C[harles] J[ared] Ingersoll to [MVB], 15 February 1846
Feb. 15. '46
Frequent conversations lately with our mutual and excellent friend Gilpin in which you were often mentioned, recalled me, as I told him, to a resolution of long standing, tho' long suspended too, to address your letter from these supposed headquarters of News Not that I have any news to tell: for between the very little, if any, which I learn from my station and ought not to mention, and the profuse disclosures of the press, there is really no subject of a letter which you are not at least as well acquainted with in your retirement as I am at Washington
Restoration of a constitutional treasury, I think, we shall have, certainly, and change of the tariff, most probably; no hostilities with England, I believe, possibly a compromise of the Oregon question, at worst an adjournment of its adjustment—these are my speculations for the session as far as their representatives have indicated, the three great powers of Europe are against us, perhaps combined against us, not only as Americans, but as democrats; for Mr. Pakenham is a Whig, in our American designation, Mr. Pageot is a Whig, and even when you were here Mr. Bodisco was a Whig, as no doubt he is still. The poor old Spanish minister, Calderon, a worthy and respectable gentleman, is more afraid of conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain, than in my opinion, we have any reason to be, for I consider the cost and suffering of a war as much exaggerated as its probability, while, remarkable signs certainly of the decay of the once great power of Spain and of the increase of our republican might, he dreads the crush of it for his country between such combatants. Our friend, the only European one I know of, is the Prussian minister Geraldt a suitable follower of Roenné, who, in his desire for German emancimation from British manufacturing dependence, cultivates American intercourse with sincere and anxious devotion, which I trust may be well met on our part, as I deem it of great importance. Twelve millions of dollars a year of twist from our raw cotton England now gets from the Zollverein countries, which we might as well keep to ourselves. I have reason to believe too that Mexico is not so inimical as she is made to appear, but that Paredes, Almonté, and St. Anna (who has great influence left with the army, the clergy and the money lenders) are all as well disposed as Herrera or Arista to trade with us and be bought at a price which we may afford to give. England, even if opposed, has not, probably, the power to prevent a favorable treaty, notwithstanding all Mexico owes her, and if your friend Slidell should take up his residence on board our squadron reinstated before Vera Cruz, we may come to her commercial masters without being military conquerors of that fine but Semibarbarous country, abounding in view> of information without any public statement to stand upon beyond mere popular prejudice and passion
It was very gratifying to your personal friends to witness the numerous attendance at the Supreme court when Mr. John Van Buren made his arguments there, how age as well to recollections of the father as
well to admiration of the son.
Mr. Gilpin who writes to you fully has anticipated most of what I could say of other personages on the stage at present, and mostly, I dare say, as I should describe them
We have the ablest, and least disorderly or angry house of Representatives as during several congresses. Oregon, with all its troubles, has, at any rate, allowed me to sympathise with Mr. Adams, and I flatter myself that at all events, the intestines of the Union are in good order, thanks, in good measure, to one man, which has rendered it perilous to take pacts with any foreign country for another.
I am, Dear Sir, with constant respect very sincerely
Yr humble servant
C J Ingersoll