WASHINGTON, March 24, 1845.
I have received your letter of the 21st instant,
accompanied by certain proceedings of the General
My participation in war, as well as endeavors on
several occasions to preserve peace, without sacrificing
the honor and the interests of my country, are matters
of public history. These antecedents, together with
my sentiments on the abstract question of peace and
war, inserted a year ago in a Peace Album, and since
published, I learn, in several journals, might be offered
as a sufficient reply to your communication.
I have always maintained the moral right to wage
a just and necessary war, and, consequently, the wisdom and humanity, as applicable to the United States,
in the present state of the world, of defensive preparations. If the principal nations of the earth liable to
come in conflict with us in our natural growth and
just pursuits, can be induced to disarm, I should be
happy to see the United States follow the example.
But without a general agreement to that effect, and a
strong probability that it would be carried out in good
faith by others, I am wholly opposed to giving up
home preparation, and the natural and Christian right
The published sentiments alluded to may not have
fallen under your observation. I enclose a copy.
I remain respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
J. C. BECKWITH, ESQ., Corresponding Secretary.