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Friday, 16th April, 1847.
Mr. Trist set out on his mission to the headquarters of the army this morning, with full powers to treat with the authorities of Mexico for peace. His mission has, as far as I have learned, been kept a profound secret, and is known only to the Cabinet. I deemed it important that it should be so. Had his mission and the object of it been proclaimed in advance at Washington I have no doubt there are persons in Washington, and among them the editors of the National Intelligencer, who would have been ready and willing to have despatched a courier to Mexico to discourage the government of that weak and distracted country from entering upon negotiations for peace. This they would do rather than suffer my administration to have the credit of concluding a just and honourable peace. The articles in the National Intelligencer and other Federal papers against their own government and in favour of the enemy, have done more to prevent a peace than all the armies of the enemy. The Mexican papers republish these treasonable papers and make the ignorant population of Mexico believe that the Democratic party will shortly be expelled from power in the United States, and that their friends (the Federal alias Whig party) will come into power. If the war is protracted it is to be attributed to the treasonable course of the Federal editors and leading men.
- Polk: The Diary of a President, 1845-1849, Covering the Mexican War, the Acquisition of Oregon, and the Conquest of California and the Southwest-Book by Allan Nevins, James Polk; 1929