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to re-establish that slavery which had been abolished by the United Mexican States? If that was the case, and we were to be drawn into an acknowledgment of their independence, and then, by that preliminary act, by that acknowledgment, if we were upon their application to admit Texas to become a part of the United States, then the House ought to be informed of it. I shall be for no such war, nor for making any such addition to our territory. ****** I hope Congress will take care to go into no war for the re-establishment of slavery where it has been abolished—that they will go into no war in behalf of our Texians,' or our Texian neighbors'— and that they will go into no war with a foreign power, without other cause than the acquisition of territory.”
In a speech delivered a few days subsequent to the above, Mr. Adams used the following language :
“ It is said that one of the earliest acts of this administration was a proposal, made at a time when there was already much ill-humor in Mexico against the United States, that she should cede to the United States a very large portion of her territory—large enough to constitute nine States equal in extent to Kentucky. It must be confessed that a device better calculated to produce jealousy, suspicion, ill-will and hatred, could not have been contrived. It is further affirmed that this overture, offensive in itself, was made precisely at the time when a swarm of colonists from these United States, were covering the Mexican border with land-jobbing, and with slaves, introduced in defiance of Mexican laws, by which slavery had been abolished throughout the Republic. The war now raging in Texas is a Mexican civil war, and a war for the reestablishment of slavery where it was abolished. It is not a servile war, but a war between slavery and emancipation, and every possible effort has been made to drive us into the war on the side of slavery.”
“When, in the year 1836, resolutions to recognize the independence of Texas came up in the House of Representatives, Mr. Adams opposed them with great energy and eloquence, and provoked a most ardent and violent debate. Mr. Waddy Thompson, then a Representative in Congress, and subsequently Minister to Mexico, advocated the passage of the resolutions; and, in doing so,
said that Mr. Adams, in negotiating the Florida treaty, actually ceded to Mexico the whole of Texas, a province that was part and parcel of this Union.
“ Mr. Adams immediately arrested the speech of Mr. Thompson, and denied the impeachment. Mr. Thompson rejoined, and, to strengthen his position, quoted some remarks Gen. Jackson had made on the subject, confirmatory of the charge of having sacrificed the national domain, in the Florida negotiation.
“Mr. Adams replied with great warmth; and went into a minute and interesting narrative of the whole transaction. Among other things, he said that, before the Florida treaty was signed, he took it to Gen. Jackson, to obtain his opinion of it; and that it was unconditionally approved by him.
“ Mr. Thompson was surprised at the announcement of this fact. It weakened his position very materially; and he resumed his seat a defeated antagonist. So said the House of Representatives, with scarcely the exception of a member.
“ Mr. Adams continued his defence. "At that time,' said he, •General Jackson was in this city, on exciting business connected with the Seminole war; and, after the treaty had been concluded, and only wanted the signatures of the contracting parties, the then President of the United States directed me to call on General Jackson, in my official capacity as Secretary of State, and obtain his opinion in reference to boundaries. I did call. General Jackson, sir, was at that time holding his quarters in the hotel at the other end of the avenue, now kept by Mr. Azariah Fuller, but then under the management of Jonathan McCarty. The day was exceedingly warm, and, on entering General Jackson's parlor, I found him much exhausted by excitement, and the intensity of the weather. I made known to him the object of my visit; when he replied that I would greatly oblige him if I would excuse him from looking into the matter then. • Leave the papers with me, sir, till to-morrow, or the next day, and I will examine them.” I did leave them, sir ; and the next day called for the hero's opinion and decision. Sir, I recollect the occurrence perfectly well; General Jackson was still unwell; and the papers, with an accompanying map, were spread before him. With his cane, sir, he pointed to the boundaries, as shey had been agreed upon by the parties; and, sir, with a very emphatic expression, which I need not repeat, 1 affirmed them.'
“ This debate, whilst yet warm from the hands of the reporters, reached General Jackson; and was at once pressed upon his attention. Its contradiction and refutation were deemed matters of paramount importance. The old soldier did not hesitate long to act in the matter, and speedily there appeared in the Globe newspaper a letter, signed Andrew Jackson, denying, in unqualified and unconditional terms, everything that Mr. Adams had uttered. He denied having been in Washington at the time Mr. Adams designated ; but afterwards, being convinced that he was in error, in this fact only he corrected himself, but denied most positively that he had seen the Florida treaty, or Mr. Adams, at the time of its negotiation, or that he had had the remotest agency or connection with the transaction.
“ Mr. Adams responded, and appealed to his diary, where everything was set forth with the utmost precision and accuracy. The year, day of the month, and of the week, and the very hour of the day, all were faithfully recorded.
“ The affair produced much sensation at Washington; and even the most determined advocates of General Jackson believed that he, and not Mr. Adams, was in error. No one would, or could for a moment, believe that Mr. Adams had made a false report.'
“ Whilst this controversy was pending, I called at the Presidential mansion, one afternoon, when General Jackson, strange to say, happened to be alone. He said that he was very glad to see me, because he would like to hear, from one who had an opportunity of seeing more of the press than he saw, what was the exact state of public opinion, in regard to the controversy.
“* As far as I am capable of judging, Mr. President,' I replied, “the people appear to be unanimous in the opinion that there is a misunderstanding, a misapprehension, between you and Mr. Adams; for no one imagines, for a moment, that either of you would misrepresent facts! Mr. Adams is a man of infinite method ; he is generally accurate, and, in this instance, it appears that he is sustained by his diary.'
6. His diary! don't tell me anything more about his diary! Sir, that diary comes up on all occasions--one would think that its pages were as immutable as the laws of the Medes and Persians ! Sir, that diary will be the death of me! I wonder if James Monroe kept a diary! If he did, it is to be hoped that it will be looked to,
to see if it contains anything about this Adams and Don Onis treaty. Sir, I did not see it; I was not consulted about it.'
“ The old hero was exceedingly vehement, and was proceeding to descant with especial violence, when he was interrupted by the entrance of Mr. Secretary Woodbury, and I never heard another word about the matter. A question of veracity between the parties was raised, and was never adjudicated. Both went down to the grave before any definite light was cast on the subject; but the world had decided that General Jackson was in error.*
* Reminiscences of the late John Quincy Adams, by an Old Colony Man.
In the meantime, during the years 1836 and 1837, the public mind in the Northern States, became fully aroused to the enormities of American slavery-its encroachments on the rights and interests of the free States—the undue influence it was exercising in our national councils—and the evident determination to enlarge its borders and its evils, by the addition of new and large territories. Petitions for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia and the Territories, began to pour into Congress, from every section of the East and North. These were generally presented by Mr. Adams. His age and experience-his well-known influence in the House of Representatives—his patriotism, and his intrepid advocacy of human freedom-inspired the confidence of the people of the free States, and led them to entrust to him their petitions. With scrupulous fidelity he performed the duty thus imposed upon him. Whoever petitions might come from whatever the nature of