Letter from Zachary Taylor to Jas. W. Taylor, May 18, 1847.
HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION,
Camp near Monterey, May 18th, 1847.
SIR: — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with the enclosure of your editorial, extracted from the "Signal" of the 13th April.
At this time, my public duties command so fully my attention, that it is impossible to answer your letter to the terms demanded by its courtesy, and the importance of the sentiments to which it alludes, neither, indeed, have I the time, should I feel myself at liberty, to enter into the few and most general subjects of public policy suggested by the article in question. My own personal views were better withheld till the end of the war, when my usefulness as a military chief, serving in the field against the common enemy, shall no longer be compromised by their expression or discussion in any matter.
From many sources I have been addressed on the subject of the Presidency; and I do violence neither to myself nor to my position as an officer in the army, by acknowledging to you, as I have done to all who have alluded to the use of my name in this exalted connexion, that my services are ever at the will and call of the country, and that I am not prepared to say that I shall refuse if the country calls me to the Presidential office, but that I can and shall yield to no call that does not come from the spontaneous action and free will of the nation at large, and void of the slightest agency of my own.
For the high honor and responsibilities of such an office, I take occasion to say, I have not the slightest aspiration; a much more tranquil and satisfactory life, after the termination of my present duties, awaits me, I trust, in the society of my family and
3particular friends, and in the occupations, most congenial to my wishes. In no case can I permit myself to be the candidate of any party, or yield myself to party schemes.
With these remarks, I trust you will pardon me for thus briefly replying to you, which I do with a high opinion, and approval of the sentiments and views embraced in your editorial.
With many wishes for your prosperity in life, and great usefulness in the sphere in which your talents and exertions are embarked, I beg to acknowledge myself.
Most truly and respectfully,
Your obedient servant
Z. TAYLOR, Maj. Gen. U. S. Army.
Jas. W. Taylor, Esq., Cincinnati, O.