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Camp near Monterey Mexico
October 19th 1847
My dear Doctor,
Since I wrote you on the 12th or 13th ins t in reply to yours of the 1 8th & 25th ult we have had no arrivals from N. Orleans, the 28th of last month being our latest dates from that place, & II th 12th since any arrival from the city, which seems to me quite a long time, more particularly during the prevailing epidemic as I have so much to apprehend on your account who is constantly in contact with it, as well as that of Mr s Taylor, Ann, Betty & girls who may come over before it is entirely safe to do so ; but I hope they will not attempt it while there is the remotest danger to be apprehended from contageon or disease of any kind at the Barracks, in the city or at B. Rouge ; should they come over, & the epidemic should make its appearance contrary to expectation & it is healthy at B. Rouge I hope Ann & the girls will go up with Mr s T. & Betty & remain with them until you have two or three white frosts, sufficient to destroy every vestag of the epidemic, which has prevailed during the sumer & autumn ; which I presume has pretty much subsided by this time, as it was very much on the decline when you last wrote; & I presume the city is beginning once more to fill up by the returning inhabitants as well as strangers ; especially if you have had any thing like frost which is usually the case about this time or a little before. If so I hope Mrs Taylor will soon be safely located at B. Rouge & Ann & the two girls with her, or with you, & out of danger at the Barracks
I have not heard any of the particulars as regards Gen Scotts taking possession of the City of Mexico, all we have heard relative to that affair, is that he was in quiet possession of that place, & the Mexican army had dispersed ; & I presume there will hardly be any other battle ; that Santa Anna had gone no one knew wher, in the direction the Pacific, & it was supposed he would leave the country ; this is Mexican news, & Mexican conjecture. I make no doubt however you have ere this, had all the par ticulars, connected with that affair, as we get everything of importance from that portion of the army which can be relied on, by the way of N. Orleans ; I presume a treaty of some kind or other will grow out of our taking the city, & laying it under contribution, which the Mexicans say has been done ; & should we acquire any considerable quantity of territory, it will produce great strife in the Senate, whenever such a treaty is laid before that body for their action ; the Wilmot proviso will shake that body to its center, & how it is all to end, time must determine ; but I hope some compromise will be entered into between the two parties slavery & anti slavery which will have the effect of allaying violent passions on both sides which will have the effect of perpetuating instead of wrecking or shortening the Union
Judging from some of the newspapers received here by the last mail, in addition to a private letter addressed to me by a prominent whig, evidently to prepare me for such an event & intimating that it would be expected that I would acquiesce in the same should it be done, to bring Mr Clay again before the country as a candidat for the presidency; in which I observe some of his bitterest defamers at the last election, was lending their aid to bring about such an event ; their object being to divide & sow dissentions among the whig party, which if they can succeed in doing, will insure the election of one of their own way of thinking ; how far Mr Clay has or will countenance such a movement, I am unable to say, & am not so certain but what he has given it his countenance, if not his sanction ; for contrary to his usual bold & frank action in all such matters, he has been unusually reserved on this subject, which satisfies me he is holding or keeping aloof so as to be able to take advantage of circumstances ; evidently still desiring the office ; & it seems to me more anxious for office than for the interest of the country, or the success of the whig party ; I have not answered letter referred to, or others I have received from various individuals in regard to this matter, nor shall I do so ; for while it is to me a matter of perfect indifference whether I am even elected or not, I do not intend any party shall use me as a conve nience ; if dropped I intend to stand a loof, & let whigs & Democrats manage this matter in their own way I understand the editors of the National Intelligencers have thrown out feelers in one of their late numbers in regard to the movement in favor of Mr Clay. Depend on it there will be great changes in the complexion of political affairs between now & the end of the next session of congress ; the whigs as a party between ourselves, I look upon as doomed ; the democrats greatly out maneuver ing them I am gratified I took the position I did, which was not to be the exclusive candidate of any party; & if I am elected at all, it will be by a union of a portion of whigs, Democrats & native votes At any rate I occupy a position & shall continue to do so I hope, that if not elected, I shall neither be mortified or disappointed My love to Ann & the children if with you, or when you write or see them, as well as best wishes to the boys for their success & prosperity when you write them, & wishing you & yours continued health & prosperity I remain truly & sincerely your friend
P. S. I still contemplate leaving leaving here on the 8th of the com ing month for Matamoros to await there the action of the dep c on my application for a leave ; which I hope to hear from by the 2O th
SURG N R. C. WOOD
N Orleans Barracks
- Letters of Zachary Taylor from the Battle-Fields of the Mexican War - Book by William K.Bixby, Zachary Taylor, 1908, Rochester, NY The Genesee Press, digitized by the Internet Archive.