and not unsatisfied claims as a distinct object to money that the President intended to se. be secured by it; but there was no necure by it-new and further acquisitions cessary occasion for making this a cause of territory, above and beyond what was of war-at least, at the time and in the strictly acquired by the Annexation of manner in which warlike demonstrations Texas. Hence the war. We will not were commenced on our part. At a former suffer ourselves, and, if we can help it, period, when Mexico was suffering un. we will not allow the people of this der “the irritating effects of her struggle country, to be cheated into the belief that with Texas,” and General Jackson took our Government has gone to war with that occasion to break out in paroxysms Mexico on account of a debt of three, four of impatience and passion for the delay or six millions, which she has neglected of that Government in providing for these to pay. The Administration know well claims, even he did not recommend war, enough that this cause has not produced but reprisals—and that only after another or led to the war. We do not hesitate to demand from on board one of our vessels affirm, as a matter admitting of no doubt of war. Congress refused to sanction or disputation, that, had every dollar of even this measure of redress, and recomthis debt been paid to us two years ago, mended a compliance with treaty stipulathis war would have been just as inevi- tions, before resorting either to reprisals table, and would have taken place just as or war-which required a friendly de
mand first to be made for redress of inju. Mexico with any disposition or design to ries, accompanied with proper proofs escape from the setilement of her just to verify the complaints. If the two dues to us. Witness the conventions necountries were not at war until blows gotiated by Mr. Thompson. One, by were struck on the Rio Grande, then the which she gave up her right by former Treaty of 1831 was as much in force as treaty to pay in depreciated paper, and ever, and a proper demand was to be agreed to pay in coin; and another, by made before a resort to war or reprisals. which the remaining cases, not disposed And if it be said that Mexico refused to of under the former commission, were receive Our Minister, sent to lier for this promptly provided for. And this was and other objects, still we say, the mode not all. Mr. Thompson says: "I was of redress formerly proposed by General anxious before I left the legation that the Jackson was open to the Government; a docket should be cleared, and as there demand might have been made from on were five cases remaining, some of them board one of our vessels of war, followed of long standing, I asked an interview by reprisals in case of refusal, or unrea with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sonable delay. If it be said that Mexico discuss and settle them.
The rehad first violated her treaty obligations to sult was, that all I asked was conceded us by neglecting to pay her liquidated to me, in all of them.” All this did not debt, and therefore we were no longer look as if Mexico, at that time, if she had bound by any treaty stipulations with her, been unjust, was resolved to be unjust still we say, that with or without treaty, still. There were not wanting many demand and reprisals were better than other occasions, while Mr. Thompson war, and should have been first resorted was in Mexico, when the dispositions of to, if coercive measures of
that Government, whether to oblige or disnecessary, and the real object had been oblige and injure us, were put to the test. to obtain satisfaction from Mexico for her She had in her possession prisoners of debt and dues to us. But who does not the Santa Fé expedition, prisoners of the see that the matter of these claims was expedition to Mier, and prisoners taken the last and the least object which the at San Antonio, in behalf of all of whom, Administration had in view in its military in one way and another, our Minister demonstrations towards Mexico ? It was had occasion to interpose with his remonnot for this that one fleet was gathering, strances, or his good offices and solicitaat an early day, before Vera Cruz, and tions. It was never done without suc. another was hovering around her ports on cess. So an order had been issued stopping the Pacific, while an army was directed the inland trade to Santa Fé, and another to take up a position on and over the far. affecting seriously the goods and interests ther boundary of Texas proper, prepara. of American merchants in that country, tory to a march to its “point of ultimate both of which were rescinded, at the indestination” on the Rio Grande. The stance of the American Minister. So Administration cannot say, with truth, also the Government of Mexico, fearing that it was the object of these movements another Texan operation, and not with. originally, to compel Mexico to settle out good reason, had made an order for these claims, or that anything of the sort expelling all natives of the United States was deemed necessary for that purpose from California, and three adjoining Dethough the President and his echoes are partments of Mexico; this order, too, was continually ringing changes on these rescinded, at the peremptory demand of the “ wrongs and injuries,” as if they had Minister, who says that he did not take really led to the war. They knew very the high ground he had assumed in rewell that these claims would be volunta- gard to it without “ some compunctious rily settled the moment that Mexico could visitings,” for he had already been inbe reconciled to the loss of Texas, or formed, and indeed consulted, in regard could be made to submit to that loss. to a plot for the formation of an IndependMexico has never, at any period, refused ent Republic in that quarter, of which to recognize and seitle these claims, California should constitute a part. though she has often proscrastinated and Mr. Thompson's Mission in Mexico neglected their settlement. It is only terminated, be it remembered, in March, just to her to say this much. Before 1844, just one month before Mr. Tyler's friendly relations were interrupted by this Treaty for the Annexation of Texas was Texan business, and from the time of the concluded ; and up to that moment, as he Convention of 1839, we cannot charge declared in his address on taking leave,
“the bonds of friendship between the never bave declared war against us, or two nations had been strengthened, in- gone to war with us, merely on account stead of being weakened.” He added, in of the Annexation of Texas to the United that same address, this fact—as credita- States, with an undefined boundary beble to him as to the Mexican Government tween her territory and ours. It is true, -having first adverted to one exception she threatened war, and assumed a waronly—“I have not made a single official like attitude, and if her ability had been demand, or even a simple request, which equal to her will, perhaps she would have was not granted.” All this did not look, taken the field—and perhaps not. There certainly, as though in two short years was at first some danger of war, merely from that time, we must needs be thun- because there was some danger that her dering with our cannon around her cities, authorities might not be able to satisfy to wake her up to a sense of the wrongs the boastful feelings and pride of her peoand injuries we had so long borne,” and ple and her army short of it. But it is of the justice she was wantonly with a good while since this danger passed holding from us. No, no. It only needed away. It is perfectly manifest that her that Mexico should have been conciliated successive military chiefs--Santa Aña in regard to Texas, to make the settle. —Herrera-Paredes-none of them in. ment of our claims certain and secure; tended to make war on account of Annex. and this the Administration knew perfect. ation, unless forced into it by a noisy ly well. There was not a well-informed popular opinion which could clamor man in the country who did not perfectly about war, without having really any understand, that, on the event of Annex- stomach for the fight; and it is a good ation, if nothing worse happened, at least while since it became apparent that such our friendly relations with Mexico, and a war, so far as Mexico was concerned, with them the payment of our claims, might and would be avoided. General must be suspended for a while, and un- Thompson satisfied himself of this before til, by counsels of conciliation, modera. he left Mexico. • They are not going tion and wisdom, on our part, in dealing to declare war against us— have never with her and the whole subject, she could doubted for a moment about that.” be brought to look on Annexation with They talk as they have done for years composure. We all knew, that if we about invading Texas. No such thing escaped war in this business, yet the was attempted before the Annexation of restoration of friendly relations must ne Texas to this country; and an invasion cessarily be the work of time, and would now only excites a smile whenever it is demand of us great circumspection, deli- spoken of. Not one man of sense in cacy of treatment, and forbearance to. Mexico either desires or anticipates such wards that excitable and sensitive peo a thing.” ple, whom, however innocently as we The attitude assumed by Mexico immay think, we had deeply wounded. mediately after our Resolution of Annex
And now we are prepared to say, and ation, made it necessary, in the opinion we do say, with emphasis and solemnity, of the President, “as a precautionary that, with such a line of conduct on our measure, to order a strong squadron to part towards Mexico as was due from us the coasts of Mexico, and to concentrate in reference to the case and the occasion, an efficient military force on the Western war might have been and would have Frontier of Texas.” Where the “ Westbeen avoided, without the sacrifice of one ern Frontier” of Texas was, or might be just claim or one substantial and fair in a settlement of boundaries, was terest of the United States, or of any an important question, which it was not American citizen. All the facts and dis- competent to the President to decide. But closures in the case testify to this conc!u our army took up a position at Corpus sion, and warrant us in taking this Christi on or near the right bank of the ground boldly, and without the slightest Nueces—a river which marked the well. misgiving or doubt. Let those beware known boundary of the old province or who have brought this needless war department of Texas on the West. This upon us, for covert objects which they was early in August of last year, and have not dared to disclose or avow, and the avowed object of the movement was yet with pretences which are hypocriti “to repel any invasion of the Texan tercal and false !
ritory which might be attempted by the The position which we here take in Mexican forces.” The President conthe first place, is this ; that Mexico would sidered the Texan territory even then,
which was long before Annnexation was as near the boundary line-the Río consummated, and while Texas was still Grande-as prudence will dictate.” *** as much an independent republic as she “ The President desires that your posiever was, as a part of the territory of the tion, for a part of your forces at least, United States, and to be defended accord- should be west of the River Nueces.” ingly. On this assumption, absurd, and These letters invited General Taylor to mischievous as we deem it to be, he was push at once for the extremesi límits right in taking proper precautions for its the Rio Grande—they instructed him to defence against a threatened invasion, if pass “ west of the River Nueces." He he believed the danger to be real, as we was too old a soldier to be caught in any suppose he did. Admitting that it was, trap set for him at Washington; he even at that period, the duty of the Ex. obeyed the orders, and gave the invitaecutive to be prepared to repel any inva- tion the go-by: He took his position at sion of Texas by the Mexican forces, and Corpus Christi, which was “ west of the to place the army near where it would Nueces” because on the right bank of be needed if Mexico should declare war that river; and there he remained for six against us; and admitting also that, with months, a hundred and fifty miles from this object in view, it was proper that the Rio del Norte, and until, having the army should have been directed to finally received positive orders, he moved take up a position in the Texan territory, to the latter river. where, we ask, was the necessity that the We affirm that Mexico would not have very first position of our forces should made war on the United States on achave been taken on the farther side of count of Annexation, nor would she the Nueces ? Did not the President have invaded Texas, or crossed the Rio know that every inch of ground beyond Grande with an army, if the President the Nueces was disputed territory be. had kept his forces wholly out of Texas, tween Mexico and Texas? Did he not or had contented himself with the military know that the Resolution of Annexation occupation of Texas alone within the expressly reserved the question of boun- well-known limits of the ancient state or dary between us possessing the Texan province of that name. No man of sense territory, and Mexico, to be settled by can have any doubt on this point who friendly negotiation, and that it was this understands what the position of Mexico very country, between the Nueces and has been, and what has actually tranthe Rio Grande, and the whole of it, spired since the measure of Annexation which formed the subject of dispute ? was begun. If she made no attempt to Certainly he knew all this, and he knew, reconquer Texas for long years, when too, that, if any thing could at that time, Texas stood alone, she was not likely to the taking military possession of this dis- begin such an enterprise after that country puted territory would bring on a war. It had come into our possession. Long was not enough for him to take posses. before Annexation, she had become satission of the undisputed soil of Texas, atfied that her hold on Texas was gone that early day, to hold it against the day the only difficulty was in making the when Annexation should be consummat. acknowledgment. She was even ready, ed. Events have shown that he might and offered to do this, in the prospect of have done this with impunity. But this Annexation, if Texas would pledge hercould not satisfy him. Long before any self to remain independent. Indeed, it is attempt was made, or thought of, to open known that Mexico had for some time negotiations with Mexico for the peacea. cared for nothing else in regard to Texas, ble settlement of the question of bounda- but to save the point of honor. She was ry, he orders General Taylor, as soon as willing to let her escape and be quit of the Convention of Texas should have her, on this condition. A nominal repassed on the proposition of Annexation, union, resulting, and designed to result, to march into Texas, and he instructs him in complete separation, would have satisthat the point of his “ultimate destina- fied her at any time. It is true, that until tion” was “the Western Frontier” of some arrangement of the soit could be Texas, where he would select and occupy effected, her militaiy chiefs deemed it a position with his army, on or near the politic to talk of re-conquest and invasion Rio Grande—the extremest limit to —but it was talk only. They became a which the nominal paper title of Texas little more vociferous on the event of had ever gone. General Taylor is told Annexation-still, it was talk only. The in another dispatch, “ You will approach Government of Herrera was well under