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Shall we go
been left to protect them. Our warriors are nearly all gone to the far country west ; but here are our dead. too, and give their bones to the wolves ?
Brother : Two sleeps have passed since we heard you talk. We have thought upon it. You ask us to leave our country, and tell us it is our father's wish. We would not desire to displease our father. We respect him, and you are his child. But the Choctaw always thinks — we want time to answer.
Brother: Our hearts are full. Twelve winters ago our chiefs sold our country. Every warrior that you see here was opposed to the treaty.
If the dead could have been counted, it would never have been made ; but alas! though they stood around, they could not be seen or heard. Their tears came in the rain-drops, and their voices in the wailing wind—but the pale-faces knew it not, and our land was taken away.
Brother: We do not now complain. The Choctaw suffers, but he never weeps. You have the strong arm, and we cannot resist. But the pale-face worships the Great Spirit--so does the red man. The Great Spirit loves truth. When you took our country, you promised us land- there is your promise in the book. Twelve times have the trees dropped down their leaves, and yet we have received no land. Our houses have been taken from us. The white man's plough turns up the bones of our fathers. We dare not kindle fires; and yet you said we might remain, and you would give us land.
Brother: Is this truth? But we believe, now our great father knows our condition, he will listen to us. as mourning orphans in our country ; but our father will take us by the hand. When he fulfils his promise we will answer his talk. He means well — we know it — but we cannot think now. Grief has made children of us. When our business is settled we shall be men again, and talk to our great father about what he has promised.
Brother: You stand in the moccasins of a great chief;
you speak the words of a mighty nation; and your talk was long. My people are small; their shadow scarcely reaches to your knee; they are scattered and gone. When I shout, I hear my voice in the depths of the woods, but no answering shout comes back. My words, therefore, are few. I have nothing more to say ; but tell what I have said to the tall chief of the pale-faces, whose brother* stands by your side.
SPEECH OF JOHN C. CALHOUN.
SPEECH OF MR. CALHOUN, ON THE MEXICAN WAR, IN THE
SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, FEBRUARY, 1847.
(One of the best lessons for the practice of Elocution that is to be found in
the English language.] We have already, as I have shown, ample territory in our hands, and more than sufficient to effect all the objects of the
If, then, it is for neither one or the other of these objects, I ask why shall offensive operations be carried on? There is but one answer given to that : it is to obtain peace; or, to use the language most commonly employed — to conquer peace. How is peace to be obtained, or peace to be conquered ? It can only be by treaty. War may be made by one nation peace is always made by two.
The object, then, is to get a treaty.
What kind of a treaty? A treaty that will suit Mexico ? · You can get that at any
time. No! You want a treaty to suit us. And what is that? Why, sir, a treaty that we shall dictate, compel Mexico to sign, and which shall secure to us the ends for which this war was declared. And what were these ends? I have already enumerated them. The establishment of the Del Norte as .the boundary, and ample acquisition for indemnity. The object of the whole war, then, is this — to compel Mexico to acknowledge that to be ours which we already hold in possession, and which we can hold, despite of her, with almost no sacrifice. That is it, twist it and turn it as you please ; neither more nor less can be made of it- that is the whole object of what they call a vigorous war of offence. I repeat it. It is to compel Mexico to acknowledge that to be ours which we now hold, and hold in spite of her. Now, in this aspect of the question, I put it home to the Senate - is it worth while to pursue a war of that description vigorously ? Suppose it a matter of perfect certainty, that you could reach the city of Mexico this very campaign, and beat them into a treaty of peace in the city of Mexico, - what would be your sacrifice ? The army you propose to raise is seventy thousand men; the expense thirty millions of dollars
* William Tyler, of Virginia, brother to the President of the United States, then one of the Choctaw Commissioners.
much more likely thirty-five or forty millions. Suppose you have fifty thousand men in the field; suppose the campaign is as successful as possible, what is the state of things at its close ? You have sacrificed in the first place thirty millions of dollars to get possession of the city of Mexico, in which to dictate this peace,
you have lost how many lives of our people ? Sir, based upon the calculation of the last campaign, which was comparatively in a healthy country, one third is to be put down as falling by the sword, or, worse than the sword, the pestilence of the country. Something like sixteen thousand men are to be set down as sacrificed in this campaign. I put it home to senators now- is it worth while to sacrifice even thirty millions of dollars, or fifteen thousand men, for the purpose of getting Mexico to acknowledge that to be ours which is already ours? I put a graver question, and I appeal to the conscience of every man here—c
can we, with any regard to the opinions and judgment of a Christian people, pursue that war which must end in such a result ? Is there any man here who will give for California the lives of sixteen thousand of our people, or thirty millions of dollars? No sir ! There is not one; and yet we propose to Is there any
Is there any cer
pursue a war which, if it terminate in one campaign, will produce that result in all probability.
But I am but touching the shell of this case. certainty you will reach Mexico by the end of this campaign? Or, if
reach Mexico, is there any certainty that you can dictate then? These are the questions which demand our consideration.
But suppose we do reach the city of Mexico so as to dictate a peace— with whom have we to deal ? A people, a race of all others renowned in history for their obstinacy and powers of long-continued resistance -- a people whose hereditary pride it is that they stand out to the utmost- :- a people who warred with the Moors for upwards of seven centuries -a people who, for eighty years, warred against their mother country—a people who would not recognize the independence of their colonies in twenty years! Those are the people we have to deal with ; and is it presumable that Mexico will at once yield to our terms ? tainty-for I go on certainties now more than probabilities --can any gentleman see any certainty of Mexico yielding to our terms, even supposing the first campaign should find us in the city of Mexico ? Well, then, we must have another campaign. Now a solemn question comes up—have we the means ? can we raise the money ? Remember, it must be much more costly than either of the first : it will be carried on at a greater distance; it will be of a character different from the others; for if we do not conquer Mexico—if her government withdraws, and we can make no peace — we must then have a mere guerilla war, such as exists between France and Algeria at the present day, such as exists between the Russians and Circassians. These wars are somewhat analogous to that in which we are engaged. We find in these countries brave men defending themselves in their mountain fastnesses against the best troops in Europe, and the highest military skill. Are we to experience no difficulties of a similar kind with that race, obstinately persisting in
their resistance to the very last ? No, sir, — there is no certainty that the war will be brought to a successful issue. You may go on to the fourth, fifth, sixth, ninth campaign. How many campaigns has France had already in Algeria ? Sixteen! How
has Russia had in the Caucasus ? How many
had we ourselves with a paltry band of Indians in Florida ? Why, that war lasted five years, and cost us thirty millions of dollars! Suppose we do go on, and at the end of the fourth or fifth campaign, then comes the great question, - what are you to do with the territory? Can you incorporate it in your Union? Can you bring in seven millions of people of a lineage and religion altogether different from our own, and having a concentrated and powerful priesthood ? No! Can we hold them as subjugated provinces ? It would be fatal to our institutions- it would involve most enormous expense, and a vast increase of executive power. Well, now, I put emphatically the great question, with all these views before you - with no certainty before you that either the one end or another can be certainly reached —can you, will
you, agree to carry on a war simply to get that which you now hold, and can so easily hold ? What would be the result, when you reached the end of the fourth or fifth campaign? A debt of three or four hundred millions of dollars! You will have free trade put an end to for one generation, and for generations to come, in my opinion! And, then, what an awful, what an irreparable, sacrifice of human life! And all this to effect that which may be most readily effected by taking a defensive line.
When I said there was a mysterious connection between our fate and the Mexicans, I alluded to the great fact that we can do nothing with Mexico if we were to go on and subjugate her. If we incorporate her we are destroyed — if not, our institutions perish. In this view I hold this war to have been, in the first instance, a great departure from the true line of policy, which, as I have again and again said, is peace. It is ours to grow, and not to add by conquest. And