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Dear Brother : . . . I shall go to California to be in San Francisco August 3d-5th for the Encampment of the G. A. B,., when, of course, I shall be forced to say something. It occurs to me that I should say something about the annexation of California to the Union. I know that Webster advised a friend of his as early as 1843-44 to go to California, because it surely would on the first pretext be captured and held by the United States.
I have all the executive documents for 1847, also the special Mexican War correspondence, but I fail to find Corwin's speech where he used the expression that were he a Mexican he would welcome the enemy (the Americans) "with bloody hands to hospitable graves." Can you get this speech for me, or an extract? I know that General Taylor believed that Texas did not reach the Rio Grande but was bordered by the River Nueces, and that the proclamation of war was based on an error that "American blood had been shed on American soil," and now comes Grant, who expresses more than a doubt if the first blood shed Palo Alto was not on " Mexican soil." Notwithstanding this, I believe the annexation of California was essential to the world's progress at that date. The Mexicans had held it for a hundred years without material improvement, whereas under our domination it at once began that wonderful development which we now experience. . . .
- William Sherman