Menu
Image 1 of
Zoom In
Zoom Out
Fullscreen

Spot Resolution, Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1847

In 1846, after ordering troops into a disputed area between Mexico and Texas, President James K. Polk asked Congress to declare war against Mexico to avenge the wounding of Americans “on American soil.” Representative Abraham Lincoln, wary of Polk’s motives, questioned the war’s legitimacy and called for an investigation of the “spot” where U.S. and Mexican forces first clashed.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

…this House desires to obtain a full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot of soil on which the blood of our citizens was so shed, was, or was not, our own soil, at that time….

Spot Resolution, Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1847 Spot Resolution, Abraham Lincoln, December 22, 1847 …this House desires to obtain a full knowledge of all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot of soil on which the blood of our citizens was so shed, was, or was not, our own soil, at that time….

War with Mexico - 1

Westward expansion led to rising tensions in Congress before the Civil War. Some considered expansion a defense against European claims on the continent, but it was also a subject of dispute between northern and southern factions about whether slavery would be allowed in new territories. In 1846, following a skirmish near the border of newly annexed Texas, President James K. Polk asked Congress to declare war against Mexico. In December 1847 Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, suspicious of Polk’s motives, called for an investigation.