Westward Extension, 1841-1850

By George Pierce Garrison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV (AUGUST, 1845-MARCH, 1846)
THE SLIDELL MISSION

INFORMATION received by the authorities at Washington in August, 1845, from a confidential agent of the United States in the city of Mexico, and concurred in by the consuls there and at Vera Cruz, seemed to indicate that the Mexican government wished to re-establish the diplomatic relations broken off by Almonte's demand for his passports. On September 16 President Polk, in consultation with his cabinet, agreed that John Slidell of New Orleans should be appointed to undertake a mission to Mexico, one object of which should be an adjustment of the boundary by the purchase of Upper California and New Mexico. The president stated his desire for a line that should follow the Rio Grande from its mouth to the thirty-second parallel, and that parallel thence to the Pacific. He supposed that such a line could be had for fifteen or twenty million dollars, but he was ready, if necessary, to pay forty millions. The cabinet agreed with him unanimously.1

____________________
1
Polk, MS. Diary, September 16, 1845.

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