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    Description

    George B. McClellan Autograph Letter Signed. Three pages with integral address cover, 8" x 10.25", City of Mexico; May 5, 1848. A letter from McClellan written two weeks before the Mexican government ratified the Treaty of Hidalgo, including mention of several future Civil War generals. In part: "Harrison has arrived and is living with us - Smith, Stuart, Lee, Barnard, Beauregard & Harrison have all gone to Cuernavaca to see the caves & c - I hope that peace may be made by the time they return. I have my doubts though... You will have heard before you receive this that a quorum has at last been got together - now it remains to be seen what they will in the plenitude of their wisdom do - I presume we will know in three weeks, for it would appear to be a moral impossibility to put together such discordant elements for a longer period - doubtless one very great inducement for them to make peace will be the desire of handling the six millions they are to receive upon the ratification of the treaty - if they don't get that they can't get their pay & I imagine that they care as much for themselves as for their country. Many thanks for your kind wishes in relation to the consolation & the rays of light...but I fear you are premature. I reckon I should be cut if I tried, & besides even if I wished to & could succeed I am so unfortunate as to be a poor damned beggar of a teniente [lieutenant]" Signed "Geo. B. McClellan." An interesting letter from McClellan during his last days of service in Mexican-American War. Few of his letters survive from this period


    McClellan (1826-1885) served as an engineering officer in the Mexican-American War as a first lieutenant and as a captain. He wrote this letter months after the conflict was formally ended by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed on February 2, 1848. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on March 10, 1848, but the Mexican government would not ratify it until May 19, 1848. McClellan's letter references the voting process by the Mexican legislature. The treaty would not be formally proclaimed until July 4, 1848.

    John G. Foster (1823-1874), a classmate of McClellan's at West Point, was born in New Hampshire and served with McClellan as an engineer in the Mexican-American War. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Molina del Ray in September 1847. He later served in the Union Army in the Civil War, reaching the rank of Major General.

    Condition: Usual mail folds and light creasing throughout. Bit of paper loss along the right hand edge of page 3, where the wax seal was broken.


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    Full transcription:

    My dear Foster:

    You can form some idea of the pleasure with which I received yours of 'All fool's day', when I tell you that the last time we had heard from you, through Stewart C. S., were that your Physicians had given you up as a gone coon. I was looking for some further news from you with the greatest anxiety & dread, and need not tell you how glad I am to see from the tone of your letter that the venerable subaltern is still alive and kicking - not only that - but that he is likely to remain so. The mail arrived last night, but as usual brought me not a single letter from home - they have been treating me with the most sovereign contempt for the last four months, I suppose they think that.they will save themselves a vast amount of trouble & letter paper by cutting my acquaintance - muy bien, que sea como quieren! [well, that is how they want] ..

    You will have heard before you receive this that a quorum has at last been got together - now it remains to be seen what they will in the plenitude of their wisdom do - I presume we will know in three weeks, for it would appear to be a moral impossibility to put together such discordant elements for a longer period - doubtless one very great inducement for them to make peace will be the desire of handling the six millions they are to receive upon the ratification of the treaty - if they don't get that they can't get their pay & I imagine that they care as much for themselves as for their country. Many thanks for your kind wishes in relation to the consolation & the rays of light.but I fear you are premature. I reckon I should be cut if I tried, & besides even if I wished to & could succeed I am so unfortunate as to be a poor damned beggar of a teniente [lieutenant]..

    I have no doubt about having command of one of the four companies when the Col. gets them - the period in the only question, I rather opine that I will be an old fogie by that time - you are too modest in speaking merely for the 1st Ltey. - won't you have the 2nd Captaincy?....

    Believe me as ever

    Truly your friend

    Geo. B. McClellan



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    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
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