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MY DEAR SIR, . . . The most important political news is, that it is now almost certain, that the Oregon question will be settled. The last steamer, the one which takes this, brought an offer for its settlement, which was submitted to our Executive, and by it to the Senate. We promptly approved of it by a decided vote of more than three to one, and returned it to the Executive; so that nothing remains, but to reduce it to form and sign and ratify the treaty, all of which I suppose will be speedily done. The settlement is based on the 49th to the Strait of Fuca, and along the midle to the Ocean, with the navigation of the Oregon river to the Hudson bay Company below the 49th to the ocean, and securing the English settlers in their possessions. I do not regard the modifications of any importance.
The Settlement is a great point, just at this critical moment, when we have a war on hand, which might have become formidable, if it had been left open. It is to me a great triumph. When I arrived here, it was dangerous to wisper 49, and I was thought to have taken a hazardous step in asserting, that Mr Polk had not disgraced the country in offering it. Now a treaty is made on it with nearly the unanimous voice of the Country. I would have had an equal triumph on the Mexican question, now the Oregon is settled, had an opportunity been afforded to discuss it. As it is, I have been forced to take a stand, which for the time has weakened me with mere partisans, but strengthened me with the patriotick and reflecting. I shall wait patiently for a fair opportunity of presenting my views fully in relation to it, and have no fear of regaining more than has been temporarily lost. The war has opened with brilliant victories on our side and I trust, may soon be brought to a close. I give it a quiet, but decided support, as much as I regret the occurrence.
I have just finished the rough draft of a report on the navigation of the Miss , and hope to present my report on the Memphis memorial, of which it forms a part, in 8 or 10 days.
I write Anna by this opportunity, as well as yourself, and you must excuse me, in adding no more.
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.