Primary tabs

Fragment, [July 1?], 1848


The following paper was written by Lincoln in 1848 as being what he thought General Taylor ought to say:

The question of a national bank is at rest. Were I President, I should not urge its reagitation upon Congress; but should Congress see fit to pass an act to establish such an institution, I should not arrest it by the veto, unless I should consider the subject to some constitutional objection from which I believe the two former banks to have been free.

It appears to me that the national debt created by the war renders a modification of the existing tarriff indispensable; and when it shall be modified I should be pleased to see it adjusted with


a due reference to the protection of our home industry. The particulars, it appears to me must and should be left to the untrammeled discretion of Congress.

As to the Mexican war, I still think the defensive line policy the best to terminate it. In a final treaty of peace, we shall probably be under a sort of necessity of taking some territory-but it is my desire that we shall not acquire any extending so far south as to enlarge and aggravate the distracting question of slavery. Should I come into the presidency before these questions shall be settled, I should act in relation to them in accordance with the views here expressed.

Finally, were I President, I should desire the legislation of the country to rest with Congress, uninfluenced by the executive in its origin or progress, and undisturbed by the veto unless in very special and clear cases.