of the fact, and was, of course, very cordially received.
After his return to Washington
, he wrote1
to his friend and constituent, Hon. S. R. Adams
, an account of his interview, mainly devoted to a report of Mr. Buchanan
's sayings on that occasion.
Of these, the material portion is as follows:
After thus speaking of Kansas and the Slavery issue, Mr. Buchanan passed to our foreign policy.
He approved, in general terms, of the Cincinnati resolutions on this subject, but said that, while enforcing our own policy, we must at all times scrupulously regard the just rights and proper policy of other nations.
He was not opposed to territorial extension.
All our acquisitions had been fairly and honorably made.
Our necessities might require us to make other acquisitions.
He regarded the acquisition of Cuba as very desirable now, and it was likely to become a National necessity.
Whenever we could obtain the island on fair, honorable terms, he was for taking it. But, he added, it must be a terrible necessity that would induce me to sanction any movement that would bring reproach upon us, or tarnish the honor and glory of our beloved country.
After the formal interview was over, Mr. Buchanan said playfully, but in the presence of the whole audience, “If I can be instrumental in settling the Slavery question upon the terms I have mentioned, and then add Cuba to the Union, I shall, if President, be willing to give up the ghost, and let Breckinridge take the Government.”
Could there be a more noble ambition? * * * In my judgment, he is as worthy of Southern confidence and Southern votes as ever Mr. Calhoun was.2
The Republican National Convention of 1856, in the platform of principles framed and adopted by it, alluded to this subject as follows:
Resolved, That the highwayman's plea that “might makes right,” embodied in the Ostend Circular, was in every respect unworthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and dishonor on any government or people that gave it their sanction.
At the last Democratic National Convention, which met at Charleston
, April 23, 1860, while discord reigned with regard to candidates and the domestic planks of their platform, there was one topic whereon a perfect unanimity was demonstrated.
In the brief platform of the majority was embodied the following:
Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.
This resolve was first reported to the Convention
by Mr. Avery
, of N. C.
, from the majority of the grand Committee, was accepted on all hands, and was unanimously adopted by the bolting, or Breckinridge
, as well as by the Douglas, or majority, Convention.
It thus forms about the only surviving and authentic article of the Democratic
creed, and may serve as the nucleus of a grand “reconstruction.”