its avowed purpose to seek a cession of territory by way of indemnity for the private claims of American citizens against Mexico
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
Though holding Tyler
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