Westward Extension, 1841-1850

By George Pierce Garrison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
CONQUERING A PEACE (1846-1848)

IT was only after Polk felt assured of the refusal to receive Slidell that he assumed an attitude so aggressive as clearly to challenge war; and from that time forward it seems to have been his desire to carry the struggle just far enough to bring Mexico to the point of conceding a territorial indemnity on the terms which he had intended to offer through Slidell. In accordance with this policy he suggested, while the question of Slidell's reception by the Paredes government was yet in suspense, that Slidell should be directed to go on board a United States vessel and wait for further instructions.1 The object of this plan was evidently to be able to resume negotiations, as soon as Mexico had felt the pressure sufficiently, without the delays incident to a correspondence between the two capitals. The same considerations influenced, at a later stage of the war, the appointment of Trist.1 To this method of pushing on the conflict, with the sword in one

____________________
1
Polk, MS. Diary, February 17, 1846.
1
Senate Docs., 30 Cong., I Sess., I., No. I, p. 39.

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