Jefferson Davis on the Oregon Territory

Washington [D.C.] May 12, 1846.

The Oregon controversy will scarcely be settled, by negotiation, and when the joint convention shall be abrogated, conflict with England will probably ensue. Before that time we ought to close all questions with Mexico, and have the ship overhauled for action on a larger scale. Let the treaty of peace be made at the city of Mexico, and by an Ambassador who cannot be refused a hearing--but who will speak with that which levels walls and opens gates--American cannon.

I signified to our friend Jno. Willis that in the event of war I should like to command a Warren regiment. My position here forces upon me the recollection of all which is due to those who sent me here. Yet I look to the movements of our forces on our Mexican border with a strong desire to be a part of them. My education and former practice would, I think, enable me to be of service to Mississippians who take the field. If they wish it, I will join them as soon as possible, wherever they may be.

Jefferson Davis

From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Volume 2, pp. 589-91. Addressed to "A Gentleman in Vicksburg." Transcribed from the Vicksburg Sentinel and Expositor, May 26, 1846.

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