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1848.

Feb. 2-A treaty of peace signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo (a town four miles from Mexico).

"23-John Quincy Adams expires at Washington.

May20-The treaty having been ratified by the President and Senate of the U. S., March 10, it was followed by that of the Mexican gov. ernment on this day.

"23-Peace was proclaimed in the American camp.

The war was now over. The Mexicans relinquished all claim to Texas, and ceded Upper California and New Mexico to the United States. In return the United States gave them $18,500,000, of which $3,500,000 was due by a former treaty to citizens of this country and paid them by our government.

It will not be easy for an American to wholly condemn an act that gave us California and the fertile valleys and vast mining territory of the Pacific slope as well as New Mexico, or the chas tisement which the Mexicans had merited for their barbarity; though he may blame the eagerness for the acquisition of territory and the support of slavery that led us to invade another country and humble her pride. The ability of Americans as soldiers would appear by this war to be unrivalled, and, in that view, arouses our pride. The moral sense of the world must ever be shocked by war, though there seem many cases in which it is far the least of two evils. Our government was fairly generous so far as it dared be in dealing with the vanquished, as soon as its demands for territory were satisfied. It is also evident that this territory will be better developed and governed than would have been the case under Mexican rule.

Aug. 14-Oregon receives a Territorial government.

Nov. Gen. Taylor was elected President this month and Millard Fill. more Vice-President.

1849.

Jan. 26-Postal treaty with England concluded.

Mar. 3-Minnesota receives a Territorial government.

4-Gen. Taylor inaugurated President.

May 7-Gen. Worth, a very gallant officer of the Mexican war, died.
Sept. A State Constitution is formed by the people of California, which

excludes slavery.

Dec. 31-The House of Representatives ballots 63 times for a speaker, and now elects Howell Cobb, of Geo.

Gold was discovered in California, in Feb. 1848, and through 1849 emigrants-gold seekers-were arriving there by tens of thousands. By the end of this year it was a populous region. The mass of American immigrants were from the northern States, and disapproved of slavery, while the special end of the Mexican

war was to procure more territory for that institution. At this time a violent contest was waged in Congress over that admission. It was not ended until late in the following year.

1850.

Jan. Gen. Twiggs obtains the consent of the Seminoles of Florida to emigrate to the Indian Territory.

Feo. 13-President Taylor sends the constitution of California to Congress. There were many threats of secession in case California was admitted free.

Mar. 7-Mr. Webster's great speech for the Union.

"31-John C. Calhoun, the most eminent of Southern Statesmen, died. May 8-The "Omnibus Bill" reported by Henry Clay.

“18—A private expedition from the south under command of Lopez

invades Cuba. They are driven off with a loss of 30 killed and executed as pirates, on the 19th. The remainder returned to Key West on the 22d of the same month.

July 9-Death of President Taylor. Fillmore becomes acting President. Sept. 9-20-A committee of thirteen, of which Henry Clay was chairman, had been appointed Apr. 19th, and they had prepared four measures forming a compromise between the North and South as to slavery, which were debated and passed into laws, receiving the concurrence of the President: First, the South conceded to the North the admission of California as a free State, and the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia; Second, the North conceded to the South a stringent Fugitive Slave Law, and the organization of Territorial Governments in New Mexico and Utah without mention of slavery, but in the understanding that they were finally to form slave States. The real gain was to the North, as anti-slavery was advanced two steps, while the Fugitive Law could not be generally enforced in the North from the invincible aversion of the people to it, and the Southern people were not sufficiently migratory in their habits to introduce slavery into distant regions not naturally adapted to that institution. Still the question was laid aside for the present.

Nov. 19-Richard M. Johnson, a former Vice-President of the U. S., died. Dec. 16-A treaty of Amity and Commerce ratified with Switzerland.

1851.

Mar. 3-A cheap postage law passed by Congress.

1852.

June 28-Henry Clay, orator and Statesman, died.

July 3—A branch mint established at San Francisco, Cal.

Oct. 24-Daniel Webster died. These three were the ablest and most esteemed statesmen of their day.

Nov. The seventeenth presidential election occurred. Franklin Pierce was elected. He was the Democratic nominee. Gen. Scott, Whig, was defeated.

1853.

Mar. 4-Pierce inaugurated President.

Aug. 11-Proclamation of President Pierce against the invasion of Cuba by armed Americans.

1854.

Mar. 23-An important treaty of commerce negotiated with the empire of Japan by Com. Perry, which opened a new era in the progress of that country, and of United States commerce and influence in Asia. May 30 The failure of the compromise measures of 1850 to realize the hopes of the South from the rapid development of anti-slavery views in the North caused the subject to be again agitated, and the Missouri Compromise, which stopped the formation of slave States north of its south boundary line, was repealed; the question of the admission of slavery into Kansas and Nebraska, both being north of that line, being referred by the famous "Kansas-Nebraska Bill" to the "squatters," or first settlers. This was called "squatter sovereignty." This measure gave satisfaction to the South, but was strongly reprobated by many of the Northern people. Both sides prepared to renew the contest there, and civil war raged in Kansas for near three years. Each side sought to secure its end which terminated in favor of the North. The South could not compete with it in numbers nor drive the extra numbers away. This was the last hope of the South for preserving equilibrium in the general government.

The Democratic party in the North, anxious to soothe and conciliate the South, and not holding so advanced opinions against slavery, was still strong enough to maintain itself in power in the administration; but the Republican party, formed about this time by the dissolution of the Whig party, constantly grew in numbers and influence, and, by the end of the next administration its numbers were so large and the ultimate result so certain that the South resolved on secession rather than give up their favorite institution.

1855.

Feb. 24-The Court of Claims, an important relief to Congress and to claimants against the government, was established in Washington, by Congress.

1856.

Mar. 4-A Free State Legislature assembles in Kansas. It adopted a con stitution and prepared to apply for admission into the Union.

Nov. The eighteenth presidential election took place. James Buchanan was elected against J. C. Fremont and Millard Fillmore. Buchanan was the Democratic candidate; Fremont, Republican, and Fillmore, American, or "know nothing" candidate.

1857.

Feb. 2-Nathaniel Banks of Mass., a Republican, is elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. It had required two months and 133 ballotings to settle this point; indicating the nearly equal balance of parties, and the final success of the Republican element in the popular branch of Congress.

Mar. 4—Buchanan inaugurated President.

The next three years (after the decision of the Kansas troubles) were marked by the unnatural quiet that forebodes the storm. Anti-slavery feeling was maturing in the North, and discontent and secession tendencies in the South.

1858.

May 11-Minnesota admitted into the Union as a State.

1859.

Feb. 14-Oregon admitted into the Union as a State. The admission of these two without any corresponding ones in the South indicated the strength of Northern sentiment, and that the South had given up the struggle in that way. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, in this year, as showing the tone of Northern feeling, still further estranged the South from the Union.

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE CIVIL WAR

Was the inevitable result of an antagonism of interests, sentiments, and social structure in the two great sections of the Union-the North and the South. The foundation of these tendencies was laid before the formation of the Union, in early colonial times. The conflict commenced as soon as a close union was attempted, and the Constitution was adopted only through the personal influence of Washington and other statesmen of that time, and from the general conviction that it was essential to the protection of the new nation from England and other European powers. Some provisions of the Constitution involved a compromise between the North and the South; and a constant series of compromises was required to be arranged from time to time, down to this period.

The institution of slavery it was believed by many of the revolutionary fathers, would expire of itself at no distant time; but the value of the cotton cultivated at the South, and the intimate relations that slavery bore to the social life, made it profitable and agreeable to that section, and they held to it with great tenacity. Meanwhile the compromises of the Constitution grew more and more disagreeable to the North. The requirement of that Instrument-that persons held to service in the South,

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and becoming fugitives in the North, should be returned by them-was objected to on humane and religious grounds, and they found slavery an industrial embarrassment. The enterprise and vigor of the northern population gave their section a more rapid growth, and its political power became continually greater.

But three ways of peacefully avoiding the conflict were open: the North must fully carry out the spirit of concession that gave birth to the Union, the South must consent, sooner or later, to abolish its peculiar institu tions, or they must agree to separate. Interest, habit, and the aristocratic pride of the South forbade the second; while, in the North, interest, religious sentiment, and the workingman's pride as decidedly forbade the first. The natural relation of the two sections, especially by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, so essential to the commercial interests of the Western States: the improbability of maintaining amicable intercourse, with slavery in the South, and fugitives from it to produce constant irritation; the apparent probability that, if the right of dissolution were conceded, the West, and the Pacific States would follow this example; and the conviction that the true interests of the whole country, internal and external, required an indissoluble Union, inspired the majority of the northern people to resist disunion at every cost. On the other hand, the South claimed the right to depart in peace. Thus, war was inevitable; nor can it be correctly affirmed that any party, or any generation, or either section of the Union, was properly responsible for so lamentable a result. Each section, generation, and party follows the line of its own interest, ideas, and habits. It is a law of humanity, and each sees therein its duty and pleasure. While interests do not clash very seriously, while ideas are not sharply and clearly defined, and while habits are yet unsettled, compromises may be readily effected. Humanity, taken together, in the most advanced society heretofore known to men, is not yet capable of views so high, liberal, and far-seeing as to free it from the possibility of such conflicts. It will, however, reach that height, in the course of time.

We could not reasonably have expected either the North or the South to have acted differently from what they did. While so gigantic a war was an immense evil; to allow the right of peaceable secession would have been ruin to the enterprise and thrift of the industrious laborer, and keeneyed business man of the North. It would have been the greatest calamity of the age. War was less to be feared.

The Southerner, generous, warm blooded, accustomed to rule and make his own will the law of others in his home, courageous and fiery, could not give way. Besides secession would be less damaging to him. He would own the outlets to much of Northern commerce, he had a bond of union of the Southern States in the the common institution of slavery, and a monopoly of the world's cotton that must soon secure profitable alliances in Europe. Secession was commenced peaceably, and the Southern government fairly consolidated before the trumpet sounded to battle. The

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