Speech of Mr. Corwin, of Ohio, on the Mexican War: Delivered in the Senate of the United States, February 11, 1847 (Classic Reprint)by Thomas Corwin
He admonishes all not to anticipate evil to come, but to fold their hands and close their eyes in quietude, ever mindful of the consolatory text, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." But the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr.
Excerpt from Speech of Mr. Corwin, of Ohio, on the Mexican War: Delivered in the Senate of the United States, February 11, 1847
He admonishes all not to anticipate evil to come, but to fold their hands and close their eyes in quietude, ever mindful of the consolatory text, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." But the Senator from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun,) summoning from the depths of his thoughtful and powerful mind all its energies, and looking abroad on the present condition of the Republic, is pained with fearful apprehension, doubt, distrust, and dismay. To his vision, made strong by a long life of careful observation, made keen by a comprehensive view of past history, the sky seems overcast with impending storms, and the dark future is shrouded in impenetrable gloom. When two such minds thus differ, those less familiar with great subjects affecting the happiness of nations may well pause, before they rush to a conclusion on this, a subject which, in all its bearings, immediate and remote, affects certainly the present prosperity, and probably the liberty, of two Republics, embracing together nearly thirty millions of people. Mr. President, it is a fearful responsibility we have assumed engaged in flagrant, desolating war with a neighboring Republic, to us, thirty millions of God's creatures look up for that moderated wisdom which, if possible, may stay the march of misery and restore to them, if it may be so, mutual feeling of good will, with all the best blessings of peace.
I sincerely wish it were in my power to cherish those placid convictions of security which have settled upon the mind of the Senator from Michigan. So far from this, I have been, in common with the Senator from South Carolina, oppressed with melancholy forebodings of evils to come, and not unfrequently by a conviction that each step we take in this unjust war, may be the last in our career; that each chapter we write in Mexican blood, may close the volume of our history as a free people. Sir, I am the less inclined to listen to the siren song the Senator from Michigan sings to his own soul, because I have heard its notes before. I know the country is at this moment suffering from the fatal apathy into which it was lulled a few years ago. Every one must recall to his mind, with pleasing regret, the happy condition of the country in 1843, when that other question, the prelude to this, the annexation of Texas, was agitated here; we remember hoe it attached the attention of the whole Union; we remember that the two great leaders of the two great parties agreeing in scarcely any other opinion, were agreed in that. They both predicted that if Texas were annexed, war with Mexico would be the probable result. We were told then by others, as now by the Senator from Michigan, that all was well, all was calm, that Mexico would not fight, or if she would, she was too weak to wage the struggle with any effect upon us. The sentinel was then told to sleep upon his watch-tower; "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," was sung to us then in notes as soft and sweet as now. Mr. President, "the day" has come, and with it has come war, the most direful curse wherewith it has pleased God to afflict a sinful world. Such have been the fatal effects of lulling into apathy the public mind, on a subject which agitated it, as well it might, to its profoundest depths.
I repeat, sir, the day has come, as was then predicted, and the evil predicted has come with it. We are here, sir, now not as then, at peace with all the world - not now, as then, with laws that brought into your treasury everything adequate to its wants - not now, as then, free from debt and the apprehension of debt and taxation, its necessary consequence. But we are here with a treasury that is beggared - that lifts up its imploring hands to the monopolists and capitalists of the country - that sends out its notes and "promises to pay" into every mart and every...
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