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The reviewer does not mention any Spain has, there would be a ready acquiesprotest against this declaration formally cence of these very foreign powers, all of made by any of the powers of Europe'; whom would be put into angry activity nor are we aware that any such has ever
upon the smallest prospect of a transfer of
those islands. The United States could been received by our government. But,
not, with indifference, see such a transfer whatever may be the extent of our ac
any European power.” knowledged right to act upon it, we have no doubt, as we remarked in the last This dispatch certainly indicates the number of this Review, that it embodies view taken by our government of its duty what is now the actual feeling and de- and interest in regard to the occupation termination of this country, and that it of Cuba or Porto Rico by any European will be fully and promptly acted upon, power. But the matter does not rest even whenever the contemplated casus shall upon that. In the summer of 1825, a occur. Indeed, our past history furnishes large French fleet visited the American a case precisely in point, and involves a seas, and its object was believed in Mexprecedent which, we doubt not, would ico to be the invasion of the island of be promptly followed.
Cuba. The Mexican government promptThe struggles of the Spanish colonies ly called upon that of the United States, in South America for their independence, through Mr. Poinsett our minister, to it will be remembered, attracted the at- fulfill the pledge of President Monroe we tention and enlisted the sympathy of the have already quoted. In rehearsing these government and people of the United facts in a letter to Mr. Poinseit, Mr. States to a remarkable extent. We Clay remarks that " what the United were the first to recognize their national States would have done, had the contincharacter; and our most assiduous en gency happened, may be inferred from deavors were then put forth to restore a dispatch to the American minister at peace between them and Spain. On the Paris.” The dispatch thus referred to is 10th of May, 1825, Mr. CLAY, then Sec- from Mr. CLAY to Mr. Brown, and retary of State, addressed to Mr. Middle. bears date 25th November, 1825. Our ton, our minister at St. Petersburg, in- government, through Mr. CLAY, therein structions to endeavor to engage the uses this very explicit and peremptory Russian government to use its best exer- language: tions towards terminating the contest. In that dispatch occurs the following pag
“ Another consideration to which you
will advert in a friendly manner, is the sage :
present condition of the islands of Cuba “ You are authorized, in the spirit of the and Porto Rico. The views of the Execumost perfect frankness and friendship which tive of the United States in regard to them, have ever characterized all the relations be- have been already disclosed to France, by tween Russia and the United States, to dis you, on the occasion of inviting its coöpeclose without reserve, the feelings and the ration to bring about peace between Spain wishes of the United States in respect to and her former colonies. In a spirit of Cuba and Porto Rico.. They are satisfied great frankness, it was stated to the French with the present condition of these Islands, government, that the United States could now open to the commerce and enterprise of not see, with indifference, those islands their citizens. They desire for themselves passing from Spain to any other Eurono political change in them. If Cuba were
pean power; and that, for ourselves, no to declare itself independent, the amount change was desired in their present politiand the character of its population render cal and commercial condition, nor in the it improbable that it could maintain its in- possession which Spain has of them. In dependence. Such a premature declara- the same spirit, and with the hope of tion might bring about a renewal of those guarding, beforehand, against any possishocking scenes of which a neighboring ble difficulties on that subject that may island was the afflicting theatre. There arise, you will now add that we COULD could be no effectual preventive of such scenes, but in the guaranty, and a large re THOSE ISLANDS BY ANY OTHER EUROPEAN sident force, of foreign powers. The terms POWER THAN SPAIN, UNDER ANY CONTINof such a guaranty, in the quotas which each should contribute of such a force, would create perplexing questions of very
Language of precisely the same tenor difficult adjustment, to say nothing of the
was addressed to the other leading Eurocontinual jealousies which would be in pean powers. Thus, in a letter addressed operation. In the state of possession which to Mr. MIDDLETON, United States minis.
* Am. Review. Vol. ii., p. 559.
NOT CONSENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF
MR. BROWN TO MR. CLAY.
ter at St. Petersburgh, under date of December 25, 1835, Mr. CLAY directs him
“ Paris, January 10, 1826. to inform the Russian government that “ SIR :-In order to comply with the the United States have recommended to instructions contained in your dispatch, the republics of Colombia and Mexico No. 3, 1 obtained an interview with his a suspension of any military expedition Excellency, the Baron de Damas, on the which they might be preparing against 2d instant. I reminded him that in the Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. He the month of July last, I had, in a spirit of states that he has addressed official notes frankness, disclosed to him the views of the to the ministers of those republics, urging President of the United States, in relation
to the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, and such a suspension, and he then adds :
that I had then stated to him that the “ You will observe it intimated in United States could not see, with indifferthose notes, that other governments may
ence, these islands passing from Spain to feel themselves urged, by a sense of their any other European government; and that, interests and duties, to interpose, in the for the United States, no change was de event of an invasion of the islands, or of sired in their political and commercial concontingencies which may accompany or
dition, nor in the possession which Spain has follow it. On this subject, it is
of them. I informed him that I was now
proper that we should be perfectly understood by instructed to add, in the same frank and Russia. For ourselves we desire no change friendly spirit, and in order to guard against in the possession of Cuba, as has been all possible difficulties that might arise on heretofore stated. WE CANNOT ALLOW A
the subject, that we could not consent to TRANSFER OF THE ISLAND TO ANY EURO- the occupation of these islands by any PEAN POWER.”
other European power than Spain, under
any contingency whatever. Nothing, certainly, could be more ex
* The Baron de Damas appeared to conand repeated declarations. It was dis- been mentioned to the British government. plicit and peremptory than these emphatic cur entirely in the view which I took of
the subject, and inquired whether it had tinctly and solemnly proclaimed to the I told him that a similar communication world, by our government, under Presi- had been made to Mr. Canning, and I DENT Adams, through Mr. Clay, his had sufficient reason to think that the Secretary of State, that the declaration British government CONCURRED with the made by PRESIDENT Monroe, in 1823— President in the policy of not disturbing a declaration hailed throughout this the possession of these islands, in favor of country with what was described by a either of the great maritime nations." western member of the Congress * then assembled, as “perhaps an imprudent
And in a dispatch addressed to the enthusiasm”. '—was to be thenceforth en
Baron de Damas, and dated January 2, forced as a rule of action : that this con
1825, the day of the interview, Mr. tinent was “no longer open for coloniza
says: tion by any European power;" and that,
“Having understood your Excellency to therefore, the United States could not
say that the policy and views of the United allow a transfer of the Island of Cuba to States, as disclosed by me, corresponded any European power in any contingency with those of His Majesty's government, I whatever. Nor was this regarded by the shall not fail,” &c., &c. European powers to whom it was addressed, as an unjust or unwarrantable Here, certainly, is nothing like a protest assumption on the part of the United against the declaration of President MonStates, or as, in any respect, an encroach. roe, nor do we find anything of such a ment upon their just rights. None of nature in the subsequent diplomatic corthem, not even France, against whose respondence, except, indeed, Mr. Rush's supposed designs it was especially di- reports of protests made in conversation rected, protested against it. On the con- by the British Secretary. On the contrary, trary, it was acquiesced in by them all. Europe seems actually, and even avowedIn ihe case of France, this is shown to ly, to have “ acquiesced in that declara. have been the case, by the following ex tion.” Even upon the ground of the Edintract from the reply of Mr. Brown to the burgh Review itself, therefore, it seems instructions of Mr. Clay, of which an apparent that the United States have a extract is given above, under date of "prescriptive right” to act upon it
. That November 25, 1825.
they have repeatedly and emphatically
• Mr. Cook of Illinois. See Niles' Register, vol. xxx. p. 87.
proclaimed their intention so to act, we by our present Executive, and, sv far as have clearly shown. To such action it we are aware, universally sustained by would not become England, of all nations the people of this country. on the earth, to take exception. She has It cannot be necessary, nor will the always claimed the rigbt of interfering in limits of this article allow us, to develop the affairs of other powers, and of pre- the argument à fortiori by which the venting or counteracting their policy, necessity of enforcing this principle? in whenever she deemed it inconsistent the case of California, may easily be with her own selfish and ambitious shown to be far more imperative than in purposes. Indeed, so firmly established that of Cuba. A glance at a globe, or a does she consider this right, so thorough- Mercator's map, will convince any one ly is it held to be interwoven with her that the occupation of that province by public law, that one of her leading Re- Great Britain would give to that power, views deems it sufficient refutation of a for all time to come, absolute dominion principle as laid down by Grotius, to of the Pacific Ocean, with all its islands, exclaim, “ If this were international law, coasts and commerce, and place her in a what would become of the right of inter- position which might at any moment bevention to preserve the balance of power come infinitely dangerous to our safety -or of the right of preventing aggres- and prosperity. In an individual, selfsion by preventing the accumulation of defence is an instinct. In a nation it bethe means of attack?” This is put for comes a duty-one, too, of paramount ward as an unanswerable reductio ab obligation, far superior in binding force absurdum. And the extent to which, in to any other, inasmuch as it lies at the her practice, she has habitually pushed foundation of all others, and as obedience this asserted right—though scarcely a to it is the sole condition upon which year of her long and active existence other duties can be discharged. As in indihas passed without its exercise, though vidual cases, too, the obligation of nationthe world has repeatedly been shaken al self-preservation comprises more than through all its kingdoms and principali- resistance to imminent and actual assault. ties by its assertion, and though the It enforces in peace preparation for war greatest event of modern times, the down- —that is to say, the adoption of such fall of Napoleon by what has been styled measures as shall, in the event of war, the “dishonest victory of Waterloo," put the national existence and safety bewas achieved by it-may best be under- yond the hazards of any contest, and out stood by the following opening para- of reach of any hostile blow. Though it graph of a proclamation issued by Lord neither sanctions nor requires injustice Ellenborough concerning Affghanistan, or wrong, it often supersedes the coma nation as really sovereign and inde mon rules of international law and, pendent of Great Britain as Mexico or where clear and undeniable, justifies acts ihe United States :
for which no public law exists. This “ Secret Department,
broad but fundamental and essential prin“Simla, Oct. 1, 1842. ciple, though it cannot invalidate existing “ The government of India directed its rights, wherever they may exist, will army to pass the Indus, in order to expel most certainly forbid the extension of from Afighanistan a chief BELIEVED to be European dominion over at least this hostile to British interests, and to replace portion of the American Continent. And upon his throne a sovereign represented upon these grounds, sufficiently broad to be friendly to those interests, and popu- and perfectly tenable as we believe them lar with his subjects.”
to be, we bave ventured the assertion Only, therefore, in violation of her own that England cannot expect to occupy fundamental maxims of public law, and Calisornia with the acquiescence or indifin direct hostility to her uniform practice, ference of the United States. can England contravene the principle We have left ourselves but small space first solemnly pronounced by President for reference to the efforts of the United MONROE, acted npon by our government States to become possessed, by purchase under the administration of President from Mexico, of this portion of her terADAMS through Mr. Clay, his Secretary ritory; but, fortunately, little is required. of Staie at that time, approved and up. We have, indeed, upon this subject no held by our leading statesmen, and by authentic information whatever. In the none more ably or emphatically than Mexican letter of the London Times, Mr. WEBSTER, and recently reproclaimed dated Sept. 29, 1845, to which we have VOL. II.-NO. I.
already made allusion, we find the state- to be worth the plundering, and weak ment purporting to be made on authority, enough to be plundered with impunity. that “on the 6th of August, 1835, Mr. She must feel the force of the European Forsyth, Minister of Foreign Affairs at argument, that a single-handed contest Washington, wrote to Mr. Butler, Chargé with the United States may end in the d'Affairs at Mexico, and ordered him to extension of the American Union to the arrange the affairs of Texas, and to make Isthmus of Panama, and she all sacrifices to get possession of the Bay of it well to offer San Francisco as a price San Francisco by insisting on a frontier for the “ guaranty of the integrity of the line drawn from the Gulf of Mexico, Mexican Republic. And, at the least, following the Rio Bravo, to the 27th by such an arrangement, she may hope degree north latitude, and from that par- to strike a severe and effective blow at allel to the Pacific.” That this state- the transcendent, overshadowing greatment did not emanate from any American ness of the United States; source, may be inferred from the misnomer of Mr. Forsyth's office ; but that it “And this, if not victory, is yet REVENGE?” is substantially correct we have no doubt.
We have endeavored, in the course of That the acquisition of California has for this article, to show, some years been desired, and perhaps
1. That California, a region of vast resought, by our government, is very generally believed; and the report, with which sources, and destined, at no distant day,
to hold important relations to the comwe set out, that Mr. Slidell has gone to Mexico clothed with power to effect this and ought, in the natural course of
merce and politics of the world, mustpurchase, comes from sources apparently events, and for the general good of huworthy of confidence. We trust that what.
manity--pass from its present dominion ever negotiations may be held on this subject will be conducted with all the into the hands of another race, and under
the sway of another political system. secrecy essential to success. The London Times of a very recent date, tauntingly establishment of her sovereignty there,
2. That Great Britain is seeking the declares that the “ publicity of democratic being moved thereto, not only by her diplomacy” may safely be relied on as a guaranty that nothing can transpire in, or by the necessity which, in common with
general lust for colonial possessions, but through this country pejudicial to the the other monarchies of Europe, she feels, interests of England without her timely of interposing a barrier to the growth in and sufficient knowledge. With regard to Mr. Slidell's negotia. American Union, and of thus checking
wealth, dominion and power, of the tion, we must repeat, we have misgiving the progress of republican liberty, by of his success. ` England stands ready, which she believes her own institutions, we doubt not, to give a larger sum for and the position of the family of EuroCalifornia than our government is likely to offer. If, as she seems to believe pean sovereigns, to be seriously menaced. her paramount and imperative poli; design would be inconsistent with the
3. That the accomplishment of this cy must be to check the further growth interests and the safety of the United of the American Union, and to make States ; that it would be in direct hostility perfect her net-work of military posts and to fundamental principles they are pledged stations, from which, at any moment, she may strike with most effect upon every of self-preservation will impel them to
to sustain; and that the paramount law side, her interest certainly lies in the acquisition of the bay and harbor of San tion of Cuba, it is an event which they
assume that, like the European occupaFrancisco. Nor can we escape the fear
“ CANNOT PERMIT IN ANY CONTINGENCY that Mexico would greatly prefer such
WHATEVER.” an arrangement to that which we propose. She has not yet abandoned her from whatever point it may be viewed,
In all its aspects and relations, and project of reconquering Texas ; and she this is preëminently an American quesmust feel the need of a powerful ally. tion--ane to be decided in the light of She cannot be unaware that her
the future, and upon the broadest and “Sceptre is a withered bough, most essential principles of that AmeriInfirmly grasped within a palsied hand;"
can system which is fully discussed in and she will naturally turn for aid to that another portion of this Review. We power whose " protection” has never been have not allowed ourselves, therefore, to refused for any nation wealthy enough make the remotest party reference in any
part of our remarks—though our cita- not, the saying is worthy its reputed tions from American authorities, as will author. Rem tetigit acu. It touches the bave been seen, are entirely from sources heart of England's policy and necessity. connected with that party with whose Her power and resources are prepared principles and welfare this Review is for an onset terrible as a thunderbolt. fully identified. We hope and trust that Ours, on the other hand, are yet in abeya timely purchase of California by the ance. Time, an exigency, and the chiUnited States, and the adjustment of valric pulse of the nation's heart, would pending questions of difference between call them forth ; and, therefore, upon us our government and those of Great Bri- does it fall to repeat that previous declatain and Mexico, will avert the necessity ration of the same stern warrior in the of an appeal to the terrible arbiter of British Parliament, that a war between irreconcilable international disputes. this country and Great Britain “CANNOT Should such an appeal, through the be a small war.” madness or selfish ambition of any of For such a struggle, long or short, we the contestant parties, be finally taken, ardently hope no necessity may ever arise. the struggle, as has been remarked by By no unmanly concession, howevera distinguished Senator of the United by no sacrifice of true honor, which is States, will involve far more than the nobly defined by Wordsworth, as questions out of which, as a pretext, it
6. The finest sense may grow: and not only will the entire Of JUSTICE which the human mind can territory bordering on the Pacitic coast, frame, from the Gulf of California to the Russian Intent each lurking frailty to disclaim, frontier, extending over twenty-three de. And guard the way of life from all of. grees of latitude, and embracing a region fence, capable of becoming more populous and SUFFERED or done,”powerful than is France or the United by no timid shrinking from all the reStates at the present day, become the sponsibilities of our conspicuous and peri. prize of contending nations, but a con- lous position, but only by a prompt adhetest will ensue between opposite systems rence to the principles of justice, and the of political existence-systems in their necessities of self-defence, can it be nature essentially hostile, and between avoided or averted. In the course of which, in the judgment of many men of time, and by the natural progress of foresight and wisdom, there is yet to be events, we have come to hold a position, a final, and for one or the other a fatal, a system, a policy of our own. An collision. Most earnestly and sincerely AMERICAN SYSTEM has grown up, which do we hope the prophecy may prove fal- claims a distinct existence, a perfect indelacious, and the contest be forever avert- pendence of all European control, and ed. Should, however, the irresistible the right to shape its policy and its his. progress of events throw its tremendous tory, without interference, as it promises weight upon us, it will not become the to do without the aid, of any of ihe older American nation, as the only republic of nations of the Eastern world. To that mark on the face of the earth, with timid system, and by its principles, must oui shrinking or unmanly fear, to decline it, cause henceforth and forever be directed or to tremble for the result. Of its proba- and guided. ble issue we have neither desire nor
“ 'Tis well! from this day forward we shall occasion to speak. We would avoid
(sought: those κοηπους μεγαλους- the swelling That in ourselves our safety must be words of national vanity which, Homer That by our own right hand it must be tells us, Jove never fails to abase and wrought,
[low. bring to shame--as sedulously as that That we must stand unpropped, or be lain craven spirit which cowers in the pres
O DASTARD! WHOM SUCH FORETASTE
DOTH NOT CHEER! ence of a foe, and hugs its wealth with its chains and shields its person by its we shall exult, if they who rule the land
Be men who hold its many blessings shame, from possible wound or spolia.
dear, tion. This, however, cannot be amiss: Wise, upright, valiant; not a servile band, the “ Iron Duke” of England is reported Who are to judge of DANGER which to have said that “a war with America
[stand !" must be a short war.” Authentic or And honor which they do not under
* See the article on the Panama Mission, p. 1.