February 2, 1848
Mexico won its independence from the Spanish Empire back in 1821 during the Mexican War of Independence. In 1845 (during his last weeks in office), President John Tyler signed legislation that authorized the annexation of the Republic of Texas, a move that was viewed by the Mexican government as an act of war; Mexico never viewed the Republic of Texas as an independent country. The United Kingdom and France both tried to persuade Mexico to stay out of war with the United States, but to no avail. In April of 1846, Mexican forces attacked Americans near the Rio Grande (in close proximity to future President Zachary Taylor’s camp) in a raid known as the Thornton Affair. Within a month, Congress passed (and President James Polk signed) a declaration of war. By July, Mexican Congress had done the same.
The Whig Party was strongly opposed to entering into war with Mexico; as a whole the Whigs were not big fans of the whole “Manifest Destiny” idea, and as the war drew to a close in 1848, the Whig Party also opposed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The peace treaty signed in Mexico City was Also Known As: The Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic.
The Whig Party, however, was not in office at the time. Although former President Tyler had been elected (as Vice President) on the Whig ticket, Whigs expelled him from the party shortly after he took over office for William Henry Harrison, referring to him as “His Accidency.” The current president was Democrat James Polk, who takes credit for the Mexican army’s defeat. After losing their capital city, Mexico decided perhaps it was time to hold some peace talks. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was negotiated by the chief clerk of the State Department, Nicholas Trist. Trist had studied law under Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican (eventually Trist married Jefferson’s granddaughter), and was a big fan of Democrat Andrew Jackson.
The treaty was signed on February 2, 1848, stipulating that the United States pay $15 million in return for a border that followed the Rio Grande River on the southern edge of Texas (the former Republic of Texas included part of present day Kansas and Oklahoma), as well as taking over land that is now a part of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California. Anyone living in the newly acquired territory was given the choice to either relocate within the newly drawn Mexican borders or to remain where they were. Those who chose the latter were granted US citizenship and full civil rights (until 1920, the US Census counted Mexican Americans as “white”). Over 90% of those living in the territory chose to remain where they were.
6 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups sour cream
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Old Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Brick cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash chiles and split them open. Remove stem, seeds and veins, then chop. In medium frying pan, heat oil and add poblano chiles and onions. Cook over medium heat until soft, around 8 minutes. Let cool.
Place chile and onion mixture in a blender and process with sour cream and salt until you have a very smooth sauce. Reserve.
Butter individual molds (or a large mold – pyrex or clay dishes work well here), allowing for one or two eggs per dish according to your guests’ preferences.
Divide chile sauce between mold(s) and then carefully break eggs into the sauce, making sure the yolks do not break. Sprinkle cheese over eggs and sauce and bake in 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and yolks are cooked to your desired degree.
Serve in the molds with fresh tortillas.