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teen States of this Union! This is in the fourth article; and then follows the proposed stipulations on our part, "in consideration of this extension of the boundaries of the United States." The first of these is, to pay a sum of money, in blank, to Mexico: and the next, to assume and pay the claims, liquidated and unliquidated, of oar citizens on Mexico. Here we have the President's draught and proposition for a treaty.
And how does the Counter-Project of the Mexican Commissioners differ from this? It proposes that the line of boundary shall be so drawn, that Mexico shall cede to the United States, besides Texas, five degrees of latitude, or more than one half of the territory of Upper California, comprising about 190,000 square miles, or an area larger than that of eleven of the Atlantic States of this Union, taken together, beginning with Maine and running through to Virginia. This is in the fourth article; and then come the articles in which it is stipulated, "in just compensation for the extension of old limits," first, that the United States shall pay to Mexico a sum of money, in blank; and next, this government shall take upon itself to pay and satisfy the claims, liquidated and unliquidated, of our citizens on Mexico. Such is the Counter-Project. And what, we ask, now becomes of the official statement of the Message, that this project proposes to cede territory " for a pecuniary consideration"—as if there was something offensive in that—but contains "no provision for the payment by Mexico of the just claims of our citizens?" If there is no such provision in the plan proposed by Mexico, then there is none in the plan proposed by the President himself.
There was not only indemnity offered in the ease, but indemnity of the most ample kind. We do not know that anybody would think of setting up the pretence, that the territory proposed to be ceded was not, at least, equal to the amount of these claims. There cannot be a doubt that it was worth a great deal more, and that equal justice would have required the pavment of a considerable balance to Mexico, on account of the cession. It includes the harbor and bay of San Francisco, of itself worth a great deal more to the United States than the three, or four, or five
millions of Mexican indebtedness. The territory is about three times as large as the whole of New-England; and though, no doubt, a Considerable portion of it, lying interior, between the coast chain and the Rocky Mountains, is of little value, yet we know that other parts of it have been found valuable enough to attract to it a considerable and increasing emigration from our own country. This is particularly the case with the country on the Sacramento, which is understood to be settled principally by emigrants from the United States. All these settlers would be brought within our own limits by this cession—thus putting an end at once to a serious difficulty which was brewing in that quarter before the war began, and which could hardly fail, sooner or later, to bring on another Annexation question to disturb the peace of the two countries. The Message sets forth in strong terms the advantages, commercial and other, which would accrue to the United States from the possession of Upper California. But all this has its best application to that northern portion, including the bay of San Francisco, which lies above the thirty-seventh parallel. It is this portion of the country that, "if held by the United States, would soon be settled by a hardy, enterprising, and intelligent portion of our population." It is the bay of San Francisco that "would afford shelter for our navy, for our numerous whale ships, and other merchant vessels employed in the Pacific Ocean, and would, in a short period, become the mart of an extensive and profitable commerce with China, and other countries of the East." One thing is certain—the President and his partisans are estopped by the Message from setting up any want of value in the cession which Mexico proposed to make, to constitute a full indemnity, and a good deal more than that, for the claims of our citizens on the justice of that country.
Here, then, we have the important fact that this object of the war, namely, the obtaining of indemnity for our unsatisfied claims on Mexico, was fully met and responded to by that government at the conferences in September, between the Commissioners of the two republics. These claims have figured largely in all the war manifestos of the President. All that he has had to say, and repeat, as he does in this last Message, about "the wanton violation of the rights of person and property of our citizens committed by1 Mexico; her repeated acts of bad faith through a long series of years, and her disregard of solemn treaties, stipulating for indemnity to our injured citizens;" all this, and much more of the same sort, wrought up, in the face of notorious facts, to the point of most absurd exaggeration and bluster, has had reference, of course, to these claims, for which, it stands confessed and recorded, whatever may have been her conduct in regard to them in times past, Mexico offered, in the conferences under the walls of her beleaguered capital, the mo3t ample indemnity. From that moment these claims ceased to be matter which could be talked about, with decency, as cause of war with that power ; from that moment, if war was to be prosecuted further against her, for any cause or any objects whatever, it was not certainly on account of these claims. And while the claims themselves could no longer be set up as a reason for continuing the war, it was equally impossible, with decency, to talk any longer, as the President does in this Message—perhaps from the mere habit of a sort of parrot repetition —about our magnanimous forbearance, of years' duration, in regard to these claims, manifested by our not having long and long ago asserted our rights by force; and how patiently we sought for redress by amicable negotiation; and how we were finally insulted in the person of "our minister of peace," by the mortifying rejection he endured. All this, we say, as incident to the subject matter of these claims, became obsolete, after the tender of full indemnity made by the Mexican Commissioners in September. And this war, as re-commenced and prosecuted after the breaking up of the conferences near Chapultepec, must find its justification, if any there be, in something else besides these claims, or any conduct of Mexico in relation to them.
But we observe that the President, in his Message, with that general disingenuousness and unvarying obliquity of purpose, which characterize nearlv all the state
upon the expenses of the war, as if he had ever made these expenses any part of his demands upon Mexico for indemnity. He does not make this assertion in terms; that would hare been too gross and palpable for him to venture upon. And yet he means that the uninitiated reader shall so understand him. Referring to the project of a treaty, prepared at home, and which Mr. Trist took out with him, and to the fact that by the terms of that plan, "the indemnity required by the United States was a cession of territory," he proceeds to state why it was that this kind of indemnity—namely, territory—was insisted on. The reason is thus stated: "It is well known that the only indemmtN which it k in the power of Mexico to make, in satisfaction of the just and long deferra claims of our citizens against her, and th only means by which she can reimburse th United States for the expenses of the war, i a cession to the United States of a portion t her territory."
Certainly no plain man, unaequakite with the particular facts, could read th paragraph without concluding that tl: demands of the President for indeninii; as imbodied in the provisions of this pn ject of a treaty, embraced the expenses the war; that, instead of being a demar of indemnity for three or five millions; most, the demand was for indemnity the amount of a hundred millions at lea —for the full cost of the war, up to th time, was not one dollar within that gu The advantage, no doubt, which the Pr< ident proposed to himself by this stai ment, was the creation of a prevalent pc ular impression, that, however the acti issue might turn out, and whatever crii nality, in the public estimation, had ma ed his conduct in precipitating the court into this war, he, for one, had endeavoi to take care that it should cost the couni nothing—except, indeed, some thousai of lives, which it would be difficult to ms anybody pay for; that Mexico, besi being chastised into a compliance ■« whatever terms of peace we might see to prescribe to her, was to pay the moi expenses of her own humiliation. A besides this, it was convenient to the ar millions to a hundred millions; because it was only in this way that he could put a plausible face on his bold assumption of the inability of Mexico to meet our claims in any way but by a cession of territory.
And now, after all this, what will be thought of the President of the United States, when the fact comes to be stated and proved, that by the terms of his own project of a treaty, not only was no claim set up for the expenses of the war, but any pretence of that sort was necessarily negatived and excluded? Nobody will be silly enough to pretend that under the stipulations of a treaty of peace, which makes not the slightest reference to the expenses of the war on either side, either party is to pay more than its own expenses. In the President's plan of a treaty, Mexico is not asked, nor is the remotest hint conveyed that she is expected, to pay us the costs of the war. Besides, any such idea is excluded by the stipulations actually inserted in the instrument. Mexico was indebted to our citizens in a certain amount—say four millions of dollars—and this plan proposes that if Mexico will cede to the United States certain lands, the government of the United States will undertake to satisfy the creditors of Mexico in this country for this indebtedness, in such manner that she shall be fully discharged from it. And, as it is understood that the lands proposed to be ceded are worth more than this four millions of dollars, it is proposed that the United States shall pay to Mexico the balance of this value, whatever it may be ascertained or agreed to be. Such was the President's own proposition for a settlement and treaty of peace with Mexico; and he does not get through the tortuous course of his Message without giving this very account and explanation of the matter.
"As the territory," he says, "to be acquired by the boundary proposed, might be estimated to be of greater value than a fair equivalent for our just demands, our Commissioner was authorized to stipulate for the payment of such additional pecuniary consideration as was deemed reasonable."
Not a word here about the expenses of the war. No intimation here that the balaace of value to be paid in money to Mexico was onlv so much as would remain af
ter deducting four millions for the demands due our citizens, and a hundred millions more for the cost of the war. The President knows as well as we do, that the expenses of this war, end when and how it may, are to be borne by the people of the United States; and he did not entertain the remotest idea, when this project of a treaty was prepared, that Mexico was to be made to pay, or asked to^ay these expenses, or any part of them. He knew then, and he knows now, that Mexico will never make a treaty with the United States on any such
In our account of what the President proposed as the basis of a treaty with Mexico, we have had reference to what the Washington Union some time sine* published as "the authentic copy of the draught of a treaty carried out by Mr. Trist."* It would seem that Mr. Trist went a step further, in the project presented by him to the Mexican Commissioners. He inserted, in the fifth article, a reference to the stipulation contained in article eight, in regard to a right of way across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, as forming a part of the general consideration for the undertakings proposed on the part of the United States; and then, by way of addition to the stipulations for paying the claims of our own citizens, and the payment of a clear sum of money to Mexico, he inserted this express renunciation: "The United Stales abandon forever all claims against the United Mexican States, on account of the expenses of the war." After all this, it is difficult to understand how the President could have the courage to talk about the expenses of the war in the manner he has done in the Message. . At any rate, we trust an enlightened public will understand the true state of the case.
Thus far, then, we have seen that two principal subjects or matters of difference between the United States and Mexico at the commencement of the war, were actually removed, so far as the most ample concessions on the part of Mexico could remove them, at the conferences near Chapultepec in September last. Mexico yielded her pretensions to the State of Texas, and all complaints she had to make on ac
* We have not had in hand the official papers as aenl in to Congress with the Message.
count of Annexation. This struck at the original source of all the difficulty between the two powers, and made an end of it, so far as Mexico could alone effect that object. Mexico also offered ample indemnity for the claims of our citizens, in the mode preferred and insisted on by us—that is to say, by a cession of territory; and thus put an end, so far as she alone could do it, to all complaints whieh we had to prefer against her for neglect of those claims, and whatever other conduct in relation to them we had thought exceptionable. There remained, therefore, only one original subject of dispute between the two powers, and that was the undefined boundary between our State of Texas and the dominions of Mexico. It must be admitted that the President went into the war claiming the right to the whole country between the Nueces and the Rio del Norte; though it is perfectly certain that this was not such a claim on our part, that any Congress of the United States, which alone has the power of declaring war, would ever have undertaken to enforce it by the sword. Mexico refused to cede to us this territory, at the conferences near Chapultepec, and this question of boundary remained, therefore, in statu quo, when the war was resumed.
The important inquiry now arises, whether the war thus resumed had for part of its object, the enforcement of the President's demand, clearly embraced in his project of a treaty, for the cession of the whole country between the Nueces and the Rio del Norte? We suppose there cannot be a doubt of it. The fact is sufficiently indicated in this brief and characteristic announcement in the Message: "The boundary of the Rio Grande, and the cession to the United States of New Mexico and Upper California, constituted an ultimatum, which our Commissioner was, under no circumstances, to yield." The history of the conferences shows that the Commissioner, though with evident misgivings, acted up to the letter of his instructions on this point. He would not yield "the boundary to the Rio Grande," but "he offered that if there remained no other point of difference for the conclusion of peace, than that relative to the territory which is comprised between the Bravo and the Nueces, he would consult his govern
ment upon it, with some hope of a good result." Such is the Mexican official account. Mr. Trist, it is evident, did not believe it possible the President would dare to make the renewal and continuance of the war turn on his adherence to the absurd and baseless pretension he had set up, of a right and title in the United States to a "boundary to the Rio Grande." Mr. Trist had manifestly been impressed with the pregnant and severe tone of the following declaration, in the note addressed to him by the Mexican Commissioners :—
"To the other territories, [i. e. besides the proper territory of Texas,] mentioned in the fourth article of your Excellency's draught, [including, of course, the country between the Nueces and the Bravo,] no right has heretofore been asserted by the Republic of North America, nor do we believe it possible for it to assert any. Consequently, it could not acquire them, except by the right of conquest, or by the title which will result from the cession or sale which Mexico might now make. But as we are persuaded that the Republic of Washington will not only absolutely repel, but will hold in abhor rence, the first of these titles, and as, on tin other hand, it would be a new thing, and con trary to every idea of justice, to make war on i people, for no other reason than because it re fused to sell territory which its neighbor sougl to buy, we hope, from the justice of the goverj ment and people of North America, mat th ample modiiication.s which we have to propose to the cessions of territory (except that of il State of Texas) contemplated by the said Art cle Four, will not be a motive to persist in war which the worthy General of the Nor American troops has justly styled unnatural
But, however the Commissioner of t1 United States might have been impress* and moved by an appeal so replete wi the force of simple truth and natui justice, he was bound by an Executive ui malum, which embraced other points, tl Mexico could no more yield than s could this demand of a boundary to 1 Rio Grande. The President must ha New Mexico and Upper California, as v as the whole territory between the Nue and the Bravo. Mexico could not yielc any of these demands, to the extent which the President's ultimatum can them ; and nothing remained, therefore, to renew and prosecute the war. She offer, be it observed, to give up the n valuable portion of Upper California;
she offered, also, so far to relinquish her possessory right, or right of occupation, to the wide uninhabited frontier of the country between the two rivers, as to stipulate that it should be preserved as an uninhabited and desert space forever, expressly for a safe and peaceable frontier between the two countries. And this enables us to see exactly upon what precise pretensions and demands of the President it was, in regard to territory, that the war was renewed, after the concessions made at the conferences near Chapultepec; and we desire to set down these pretensions and demands very precisely, and to call the attention of the country to them in a very particular manner, that the people may clearly understand what it really was, the war was resumed for. The war, then, was resumed and prosecuted, after the conferences near Chapultepec, for the following objects:
First, to compel Mexico, who was willing and ready to relinquish her right of occupation in the wide uninhabited space between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, so as to make that desert space in effect the boundary between the two countries, to go further and cede to us in absolute sovereignty and jurisdiction, the whole of that territory up to the Rio Grande;
Second, to compel Mexico, who was willing to yield us one half, and the most valuable portion of Upper California, to go further, and sell to us the other half also;
And, third, to compel Mexico to sell to us her province of New Mexico.
Of these three objects, the first is the only one, it will be observed, which, in any shape whatever, found a place among those original subjects of demand, to which alone the war from its inception, apparently or professedly, had any relation. The other two objects became objects of the war for the first time, so far as any distinct avowal or disclosure is concerned, when it was renewed after the conferences near Chapultepec. But the truth is that the whole three objects just specified, stand in fact, when properly understood, on the same footing. The demand which the President makes of a boundary on the Rio Grande, is just as much in the spirit of conquest as the rest. These last, as we now see, stand out open and undisguised. To compel our unwilling enemy, by force
of arms, to sell her territory to us, is to exercise over her and her territory the rights of conquest. Payment in such a case is no equivalent. It is not a bargain, though we pay our money for the lands, where the cession is compulsory. If effected, it is nothing less than a robbery, with the insult added of throwing our purse in the face of our victim, by way of charity, or for the sake of appearances. The object is to dismember the Mexican empire, and appropriate her territories to our own use, by virtue of our military superiority. The President wants these territories because he thinks it will gratify a spirit of rapacity which he imagines dwells in the hearts of our people, and will glorify his administration before the masses, who, he believes, will make no account whatever of the money price of the robbery. He believes they would like it still better if he had resolved to keep the territory already conquered, and the money too. And we do not entertain a doubt that he would have preferred this policy from the first, if he had thought it as practicable as the other; he would have let appearances take care of themselves.
The truth is, that the offer of money to Mexico for her conquered provinces, was not to pay for the land, but to buy a peace of her after the conquest. He thought this would be better than perpetual war, and the support of large standing armies, to maintain the conquests. It was not justice, but policy, that dictated the offer. It was better, he thought, to pay Mexico twenty millions for her craven consent to her own dismemberment and degradation, than undertake to maintain his conquests by arms, at the cost of another hundred millions. Brennus, the Gallic conqueror, finding his affairs in desperate condition, but game to the last, demanded to receive of Rome a thousand pounds of gold for retiring from his conquests, for thus he would go home an acknowledged conqueror, though giving up the provinces he had overrun. Our modern American Brennus understands the glory of conquest differently; he is willing to pay Mexico a thousand pounds of gold to stop her resistance, allow him to keep the provinces he has overrun, and so come home a conqueror. Brennus proudly threw his sword into the scale at the last moment, as his ultimate argument