An editorial of the Nashville Republican in 1829 was amusingly ingenuous in determining the natural boundary by the value of lands beyond. After asserting that the Rio Grande was apparently "designated by the hand of Heaven, as a boundary between two great nations of dissimilar pursuits," the editorial proceeded to say:

"Another reason why this river seems to be marked out for a boundary is this: - On this side of the Rio Grande, the country is seasonable, fertile, and every way desirable to the people of the United States. On the other side the lands are unproductive, crops cannot be matured without irrigation; in short they are entirely calculated for a lazy, pastoral, mining people like the Mexicans." (58)

The principles centered in a philosophy of the use of the soil. The white race seemed to Senator Benton to have a superior right to land because they "used it according to the intentions of the creator." (73)

In 1782 Hugh Brackenridge affirmed that "extermination" would be a more useful fate for "the animals vulgarly called Indians," who, not having made "a better use of the land," had no natural right to it. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography suggested humorously that rum was "the appointed means" of fulfilling "the design of Providence to extirpate these savages in order to make room for the cultivators of the earth." (77)

"Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of civilization, of science, and of true religion." (79)

But Governor Gilmer of Georgia explained away the treaties in words which relate the legal issue to religious dogma:

"Treaties were expedients by which ignorant, intractable, and savage people were induced without bloodshed to yield up what civilized peoples had a right to possess by virtue of that command of the Creator delivered to man upon his formation - be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." (83)

Despite the Southerner's notorious waste of land in cotton cultivation, the utilitarian argument of natural law was stated by Representative Wilde of Georgia:

"And if it were possible to perpetuate the race of Indians, what would be the consequence? Why, that a hundred or a thousand fold the number of white men would not be born, because the Indians would roam over and possess, without enjoying, the land which must afford the future whites subsistence." (84)

Lewis Cass, in an article on Indian removal in the North American Review of 1830, used the argument stressing the intrinsic value of extending civilization:

"There can be no doubt... that the Creator intended the earth should be reclaimed from a state of nature and cultivated; that the human race should spread over it, procuring from it the means of comfortable subsistence, and of increase and improvement." (84-85)

Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History (1935)
Albert Weinberg