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    [Zachary Taylor] Simon Cameron Autograph Letters (4) Signed , along with one John Butler retained copy addressed to Simon Cameron. All letters concern the possibility that General Taylor would run for the presidency in the 1848 election.

    Senator Cameron's letters are all written to Major John B. Butler and dated between April 6 and May 28, 1847. In the first, he confesses his doubts about Taylor as a candidate. "I have many letters from reliable men in the democratic party proposing to make Genl. Taylor our candidate. I have refused to be active in it, until I know his own views. . . . I write this to you in confidence, and will be glad to hear as soon as possible your opinion." Three weeks later on April 24, Cameron, a Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, wrote, "I could give you names of leading intelligent & influential democrats . . . who are only restrained from making a demonstration by the possibility of a refusal to accept on the part of the General or that he may become the candidate of the Whigs. I am told he has been a democrat all his life - was the friend of Jackson - but that he has been very little of a politician. If this be so and he permits the people to take their course he will be the successor of Mr. Polk. Tell me all you know of him. Let him know also all that is being done here."

    By May 5 Cameron, obviously warming to the prospects of a Taylor presidency, informed Major Butler that if General Taylor "will keep out of the hands of the Whigs & the politicians of all sides that he will be the candidate of the whole people, and be elected. . . . I am anxious to be assured from you that he will not consent to be the candidate of the Whig party." On the 28th, Cameron noted that "Genl. T. is not a favorite at Washington is certain - but that he is a favorite with the people is just as certain. Let him continue to do his duty and the people will take care of him."

    Major Butler's letter (a retained copy) was written from Monterey on July 30, 1847, to update Senator Cameron on General Taylor. "The General reiterated the sentiment which he has often expressed, that his pretensions are too humble ever to have courted or sought support for that situation [the presidency]. . . . the General stated, that he did not fee at liberty to refuse to serve, in any situation to which he may be called by the people!"

    Zachary Taylor accepted the Whig nomination in 1848 and was elected over Lewis Cass and Martin Van Buren. Sworn in on March 4, 1848, he served less than two years as the twelfth president before his untimely death. Simon Cameron went on to serve as President Lincoln's first secretary of war from 1861 until 1862. Major John B. Butler had served under General Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. He was an early supporter of the general for president. These letters are toned with smoothed folds and usual minor soiling.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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