August 2, 1845


The Mystery of Iniquity:

As seen in a new phase.


The Philadelphia North American copies a paragraph from this paper, announcing the arrival in this city of ten companies of the U. S. infantry, en route to Corpus Christi, and heads it “Progress of Iniquity.”  The North American may have its own ideas of iniquity and its progress; but we suggest that they must differ from those of our standard lexicographers, and indeed from the common acceptation of those terms.  Webster – Noah we mean, not Daniel – defines iniquity as injustice or unrighteousness; and wherein, we should like to ask, lies the iniquity of a body of soldiers, in compliance with orders which they have sworn to obey, marching from one post to another?  But the North American calls it the progress of iniquity, thus stamping the arrival of the troops here as an act which leads to its consummation.  Now the questions recur – Whither go those troops?  What is the iniquity which they have in contemplation?  -- Is their errand one of despoliation and plunder?  -- Is their purpose ruthless massacre and unrelenting extermination?  -- Go they to interrupt the proceedings of peaceful labor, to harrass the aged, to alarm the young, or despoil the virtuous?  Far from it; -- their mission is emphatically one of peace – their object one of protection; and, although bearing along with them all the dread appointments of battle, their earnest desire is that they may not be called upon to use them.  How, then, or in what manner, does their movement develop the “progress of iniquity?”


What are, briefly and clearly as lawyer say, the facts of the case?  Two independent, adjoining nations – the one powerful, possessing and wielding all the resources that lead to national supremacy and contribute to individual happiness and protection; the other, although independent, yet lacking that vigor which would enable her to profit by her distinct nationality, exposed to the incursions of a savage foe which she found it difficult to repel, and a threat of subjection from a semi-civilized and not more generous enemy, held, and to be held perpetually, in terrorem over the devoted heads of her citizens; her rich fields and fertile prairies, which courted, as it were, the industry of the agriculturist, in a state of wild unproductiveness, and a necessarily unsettled and improvident spirit pervading the people:  two such nations, influenced by the same wise and prudential motives which dictated confederation to the old thirteen States of the Union, seeing that it would promote their mutual interests --- knowing that while it would give a more safe and less assailable boundary to the one and a greater strength of nationality, it would afford to the other ample protection from abroad and diffuse the blessing of industry and peace at home – for good or for evil united their destinies.


These, now, are the facts of the case.  Will the editor of the North American say they have been misstated?  And if they have not been, where does he discover “the progress of iniquity” in the proceedings?  Did the stronger party coerce the weaker one?  Or was the latter, contrary to the will of her people and in disregard to their opinions, or by means of bribery and corruption, decoyed into the alliance?  Surely not; coercion there was none, and the bribery and corruption was all on “the other side.”  In our opinion, the great though intangible cause that led to Annexation was the fraternity of feeling, social and political, that existed between the two people, and the identity of interests growing out of it.  But whatever has been the cause, mediate or immediate, the act is consummated, the parties have subscribed to it, promising, in good faith, to abide by the conditions; and is our country, in doing so, to be accused by one of its own citizens of iniquity?  Is it iniquitous, forsooth, to protect our adventurous countrymen and their wives and families on the Western and South-Western frontiers of Texas from the arrow and the tomahawk of the treacherous Indian, and from the muskets and sabres of the equally treacherous but more cowardly Mexicans?  If this be iniquity, we take pride in being placed among its abettors?


Source:  The Daily Picayune, August 2, 1845.




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