Ol’ Rough ‘n’ Ready

General Zachary Taylor was playing it cool… during the campaign of 1848.  Both political parties of the day were seeking his candidacy, but he was not willing to commit;

“It is to me a matter of perfect indifference whether I am even elected [as president] or not. I do not intend any party shall use me as a convenience; if dropped I intend to stand aloof, & let Whigs and Democrats [use] this matter in their own way….”

I believe in slavery, maybe...

I believe in slavery, maybe…

A substantial slave owner and southerner… Taylor was expected to support the slave owning interests in the Democratic party.  Again, Taylor was playing the pragmatist…even hinting at support of the Wilmot Proviso(banning slavery in the Mexican Cession.)   Taylor’s political views were at best ambivalent, at worst, an utter mystery.

“The Wilmot Proviso will shake that body to its center…but I hope some compromise will be entered into between the two parties slavery & anti slavery which will have the effect of allay[ing] violent passions on both sides, which will have the effect of perpetuating…or shortening the Union….”

Taylor

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