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were the flower and chivalry of the State. The sons of those worthy sires who, under Jackson, Carroll and Coffee, in former days, had shed so much lustre around the name of Tennessee. Would these, their descendants, prove themselves worthy of such illustrious ancestors ?
I did not doubt it—no one doubted it—they went forth in a just cause. Not one of them felt that it was an unjust one, or they would not have gone. They went forth, and on every battle-field, at Monterey, at Vera Cruz, at Cerro Gordo, they performed deeds of heroic valor, worthy of Tennessee in the proudest days of her glory. But it was not on the battle-field alone, that your regiments bore your banner so high and so proudly. In the toilsome march, beneath the burning sun, in the pestilential encampment, everywhere, and under all circumstances, your volunteers well sustained the honor of the State. In behalf of our whole people, I recommend the strongest expression of public gratitude and admiration for their heroic services, and that a full register of the names of every soldier of the three regiments be made out and safely deposited in the new capitol, when completed, that posterity may know who they were that contributed so largely to the honor and glory of the Commonwealth. Let the State contribute largely to the erection of some lofty monument to the memory
of those who fell, either in battle or by disease, in the prosecution of a war, which could not have been avoided without a sacrifice of national honor, dignity, and character.
But the patriotic devotion of our fellow-citizens has been tested by another requisition, recently made for two more Regiments of Infantry from the State. It is with no common degree of pride that I announce the pleasing fact to you, that notwithstanding the many appeals made to the people of the State, through a portion of the public press, and the debates and discussions of the past summer, against the justice, propriety and necessity of the Mexican war, the chivalrous sons of Tennessee have responded to the call with a noble enthusiasm.
Five companies were called for by my proclamations from each Major General's division in the State, thereby giving, as on the former occasion, a fair and equal chance to the citizens of every portion of the State.
Many more companies reported themselves than could be selected to fill the requisition, whilst many others were known of who were in a forward state of completion, when the time arrived for making selections. It cannot, I hope, be considered invidious to mention, that East Tennessee was peculiarly chivalrous on the occasion, having furnished not only the five companies called for, but tendered ten other companies besides, composed of her brave and hardy sons. The officers of the United States having learned, by experience, something of the promptitude and celerity with which the citizen soldiers of Tennessee always rush to the standard of their country, have promptly repaired to the State to aid in carrying out the movement, exempting the Executive from much of the labor and responsibility of a former occasion. The volunteers are now on their way to their respective encampments at Nashville and Memphis, where they will be regularly organized into Regiments, and pass over to the command and service of the United States. If the war continues, the whole community cannot but feel the deepest interest in the future destination and fortunes of these brave and gallant men.
The career of their predecessors in this war has been so distinguished for their patience under fatigue, for their ready obedience to the command of their officers, for their undaunted courage in the face of the enemy—that it would be difficult to emulate their bright and glorious example. But I hazard nothing when I assure you that these regiments will go forth nerved to new energies by that high example, and firmly resolsed, living or dying, to add new lustre to the name and character of Tennessee.
But at the moment when I am writing down these proud and pleasing assurances, the news may be brought to us that a treaty has been made, terminating the war between the two nations. I should hail with rapture and delight the bright and beautiful Goddess of Peace, at whose shrine the American people have always delighted to worship. Her return would be more welcome, because she will doubtless bring with her all that was ever demanded—“ indemnity for the past, security for the future.” This was all that the Administration at Washington--the President, and his friends in Congress and throughout the Union all that the Commanding General in his Proclamation in the earilest stages of the war ever demanded. The territory she is expected to bring will be stained with no blood unjustly shed, in the proud and lustful spirit of conquest. She will bring it as the only indemnity Mexico can offer against the expenses we have incurred in the prosecution of a war, which Mexico herself was the first to proclaim, and first to commence. A war originating in Mexico's unjust attempt to reconquer a territory which had been, under all the forms of our Constitution, made one of the States of the Union; a war which she wantonly and wickedly provoked by an invasion of that part of Texas lying east of the Lower Rio Grande, to which our title extended (whatever might be said of the Upper Rio Grande) without a shadow of a doubt. But I cannot shut my eyes to the great fact, that there are many persons, of this State and elsewhere, who, in anticipation of a result such as we are now considering, have labored hard to convince the people that, if indemnity in land against the expenses of this war, and for the purpose of paying the millions that are due to our citizens, should be willingly offered by Mexico, such an indemnity should be scorned and rejected. Whether the infatuation of party will persist in such doctrine, remains to be seen. But I most earnestly recommend to this General Assembly, never to adjourn until you have instructed your Senators and requested your Representatives not to vote against å treaty of peace, or refuse the necessary appropriation to carry it into effect, only because it may contain a cession of territory to the United States. Indemnity against the war, I hold to be clearly right-Mexico herself, I doubt not, will so consider it. Shall the United States reject the indemnity because it may be in land, and not in money? She has not the latter to pay, and the former constitutes her only remaining resource. therefore, be indemnity in land or nothing. I repcat, in lund or nothing. What wise or sensible man, in the management of his private affairs, would reject a payment in land when his debtor had no other resource left, with which to satisfy his demand ? The plea that our country is large enough already, takes no account of the future millions of freemen who are to nhabit it. The natural increase of our own population—the
amazing emigration to the United States from the starving and oppressed nations of the old World—the genius, industry, and enterprise of the Anglo-Saxon race-all unite in demanding that our country should be extended from ocean to oceanwidened out in all her borders, whenever it can be done consistently with the dictates of national honor and justice. Such an opportunity will now be offered freely to us, and perhaps for the last time in the history of our country.
The pretext that any new accession of territory, may endanger the perpetuation of our glorious Union, is only a shallow device for alarming the timid and deceiving the ignorant.
The same cry was raised when Louisiana, extending from the Gulf to the Northern Lakes, was acquired—the same when Missouri was admitted—when Florida was purchased—when Texas, neither conquered nor purchased, walked into our Union by sovereign compact and agreement. The Union dissolved !! dissolved by the growth and enlargement of our free and happy Republic!! No. It grows stronger and stronger by it; the very elements of perpetuation being increased in the exact proportion of its contemplated magnitude. The spirit of modern abolitionism, if it existed at all in the early days of the Republic, stood rebuked by the Constitution. It stood equally rebuked in the Missouri compromise, which was but a virtual continuation of that of the Constitution. So it will be in the extension of the same line on latitude thirty-six thirty, through the newly acquired territory of California. What a beautiful harmony in our national action would then be exhibited ! Our revolutionary fathers inadjusting the proportion of the f.ee and slaveholding States, substantially fixed it on latitude thirty-six thirty. The next generation (for the Revolutionary one had nearly departed,) then extended that line through the newly acquired territory from France, and now it is proposed (and to this I give my assent, and earnestly recommend that you give yours) to extend this line still westward, through the territory which may be ceded to us by Mexico, to the shores of the Pacific. This being done, the great strife and contention about slavery, we may hope, will be settled and ended forever. Then Wilmot proviso" will break upon our repose, like a fire-bell by night. The line of separation will be
fixed. All men would understand it and conform to it, in the formation of States. Nor need the conscientious and sincere friend of the black race, (for there are many such) be in the slighest degree apprehensive that slavery, though permitted to exist south of that line, would ever be, in fact, established in any one of the States of California. The character of the country--the nature of its resources--the insecurity of such property on many accounts, would deter any slaveholder from taking that description of property with him. The question about slavery, therefore, loses much, if not all, its practical importance in relation to the territory now to be acquired from Mexico, as has been truly said by one of our greatest statesmen, and said, too, at a most auspicious moment for the peace and harmony of our country. The Union, therefore, I hold to be in no danger from any new accession of territory. I believe that, under the Providence of God, it is destined to last and endure forever, stretching, like the beautiful rainbow of Hope and of Promise, until it bespans this whole continent.
A vacancy has occurred in the Supreme Court by the resignation of Judge Reese, now on file, to take effect from the first day of the present month, which places it in the power of the General Assembly to fill it, without the intervention of the Executive. Another vacancy occurred in the 4th Judical Circuit, by the death of Judge Cannon, which was temporarily filled by George W. Rowles, Esq. Vacancies in the 4th, 8th, and 10th Solicitorial Districts have been filled by the appointment of Mr. Joseph E. Pickitt, of Carthage ; Mr. J. P. Campbell, of Columbia; and Mr. T. P. Scurlock, of Jackson, whose commissions will expire with the close of the present Legislature. Mr. Nelson, Register of the Mountain District, having resigned, the vacancy was filled by the appointment of Mr. J. H. Minnis, and subse. quently, on his resignation, by the appointment of Mr. J. F. Brown, of Sparta.
It will also be your duty to elect a Senator to Congress, to supply the place of the Hon. Spencer Jarnagin, whose term of service expired on the 4th of March last. I need not anticipate, by a single remark, the care with which you will select some individual, eminent for his ability and patriotism, to fill