WINFIELD SCOTT (June 12, 1788 – May 29, 1866) was a United States Army general who served as military governor of Mexico City. He is ranked by historians as the best American commander of his time. Over the course of his 53-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican-American War and the Second Seminole War. He was the army’s senior officer at the start of the American Civil War and conceived the Union strategy, known as the Anaconda Plan, which was used to defeat the Confederacy. In 1852, Scott was chosen as the Whig’s candidate for president over its incumbent Millard Fillmore.
Offering a superb, 4 pp, 5 x 8, autograph letter, unsigned, apparently deliberately so as this highly political letter contains confidential information with a normal closing, but no signature. Our writer provides a glowing narrative endorsement of Scott’s entry into the Presidential election (of 1852) and the value of a Scott presidency, which, of course, didn’t occur, to the nation.
“Your letter inviting me to attend…a R [Republican] meeting in B was duly rec’d. I have attended but one political convention for many years. That was the recent one…for selection of Delegates to the general convention at B, which resulted in the nomination of our distinguished fellow citizen: WS [Winfred Scott] as a candidate for the presidency of the U.S. Feeling as I did, that no one of the candidates named had such strong claims to this exalted honor from fidelity in the several stations in which he had been placed and unending integrity and true moral patriotism. I felt called upon to do what I could, that his name might be presented for the suffrage of the people in the coming presidential contest. My own wishes have been carved out in the doings of that assembly. Gen’l S [Scott] is now the man of the Whigs for that high office. Every day furnishes evidence that he will be the candidate of nearly the entire Whig Party and of many honest men who have heretofore acted with the Democratic Party. If I could do anything by meeting with you and addressing the people to awaken in the minds of our citizens a sensible understanding of the common interests of the people of the U.S., I should most cheerfully accept your invitation. But at present, many circumstances conspire to keep me from any active participation…
“General Scott has never been an obscure man – unknown to the people. When he was nominated, no one could have found it necessary to enquire who he was…The history of his life…shows more and more the wisdom of the Whigs in selecting him for the high office and, like the true gold, the more he is needed, the better he shines. The same I am inclined to believe cannot be said of the opposite candidate [Franklin Pierce, who won the election with 252 electoral votes to Scott’s 42]. If the best his [Pierce’s] supporters can do, at least in the way of anecdote is to be gathered from no stories which have been told upon the published prints, Gen’l S might well pray to the saved from his friends…Gen’l Scott’s humanity beams forth in almost every page of his official life—his love for money when in opposition to duty, is refreshing millions who he might have said, by acceptance of the Presidency of Mexico, which was tendered in consequence of his moral and political character…Yours respectfully”
Folds, toning, but overall very good and a great piece of Presidential election Americana.
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