nation. In the State of New-York, the United States is the owner of no
public lands, and yet two-thirds of our whole revenue is collected at the
great port of that. State ; and within her limits is found about one-seventh
of our entire population. Although none of the future cities on our coast
of California may ever rival the city of New- York in wealth, population,
and business ; yet, that important cities will grow up on the magnificent
harbors of that coast, with a rapidly increasing population, and yielding a
large revenue, would seem to be certain. By the possession of the safe
and spacious harbors on the California coast, we shall have great advan-
tages in securing the rich commerce of the East, and shall thus obtain for
our products new and increased markets, and greatly enlarge our coasting
and foreign trade, as well as augment our tonnage and revenue.
" These great advantages, far more than the simple value of the public
lands in the ceded territory, ' constitute our indemnity for the past.'
"JAMES K. POLK."
Message of James K. Polk to the House of Representatives, July
282 HISTORY OF THE
we were with one hand chastising an insolent and
unscrupulous enemy, with the other we were giv-
ing bread to a starving nation. By the terms of
forces of the United States during the time they may remain in Mexico.
To this end, it shall be the duty of all officers and agents of the United
States to denounce to the Mexican authorities at the respective ports any
attempt at a fraudulent abuse of this stipulation which they may know of,
or may have reason to suspect, and to give to such authorities all the aid
in their power with regard thereto; and every such attempt, when duly
proved and established by sentence of a competent tribunal, shall be pun-
ished by the confiscation of the property so attempted to be fraudulently
" ARTICLE XIX.
- With respect to all merchandise, effects and property whatsoever, im-
ported into ports of Mexico whilst in the occupation of the forces of the
United States, whether by citizens of either Republic, or by citizens or
subjects of any neutral nation, the following rules shall be observed :
" 1st. All such merchandise, effects and property, if imported pre-
viously to the restoration of the custom-houses to the Mexican authorities,
as stipulated for in the third article of this treaty, shall be exempt from
confiscation, although the importation of the same be prohibited by the
" 2d. The same perfect exemption shall be enjoyed by all such mer-
chandise, effects and property, imported subsequently to the restoration of
;mn-houses, and previously to the sixty days fixed in the following
article for the coming into force of the Mexican tariff at such ports re-
spectively ; the said merchandise, effects and property being, however, at
the time of their importation, subject to the payment of duties, as provided
for in the said following article.
" 3d. All merchandise, effects and property described in the two rules
ing shall, during their continuance at tin- place of importation, and
up,, n their leaving such place for the interior, be exempt from all duty, tax,
or impost of every kind, under whatsoever title or denomination. Nor
shall they be there subjected to any charge whatsoever upon the sale
â€¢ 1th. All merchandise, effects and property, described in the first and
sec, mil rules, which shall have been removed to any place in the interior
whilst such place was in the occupation of the forces of the United States,
shall, during their continuance therein, he exempt from all tax upon the
sale or consumption thereof, and from every kind of impost or contribu-
tion, under whatsoever title or denomination.
POLK ADMINISTEATION. 283
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, tlie Goverament
of the United States agreed to pay to Mexico, as
part consideration for the cession of New Mexico
" 5th. But if any merchandise, effects or property, described in the
first and second rules, shall be removed to any place not occupied at the
time by the forces of the United States, they shall, upon their introduction
into such place, or upon their sale or consumption there, be subject to the
same duties which, under the Mexican laws, they would be required to
pay in such cases if they had been imported in time of peace, through the
maritime custom-houses, and had there paid the duties conformably with
the Mexican tariff.
" 6th. The owners of all merchandise, effects or property, described
in the first and second rules, and existing in any port of Mexico, shall
have the right to reship the same, exempt from all tax, impost, or contri-
" With respect to the metals or other property, exported from any
Mexican port whilst in the occupation of the forces of the United States,
and previously to the restoration of the custom-houses at such port, no
person shall be required by the Mexican authorities, whether general or
state, to pay any tax, duty, or contribution upon any such exportation, or
in any manner to account for the same to the said authorities.
" ARTICLE xx.
" Through consideration for the interests of commerce generally, it is
agreed, that if less than sixty days should elapse between the date of the
signature of this treaty and the restoration of the custom-houses, con-
formably with the stipulation in the third article, in such case all merchan-
dise, effects and property whatsoever, arriving at the Mexican ports after
the restoration of the said custom-houses, and previously to the expiration
of sixty days after the date of the signature of this treaty, shall be admit-
ted to entry ; and no other duties shall be levied thereon than the duties
established by the tariff found in force at such custom-houses at the time
of the restoration of the same. And to all such merchandise, effects and
property, the rules established by the preceding article shall apply.
" ARTICLE XXI.
" If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the
Governments of the two Republics, whether with respect to the interpre-
tation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other partic-
ular concerning the political or commercial relations of the two nations,
the said Governments, in the name of those nations, do promise to each
284 HISTORY OF THE
and California,* the sum of fifteen millions of dol-
lars, and to assume the payment of certain claims
due our citizens by the Mexican Government.
other that tliey will endeavor, in the most sincere and earnest manner, to
settle the differences so arising, and to preserve the state of peace and
friendship in which the two countries are now placing themselves ; using,
for this end, mutual representations and pacific negotiations. And if, by
these means, they should not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort
shall not, on this account, be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of
any kind, by the one Republic against the other, until the Government of
that which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely considered, in the
spirit of peace and good neighborship, whether it would not be better that
such difference should be settled by the arbitration of commissioners ap-
pointed on each side, or by that of a friendly nation. And should such
course bo proposed by either party, it shall be acceded to by the other,
unless deemed by it altogether incompatible with the nature of the differ-
ence or the circumstances of the case.
" If (which is not to be expected, and which God forbid !) war should
unhappily break out between the two Republics, they do now, with a view
to such calamity, solemnly pledge themselves to each other and to the
world, to observe the following rules ; absolutely, where the nature of the
* " The boundary line between the two republics shall commence in the
Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio
Grande, otherwise called Rio Bravo del Norte, opposite the mouth of its
deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly
into the sea ; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest
channel, where it has more thnn one, to the point where it strikes the
southern boundary of New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole
southern boundary of New Mexico, (which runs north ofthe town called
; to its western termination ; thence, northward, along the western
lineof New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila;
(or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on
the -aid line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the
Bame;) thence down the middle ofthe -aid branch and of the said river, un-
til it empties intothe Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, fol-
lowing the division line between Qpperand Lower California, to the Pa-
cific Ocean."â€” Art. 5, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 285
There was also a clause in the Treaty, requiring the
Government of the United States to liberate any
prisoners which might thereafter be captured by
subject permits, and as closely as possible in all cases where such abso-
lute observance shall be impossible :
" I. The merchants of either Republic then residing in the other,
shall be allowed to remain twelve months (for those dwelling in the inte-
rior) and six months (for those dwelling at the seaports), to collect their
debts and settle their affairs, during which periods they shall enjoy the
same protection, and be on the same footing, in all respects, as the citizens
or subjects of the most friendly nations ; and, at the expiration thereof, or
any time before, they shall have full liberty to depart, carrying off all
their effects without molestation or hindrance ; conforming therein to the
same laws which the citizens or subjects of the most friendly nations are
required to conform to. Upon the entrance of the armies of either nation
into the territories of the other, women and children, ecclesiastics, scholars
of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, merchants, artisans, manufac-
turers, and fishermen, unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages,
or places, and in general all persons whose occupations are for the com-
mon subsistence and benefit of mankind, shall be allowed to continue
their respective employments unmolested in their persons. Nor shall
their houses or goods be burned or otherwise destroyed, nor their cattle
taken, nor their fields wasted, by the armed force into whose power, by
the events of war, they may happen to fall ; but if the necessity arise to
take any thing from them for the use of such armed force, the same shall
be paid for at an equitable price. All churches, hospitals, schools, col-
leges, libraries, and other establishments for charitable and beneficent
purposes, shall be respected, and all persons connected with the same pro-
tected in the discharge of their duties, and the pursuit of their vocations.
" II. In order that the fate of prisoners of war may be alleviated, all
such practices as those of sending them into distant, inclement, or unwhole-
some districts, or crowding them into close and noxious places, shall be
studiously avoided. They shall not be confined in dungeons, prison-
ships, or prisons, nor be put in irons, or bound, or otherwise restrained in the
use of their limbs. The officers shall enjoy liberty on their paroles, within
convenient districts, and have comfortable quarters ; and the common
soldiers shall be disposed in cantonments, open and extensive enough for
air and exercise, and lodged in barracks as roomy and good as are pro-
vided by the party in whose power they are for its own troops. But if
any officer shall break his parole by leaving the district so assigned him. or
any other prisoner shall escape from the limits of his cantonment, after
286 HISTORY OF TIIE
Indians residing within the limits of the United
States. There was a precedent for the last clause,
in the policy of the Cabinet of John Quincy Ad-
thej shall have been designated to him, such individual, officer, or other
prisoner, shall forfeit so much of the benefit of this article as provides for
his liberty on parole or in cantonment. And if any officer so breaking
his parole, or any common soldier so escaping from the limits assigned
him, shall afterwards be found in arms, previously to his being regularly
exchanged, the person so offending shall be dealt with according to the
established laws of war. The officers shall be daily furnished by the
party in whose power they are with as many rations, and of the same
articles, as are allowed, either in kind or by commutation, to officers of
equal rank in its own army ; and all others shall be daily furnished with
such ration as is allowed to a common soldier in its own service ; the
value of all which supplies shall, at the close of the war, or at periods to
be agreed upon between the respective commanders, be paid by the other
party, on a mutual adjustment of accounts for subsistence of prisoners;
and such accounts shall not be mingled with or set off against any others,
nor the balance due on them be withheld, as a compensation or reprisal
for any cause whatever, real or pretended. Each party shall be allowed
to keep a commissary of prisoners, appointed by itself, with every canton-
ment of prisoners, in possession of the other ; which commissary shall
see the prisoners as often as he pleases ; shall be allowed to receive,
exempt from all duties or taxes, and to distribute whatever comforts may
be sent to them by their friends; and shall be free to transmit his reports
in open letters to the party by whom he is employed.
" And it is declared that neither the pretence that war dissolves all
treaties, nor any other whatever, shall be considered as annulling or sus-
pending the solemn covenant contained in this article. On the contrary,
the state of war is precisely that for which it is provided; and during
which, its stipulations are to be as sacredly observed as the most acknow-
ledged obligations under the law of nature or nations.
" This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States of
America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and
by the President of the Mexican Republic, with the previous approbation
of its general Congress; and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the
city of Washington, or at the seat of Government in Mexico, in four
months from the date of the signature thereof, or sooner if practicable.
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 287
ams* The territory acquired was immense in
extent and importance. It embraced nearly ten
degrees of latitude upon the Pacific coast, and ex-
" In faith whereof, we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this
treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement, and have hereunto
affixed our seals respectively. Done in quintuplicate, at the city of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, on the second day of February, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.
" N. P. TRIST, [l. s.]
" LUIS G. CUEVAS, [l. s.]
" BERNARDO COUTO, [l. s.]
"MIGL. ATRISTAIN. [l. s.]
" And whereas, the said treaty, as amertded, has been duly ratified on
both parts, and the respective ratifications of the same were exchanged at
Queretaro on the thirtieth day of May last, by Ambrose H. Sevier and
Nathan Clifford, Commissioners on the part of the Government of the
United States, and by Seiior Don Louis de la Rosa, Minister of Relations
of the Mexican Republic, on the part of that Government ;
" Now, therefore, be it known, that I, James K. Polk, President of the
United States of America, have caused the said treaty to be made public,
to the end that the same, and every clause and article thereof, may be
observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens
" In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed.
" Done at the city of Washington, this fourth day of July, one
[l. s.] thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, and of the indepen-
dence of the United States the seventy-third.
" JAMES K. POLK.
" By the President :
" James Buchanan, Secretary of State."
Executive Documents, 1st session 30th Congress, Vol. 8, Doc. No. 69.
* " If the line were so changed, the greater part, if not the whole, of
the powerful, warlike, and turbulent Indian nation of the Camanchcs,
would be thrown on the side of the United States ; and as an equivalent
for the proposed cession of territory, they would stipulate to restrain, as
far as practicable, the Camanches from committing hostilities and depreda-
tions upon the territories and people, whether Indians or otherwise, of
Mexico." â€” Letter of Henry Clay, Secretary of State, to Mr. Poinsett,
U?iited Stales Minister in Mexico, March26th, 1825.
288 II IS TOBY OF THE
tended from that ocean to the Rio Grande, a dis-
tance of nearly one thousand miles. Included with-
in the new boundaries, are the harbors of Monterey,
Santiago, and San Francisco, which give us three
commercial fronts. One upon the Pacific, another
upon the Atlantic, and the third upon the Gulf of
Mexico, being in extent more than 5,000 miles of
Of all the harbors in the world, none surpass
the celebrated Bay of San Francisco. It lies in
Latitude 38 degrees north â€” about four degrees from
the southern boundary of Oregon, and about five
or six degrees from the southern boundary of our
possessions in California. This harbor maybe re-
garded as a most fortunate acquisition, and which,
taken in connection with the rest of the territory
ceded, and the commercial advantages resulting
therefrom, is of vast importance to the Republic.
In the Bay of San Francisco the combined na-
vies of the world could ride in safety. The ac-
to it is easy, and yet it could be defended
readily from its bold and rocky shores. The en-
trance opens into the Bay, which is about forty
miles in length, protected from the winds coining
from every direction. Two beautiful rivers wdrich
drain a country five hundred miles in extent, pour
their waters into the Bay. The climate along the
valley of the Sacramento, and San Joaquin rivers
is delightful. The soil is rich and productive, fa-
vorable to wheat, Indian corn, rye, oats, tobacco and
cotton. Grapes, olives, bananas, cocoanuts, sugar-
cane, apples, j tears, &c, were formerly found in lati-
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 289
tucle 34 degrees north. A rare union of the pro-
ductions of the temperate and tropical climates.
Li the Bay of San Francisco will converge the
commerce of Asia and the model Republic. It
possesses advantages over every other harbor upon
the western coast of North or South America.
Whether a railroad is constructed across the Isth-
mus of Panama to the Columbia river, or to San
Francisco, that point will become the New- York of
the Pacific Ocean. The vast and increasiug com-
merce of Asia, and the islands of the East, is now
open to our adventurous seamen. It is difficult to
conceive the importance which this country is des-
tined to occupy as a commercial nation. In the
first place, it can be safely asserted that no people
upon the earth are so well calculated to develope
the resources of our country, as the citizens of the
United States, while at the same time the liberal
principles upon which our commercial relations are
conducted with the nations of the earth, afford am-
ple opportunities for a display of that energy and
enterprise, for which the American merchant is so
justly celebrated, notwithstanding the importance
to which the commerce of England has attained ;
yet her citizens have very many disadvantages to
encounter, which are fast disappearing from our
path. It will be seen by an examination of a globe,
that the locality of England is most unfortunate for
Upon the northwestern part of Europe, with
the broad Atlantic separating her from her Cana-
dian provinces and from the West Indies, she is
290 HISTORY OF THE
forced to double either the Cape of Good Hope or
Cape Horn, to reach China and her possessions in
the East. Taking in connection the fact, that it re-
quires sixty-five days for the overland mail to reach
London from Canton, and we have some idea of the
commercial difficulties encountered by the merchants
* From Mr. "Whitney's Calculations.
From London to Panama, 81Â° of longitude, and 44Â° of lati-
tude must be overcome, and which, on a straight line,
would vary little from 5,868 miles.
From Panama to Canton is 170Â° of longitude, measuring
full 60 miles to the degree, is 10,200 "
Making from London to Canton, on a line, . . . 16,068 "
Now from ( lanton to England, via the Cape of Good Hope,
during the northeast monsoon, is ...
From Canton through the China Sea, to the Equator, . 1,320 "
From the Equator to Sunda Straits, to 12Â° south latitude, 750 "
Through the region of southeast trades to 27Â° south lati-
tude, and 5nÂ° east longitude, 3,200 "
Thence to the Cape of Good Hope, .... 1,560 "
And from the Cape to London 6,900 "
Again â€” from Canton to London, via the Cape of Good
1 lu|Â»>. during the southwest monsoon, is ... "
From Canton to the Straits of Formosa, . . . 480 "
Thence to Pitt's Straits, passing near the Pillow Islands, 1,300 "
Thence to Alias' Straits, 1,200 "
Thence to 27 u south latitude, and 50Â° east longitude, . 3,900 "
Thence to the Cape, 1,560 "â–
And thence to London, 6.900 "
In the first instance, the route hymnal would increase the
distance between London and Canton, . . . 2,338
And in the latter, 728
The distances, both for a canal and via the Cape, are cal-
culated lor a Btraight line from poinl to point, but ow-
ing to trades and currents, a sail-vessel could not make
POLK ADMINISTRATION. 291
The route to London from Canton is over 1,000
miles nearer, via Puget's Sound and New- York, than
to double the Cape of Good Hope. To proceed
still further south by the Bay of San Francisco and
New- York to London, would be 3,000 miles nearer
than the old route.*
In speaking of the distance to China from our
western possessions, it should be remembered, that
it is not necessary to pursue the track by the Sand-
wich Islands. It is much nearer to pass on a great
arc to the northwest, crossing from the Western to
the Eastern Continent, where the degrees of longi-
tude converging to the North Pole, are only about
half so far across as they are between the tropics.
The new route will be far preferable by steam, as
either voyage on a straight line ; and the voyage from
London to China is estimated at not less than 17.000
miles, and it would be increased in the same manner
and proportion for any canal route.
It has been estimated that the distance from Shanghae in
China to Puget's Sound, is ..... 5,405 miles.
From Puget's Sound to New-York, by railroad, via Lake
Michigan, 3,963 "
Making 8,368 miles from our Atlantic coast to China,
about half the distance from London to China.
From New-York to London, 3,330 "
Total distance from China to London, via Puget's Sound
and New-York, 11,698 "
* " The transit of intelligence, merchandise and passengers from Chi-
na to Europe, by way of New-York, can be effected, when these several
lines shall be in operation in connection with the line from that city to
Liverpool, in less than one half the time now occupied in the voyage be-
tween those countries." â€” Report of the Secretary of War, December 4th,
202 HISTOEY OF THE
flic same necessity will not exist for pursuing the
old one, for the purpose of avoiding the trade winds.
Now let us turn our attention to the position
occupied upon the globe by the United Stales.
Conveniently situated to carry on a trade with Eu-
rope and Canada, with the West India Islands, and
the powers of South America, the great difficulty
to be surmounted was the distance to Asia and the
East Indies. With that portion of the earth our
trade is fast increasing, notwithstanding the long
route from our eastern shores to China and the isles
of the East, either by passing the Cape of Good
Hope, or the southern extremity of South America.
To perform a voyage from New-York to Canton
and back, generally required twelve months. All
these difficulties will soon be obviated by a develop-
ment of our resources in Oregon and California.
It is a matter of vast importance to our com-
merce, which will soon hover upon the Pacific
Ocean, that spacious and convenient harbors should