History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​May 13.​> upon that country; and that there is so much jealousy between them that they will probably pass no bill in relation to it. Now all these politicians rely upon the arm of our government to protect them there; and if government were to pass an act establishing a territorial government west of the , there would be at once a tremendous rush of emigration; but if government pass no act in relation to it, these men have not stamina or sufficient confidence in themselves and their own resources to hazard the enterprize. The northern whig members are almost to a man against and ; but should the present administration succeed in annexing , then all the whigs would turn round in favor of ; for if be admitted, slavery is extended to the south; then, free states must be added to the west to keep up a balance of power between the slave and the free states.
“Should be admitted war with is looked upon as inevitable. The Senate have been in secret session on the ratification of the treaty of annexation; but what they did we cannot say. General Gaines, who was boarding at the same house with , was secretly [HC 6:373] ordered to repair to the Texan frontier four days ago, and left immediately. I asked if that did not speak loud for annexation. He says, no! Santa Anna being a jealous hot headed pate, might be suspicious the treaty would be ratified by the Senate, and upon mere suspicion might attempt some hostilities, and Gaines has been ordered there to be on the alert and ready for action if necessary. Probably our navy will in a few days be mostly in the Gulf of Mexico.
“There are many powerful checks upon our government, preventing her from moving in any of these important matters; and for aught I know these checks are permitted to prevent our government from extending <​her​> jurisdiction over that territory which God designs to give <​to​> his saints. says he would equally as soon go to that country without an act of Congress as with; ‘and that in five years a noble State might be formed, and then if they would not receive us into the Union we would have a government of our own’. He is decidedly of the opinion that Congress will pass no act in favor of any particular man going there; but he says if any man will go, and desires that privilege, and has confidence in his own ability to perform it, he already has the right, and the sooner he is off the better for his scheme. It is the opinion here among politicians, that it will be extremely difficult to have any bill pass in relation to the encouragement of emigration to ; but much more difficult to get a bill passed designating any particular man to go; but all concur in the opinion that we are authorized already.
“In case of a removal to that country, is the place of general rendezvous; our course from thence would be westward through , bearing a little north until we come to the , leaving the State of on the left, thence onward till we come to the Platte, thence up the north fork of the Platte to the mouth of Sweetwater river in longitude 107o 45" w., and thence up said Sweetwater river to the South pass of the about eleven hundred miles from , and from said South pass in latitude 42o 28" north to the Umpqua and Klamet Valleys in bordering on is about 600 miles making the distance from to the best portions of 1700 miles. There is no government established here, and it is so near that when a government shall be established there, it may readily embrace that country likewise. There is much barren country— rocks and mountains— in , but the valleys are very fertile. I am persuaded [p. 26]
May 13. upon that country; and that there is so much jealousy between them that they will probably pass no bill in relation to it. Now all these politicians rely upon the arm of our government to protect them there; and if government were to pass an act establishing a territorial government west of the , there would be at once a tremendous rush of emigration; but if government pass no act in relation to it, these men have not stamina or sufficient confidence in themselves and their own resources to hazard the enterprize. The northern whig members are almost to a man against and ; but should the present administration succeed in annexing , then all the whigs would turn round in favor of ; for if be admitted, slavery is extended to the south; then, free states must be added to the west to keep up a balance of power between the slave and the free states.
“Should be admitted war with is looked upon as inevitable. The Senate have been in secret session on the ratification of the treaty of annexation; but what they did we cannot say. General Gaines, who was boarding at the same house with , was secretly [HC 6:373] ordered to repair to the Texan frontier four days ago, and left immediately. I asked if that did not speak loud for annexation. He says, no! Santa Anna being a jealous hot headed pate, might be suspicious the treaty would be ratified by the Senate, and upon mere suspicion might attempt some hostilities, and Gaines has been ordered there to be on the alert and ready for action if necessary. Probably our navy will in a few days be mostly in the Gulf of Mexico.
“There are many powerful checks upon our government, preventing her from moving in any of these important matters; and for aught I know these checks are permitted to prevent our government from extending her jurisdiction over that territory which God designs to give to his saints. says he would equally as soon go to that country without an act of Congress as with; ‘and that in five years a noble State might be formed, and then if they would not receive us into the Union we would have a government of our own’. He is decidedly of the opinion that Congress will pass no act in favor of any particular man going there; but he says if any man will go, and desires that privilege, and has confidence in his own ability to perform it, he already has the right, and the sooner he is off the better for his scheme. It is the opinion here among politicians, that it will be extremely difficult to have any bill pass in relation to the encouragement of emigration to ; but much more difficult to get a bill passed designating any particular man to go; but all concur in the opinion that we are authorized already.
“In case of a removal to that country, is the place of general rendezvous; our course from thence would be westward through , bearing a little north until we come to the , leaving the State of on the left, thence onward till we come to the Platte, thence up the north fork of the Platte to the mouth of Sweetwater river in longitude 107o 45" w., and thence up said Sweetwater river to the South pass of the about eleven hundred miles from , and from said South pass in latitude 42o 28" north to the Umpqua and Klamet Valleys in bordering on is about 600 miles making the distance from to the best portions of 1700 miles. There is no government established here, and it is so near that when a government shall be established there, it may readily embrace that country likewise. There is much barren country— rocks and mountains— in , but the valleys are very fertile. I am persuaded [p. 26]
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