ZACHARY TAYLOR (November 24, 1784-July 9, 1850)
was the 12th President of the United States, serving from 1849 to
his death in 1850. Taylor’s priority was
to preserve the nation, which was in despair over slavery. He died suddenly from a stomach related
illness in just 16 months with his administration having accomplished little.
As a career officer in the U.S. Army, he had risen to major general and become a national war hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican-American War.
Taylor’s politics were unclear, but the Whigs convinced him to lead their ticket in the 1848 presidential election. At the convention, he defeated Winfred Schott and Henry Clay. He won the nomination alongside New York politician Millard Fillmore.
Former President Martin Van Buren led a failed third-party effort to win the presidency. In Massachusetts, the election took place on November 7, 1848, and voters chose Taylor over Lewis Cass and Van Buren.
Offering a 2 ½ pp, 7 ¾ x 9 ¾, Boston, August 25, 1848, E. Brooks ALS, to Friend George (H. Harvey) of Surry, NH, providing wonderful insight into the mindset of Boston’s politics, just three months before Taylor was elected.
“…You wrote about G. Hubbard returning. I was anxious to see him when they arrived…The Mass(achusetts) Groups were not in any battle, not any that returned, and I do not know of any other. I heard that he was shot in a guerrilla fight, though the news came from Surry. [This is a likely reference to a shooting during the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848.] I do not know how true it is.
“Politics begin to be a little more brisk. The parties begin rouse up for the great struggle. It appears to be a matter of doubt to all who [will] be the lucky man. [Zachary] Taylor’s men feel pretty certain that Old Zach will get in. Every book store window in Boston is filled with all sorts of comical prints to put upon the Locos [ a reference to the Loco-Focos, a faction of the Democratic Party from 1835 to the mid-1840s] in every shape and in praise of Taylor. You would laugh to see some I reckon. You had ought to see the Portrait of Gen. Taylor. It is at the Merchants Exchange in the P Office Building which cost $700 and is going to be purchased for the Whig Reading Room. You would wonder how it could cost so much but you would not wonder if you saw it once very nicely. They banished Van Buren’s and Morton’s portraits from the Democrat Reading Room when they bolted very quick.
“I suppose you heard the news about the Rev. L.J. Fletcher, courting two ladies, and promising to marry both of them and got suspended from preaching. He was pastor of the Second Universalist Church at Lowell.
“My old cronies that I have been with most have gone to the country and I shall follow suit soon…It does me a good deal to hear from old Surry…Keep your nose clean…say your prayers and keep an eye peeled to those vermin.”
Folds. Integral address leaf. A very nice piece of Taylor Americana.
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