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    [Mexican War]. Zachary Taylor Autograph Letter Signed "Z. Taylor." Three pages, 8" x 10", "Camp near Monterey Mexico," July 13, 1847, to his Cypress Grove plantation overseer, Thomas W. Ringgold, regarding recent developments in the Mexican War and concerns for his plantation. Included is a true copy of previous letter from Taylor to Ringgold. Also included is an engraving of General Taylor.

    In his ALS, Taylor writes of recent events in the Mexican War five months after his victory over Santa Anna's much larger Mexican force. He also reports on a "difficulty between Mr. Hasan & myself." In part as written:

    "We have nothing of importance in this quarter, we have been for the last four months doing but little more than discharging the two last months volunteers & waiting reinforcements, which have not yet arrived in sufficient numbers to enable me to make a forward movement against the enemy, nor am I certain that we will be able to do so; of this, time must determine. We have not heard from Genl. Scott for some time, but presume he is in the City of Mexico by this time or before if steps have not been taken to bring about negotiations for peace between the two countries. If the City has been taken possession of, which I think quite likely, whether it will result in bringing about a peace time alone must determine. I am heartily tired of inaction. I would greatly prefer active duty in the field, than remaining pretty much inactive in Camp; if the war is to continue I would prefer doing somewhat if ever so little to aid in bringing it to a close. The difficulty between Mr. Hasan & myself is to be settled by arbitration on the first of Dec. or as soon after as practicable; I do not wish it put off if Mr. Thornton comes down, but it cannot be gone into without he is present. But I presume he will attend if Capt. Allison will notify him, which I make no doubt he will do. If I am not able to return by that time, & Mr. Thornton is present he will attend to the matter as he can explain the whole transaction, and get the individual or individuals who are to act for me to do so."

    Taylor further informs Ringgold of his concerns for that year's cotton and corn crops on his Mississippi plantation: "It appears that one misfortune follow everything connected with my planting operations in rapid succession, so much so that I begin to doubt if I shall again succeed in making a crop or in fact anything else as the fates appear against me in that way. . . . My distance from you & my entire ignorance of everything connected with the establishment forbids my making any suggestions in relation to it; & must leave everything to your good judgment as everything is before you, being satisfied that everything will be done by you for the best."

    Taylor bought Cypress Grove earlier in 1842, along with its eighty-one slaves. Thomas Ringgold served General Taylor as overseer of the 1,923-acre plantation, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, beginning in 1845. The two men became close acquaintances, and Ringgold remained Taylor's overseer as long as Taylor owned the plantation. Even while fighting in the Mexican War, Taylor kept a close eye on his plantation. Taylor shows similar concerns in the two-page true copy included in this lot. Dated November 10, 1846, from Monterey, Mexico, the future president writes instructions to Ringgold, particularly concerning the cotton crop, but he also includes hope for other plantation staples, such as hogs, ("I hope your hogs will turnout better than you expected, & will go a conservable way in feeding the servants"), sheep, and vegetables. He notifies Ringgold of Mrs. Taylor's upcoming visit-her first-to Cypress Grove and includes information about a slave named Nanny. At the end of the true copy, Taylor writes of events at the front of the Mexican War: "We are getting supplies as fast as possible from the Rio Grande, preparatory to a move further into the enemies country, & awaiting orders from Washington." The true copy and engraving are toned. Taylor's ALS contains some ink burn and a repair on the address page (the fourth integral page), which was torn by the original opening of the seal. Taylor has written and signed the letter in a very bold hand, resulting in bleedthrough.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 564

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