previous next
[113] its avowed purpose to seek a cession of territory by way of indemnity for the private claims of American citizens against Mexico;1 and when an army bill was pending, he denounced the acquisition of territory by conquest, and moved an amendment disavowing as an object of the war such an acquisition or any dismemberment of Mexico.2 Though holding Tyler and Polk responsible for the war, he was milder in his censure of the Administration than his colleague Hudson, and other associates already named, particularly in putting upon Mexico a considerable share of the blame and responsibility both before and after the final rupture.3

The division in the Massachusetts delegation upon the war bill, May 11,—John Quincy Adams and his four colleagues,4 who were present, as also Senator Davis, voting against it, and Winthrop and one colleague voting for it,—was for two months hardly referred to by the Whig journals of Boston. The division, however, could not escape attention in quarters where the progress of slave extension created anxiety. It was not a question involving complex transactions in commerce, where it May be difficult to draw the line between plaintiff and defendant; it was a transcendent issue of morals as well as of policy, where there must be a right and a wrong. War is bloody business, laying huge responsibilities on all who sanction or support it in a civilized and Christian age. Either Adams was wanting in a just appreciation of the rights of his country and in a due regard to the safety of our army, or Winthrop had sanctioned a war of invasion against Mexico. Those who had come to treat the slavery question as paramount in political action strongly approved the negative votes of Adams and his associates, and as strongly disapproved Winthrop's affirmative vote. They recognized among the supporters of the bill the names of very respectable

1 Jan. 8, 1847. ‘Addresses and Speeches,’ vol. i. p. 581.

2 Feb. 22, 1847. ‘Addresses and Speeches,’ vol. i. p. 589.

3 ‘Addresses and Speeches,’ vol. i. pp. 527, 528, 575, 576. He condemned Mexico's refusal to receive Slidell as a minister. But that refusal was justified by the National Intelligencer Jan. 17, 1848, and has been approved by Von Holst in his History, vol. III. pp. 200-208.

4 Ashmun, Grinnell, Hudson, and King. Rockwell, who was absent, would have voted, if present, against the bill.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Mexico (Mexico, Mexico) (5)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert C. Winthrop (3)
John Quincy Adams (3)
Charles Hudson (2)
William S. Tyler (1)
Slidell (1)
Julius Rockwell (1)
Polk (1)
Charles King (1)
Von Holst (1)
Grinnell (1)
Garrett Davis (1)
George Ashmun (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 17th, 1848 AD (1)
February 22nd, 1847 AD (1)
January 8th, 1847 AD (1)
May 11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: