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Collection Reference Number GLC00529.05
From Archive Folder Documents Relating to 1847 
Title Zachary Taylor to Robert Crooke Wood
Date 19 October 1847
Author Taylor, Zachary (1784-1850)  
Recipient Wood, Robert Crooke  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description Writes to his son-in-law, a U.S. Army surgeon in Baltimore, about the presidential campaign, with doubt about his chances. In regard to the congressional debate over slavery, expresses his hope that a compromise will be achieved, since the outcome will lengthen or shorten the life of the Union. Written from camp near Monterrey, Mexico during the U.S.-Mexican War.
Subjects Mexican War  Slavery  President  Election  Politics  Congress  African American History  Missouri Compromise  Military History  Latin and South America  Westward Expansion  Slavery  
People Taylor, Zachary (1784-1850)  Wood, R. C. (Robert Crooke) (1800-1869)  
Place written Monterey, Mexico
Theme The Mexican War; Slavery & Abolition; The Presidency; Government & Politics; African Americans
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information American strategy was based on a three-pronged attack. Colonel Stephen Kearny (1794-1848) had the task of securing New Mexico, while naval forces under Commodore John D. Sloat (1781-1867) blockaded California and General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) invaded Tamaulipas, in present-day northern Mexico. In less than two months, Kearny marched his 1700-man army more than a thousand miles, occupied Santa Fe, and declared New Mexico's 80,000 inhabitants American citizens. In California's Sacramento Valley, American settlers revolted even before reliable reports of war had arrived. By January 1847, U.S. naval and ground forces brought California under American control. Meanwhile, the main U.S. army under Taylor took Matamoros and Monterrey. Although the American invasion of Mexico's northernmost provinces was successful, the Mexican government refused to surrender or negotiate. Switching strategies, President Polk ordered General Winfield Scott (1786-1866) to invade central Mexico from the sea, at Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, to march inland, and capture Mexico City. Zachary Taylor was in Monterrey when he heard reports that Scott's army had captured the Mexican capital. In this letter Taylor, a Louisiana slaveholder who had never voted in a presidential election, discusses early American military successes, the possibility that he might be nominated for the presidency, and an explosive controversy that had erupted in Congress over the Wilmot Proviso. The proviso, an amendment to a military appropriation bill to prohibit slavery from any territory acquired from Mexico, ultimately passed the House of Representatives but was defeated in the Senate.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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