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A Brooklyn Newspaper Warns of "Trouble in the South-West"

In this editorial, published on May 2nd, 1846, Brooklyn Eagle editor and poet Walt Whitman notes the growing "war-fever" that had gripped the nation in recent months. In fact, the "lighted match" which sparked the U.S. to wage war against Mexico had already occurred a week earlier on April 25th, when a U.S. Army patrol in contested territory was attacked by Mexican cavalry.

Probably of all nations on earth, now, the Americans are most eager, and would pay a greater price, for national supremacy. The spirit of the people, conscious of great capacity and power, pants to try its mettle with any adversity who may give it a chance; and the train of circumstances, during the past eight or nine months, has been rapidly urging us on to that state of feeling when the least provocation from a foreign power, will excite such and overwhelming swell of the war-impulse, as no administration, however [peaceful], might possibly make headway against. From the very first moment when we should hear of any overt act, from England or Mexico, however trifling, that savored of attack upon what we consider our rights, we should just as surely know that war would come, as that a conflagration will follow the applying of a lighted match to a heap of dry fuel.

Source | "Trouble in the South West," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2 May 1846, 2.
Creator | Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “A Brooklyn Newspaper Warns of "Trouble in the South-West",” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed April 14, 2024,

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