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Letter from Zachary Taylor to J. R. Ingersol, August 3, 1847.

Camp near Monterey, Mexico Aug. 3d, '47.

DEAR SIR: — I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed letter of the 7th ult., which has just reached me, in which you say:

"I had the honor of being called upon last evening to address a Mass Meeting of the Whigs of the City and County of Philadelphia. At that meeting, your name was frequently mentioned in connection with the office of Chief Magistracy. I stated to that meeting, as I had before stated in my place in the House of Representatives at Washington, that you were a Whig, not indeed an ultra partisan Whig, but Whig in principle."

All of which is entirely correct and after the discussions which occured in both Houses of Congress at the last session, growing out of the capitulation of Monterey, in which discussion you thought proper to defend my conduct in regard to that transaction when assailed somewhat, if not entirely, on party grounds I can hardly imagine how any one who was present and heard the speeches on that occasion or read them after they were published, could well mistake the complexion of my politics. At the last Presidential canvass, it was well known with all whom I mixed, Whigs and Democrats — for I had no concealments in the matter — that I was decidedly in favor of Mr. Clay's election, and would now prefer seeing him in that offer to any individual in the Union.

I must say I have no wish for the Presidency, and cannot connect to be exclusively the candidate of a party; and if I am one at all, or to be so at the coming election, it must be borne in mind that I have been or will be so by others, without any agency of mine in the matter. Independent of my wishes, I greatly doubt my qualifications to discharge the duties properly, of an office which was filled and adorned by a WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, as well as several others of the purest, wisest and most accomplished statesmen and patriots of this or any other age or country. I almost tremble at the thoughts of the undertaking. Yet if the good people think proper to elevate me, at the proper time, to the highest in their gift, I will feel bound to serve them, if not from inclination, from a principle of duty; and will do so honestly and faithfully to the best of my ability, in accordance with the principles of the constitution, as near as I can do so, as it was construed and acted on by our first Presidents, two of whom, at least, acted so conspicuous a part in framing and completing that instrument, as well as in putting it in operation.

But very many important changes may take place at home and abroad, between now and the time for holding the election for our next Chief Magistrate, — so much so, as to make it desirable for the general good, that some one with more experience in State affairs, should be selected as a candidate, than myself. And could he be elected, I will not say I would yield my pretensions, for I have not the vanity to believe I have any for that distinguished


station; but would acquiesce not only with pleasure in such arrangement, but would rejoice that the republic had one citizen more worthy and better qualified than I am, to discharge the important duties appertaining to that position, and no doubt there are thousands. Be this as it may, if I ever occupy the White House, it must be by the spontaneous movement of the people, without any action of mine in relation to it; without pledges other than I have previously stated; a strict adherence to the provisions of the Constitution, so I could enter on the arduous and responsible duties appertaining to said office, untrammelled; so that I could be the PRESIDENT of the COUNTRY and not of a PARTY.

With considerations of great respect and esteem,
I am your obedient servant,

To J. R. Ingersol, Esq., Philad.