In 1847 a New York newspaper editor sanctioned the war in these words:

"The [Mexican] race is perfectly accustomed to being conquered, and the only new lesson we shall teach is that our victories will give liberty, safety, and prosperity to the vanquished, if they know enough to profit by the appearance of our stars. To liberate and ennoble - not to enslave and debase - is our mission. Well may the Mexican nation, whose great masses have never yet tasted liberty, prattle over their lost phantom of nationality.... If they have not - in the profound darkness of the vassal existence - the intelligence and manhood to accept the ranks and rights of freeman at our hands, we must bear with their ignorance." (23)

[John Gadsby] Chapman's Baptism of Pocahontas allegedly recorded the first conversion of an American "savage" to Christianity - or as the artist stated in his description of the mural, Pocahontas

"stands foremost in the train of those wandering children of the forest who have at different times... been snatched from the fangs of a barbarous idolatry, to become lambs in the fold of the Divine Shepard. She therefore appeals to our religious as well as our patriotic sympathies, and is equally associated with the rise and progress of the Christian Church, as with the political destinies of the United States." (71)

His [William Gilpin] most famous report, read to the Senate on March 2, 1846, exemplifies nineteenth-century rhetoric raised to a fever pitch:

"Two centuries have rolled over our race upon this continent. From nothing we have become 20,000,000. From nothing we are grown to be in agriculture, in commerce, in civilization, and in natural strength, the first among nations existing or in history. So much is our destiny - so far, up to this time - transacted, accomplished, certain, and not to be disputed. From this threshold we read the future. The untransacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent - to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean - to animate the many hundreds of millions of its people, and to cheer them upward... to teach old nations a new civilization - to confirm the destiny of the human race... to emblazon history with the conquest of peace... and to shed blessings around the world! Divine task! Immortal mission! Let us tread fast and joyfully the open trail before us! Let every American heart open wide for patriotism to glow undimmed, and confide with religious faith in the sublime and prodigious destiny of his well-loved country." (101)

The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920 (1991)
William H. Truettner