TAYLOR, Zachary (1784-1850),President. Autograph letter signed ("Z. Taylor, Majr. Genl. U.S. Army"), to John I. Morris, Baton Rouge, La., 6 February 1848. 1 page, 4to, integral address leaf with circular postmark and remains of small red wax seal.
TAYLOR AS AN UNDECLARED CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, FOUR MONTHS BEFORE HIS NOMINATION. An attractive letter penned in Taylor's typical bold hand, responding to a request of John Morris of Philadelphia for an autograph. The General, hero of the Battle of Buena Vista, hastens to satisfy Morris's request, modestly thanking him for "the too flattering compliment you contemplate paying me, by associating & placing my humble name with & among those of my countrymen who have been particularly distinguished in the service of our country..." Taylor's service as a commander of American forces during the Mexican War, especially his victory at Buena Vista, thrust him into the front rank of Presidential contenders, although he had not sought the office, and by late 1846, the Whig Party was considering him as a possible candidate for the 1848 race. Taylor publicly denied that he was seeking the nomination but "wrote numerous letters to soldiers, public men, and editors," insisting "that he was not a candidate for the presidency and doubted his qualifications for the office, but if the people spontaneously called him he would accept" (DAB, p. 351). Taylor was nominated in June.