North Star, February 1848
The rumors of peace with Mexico, seem all to end in rumor. All hopes of peace are, to our mind, based upon the most shallow apprehension of the character of the ruling power in this country. The present unholy war is not the accident of a day, but the result of long years of national transgression. Pride and ambition, when once in the full possession of a nation’s heart, and roused to action, cannot be easily expelled, by any means this side of national ruin.
We have given ourselves up to the blind spirit of mad ambition. The war will be carried on. The bones of many more American citizens must be added to the thousands now bleaching on the plains of Mexico. The slaughter of Mexicans must be continued and the government of that country annihilated, before the wicked war can case. Some hopes of peace have been predicted on our national love of money; but glory has no time for monetary considerations, especially while the idea of making Mexico pay for her own invasion, can be held out to blind the eyes of the American people.
While we can make the Mexican government pay our soldiers for invading our territory and blowing out the brains of her citizens, no rational prospect of a peace with that nation can be predicated on our fears of a national debt. It is impossible to induce the people of this country to feel, or to think of, either the expense or wickedness of this war, unless they are brought to their senses by a direct tax.—and this is out of the question. The Whigs are opposed to direct taxation, and the Democrats are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, and the people are intoxicated with military glory; peace, therefore, cannot, for the present take place. Slavery, treachery and mad ambition, are at the head of the government, in the person of James K. Polk; and the means of checking them are naught. We can only bear our testimony, clear our own skirts, and await the catastrophe of our national crimes. What that will be is known only to the Most High, the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. Whatever it may be, our duty will have been done; and a righteous God will save those who have done their duty and put their trust in Him.