Letter from Zachary Taylor to J. A. Birkey, July 13, 1847.
HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF OCCUPATION,
Camp near Monterey July 13, 1847.
SIR: — I had the honor to receive your letter submitting on the part of the Nominating Committee of the Native American Convention, the request to be informed of my views relating to several points of National policy entertained by the body of Native Americans of our country.
Limited leisure from my public duties constrains me to reply in very general and brief terms that to the points cited in your letter, I do not feel myself at liberty to express my frank opinion. My willingness to yield to the wishes of the people at large and to serve them in the office of the Chief Magistracy, should they fully and unanimously place its weighty responsibilities upon me has been more than once expressed, but I am not willing to be the candidate of any party, to pledge myself to any political creed save that which proceeds directly from the constitution, and the best and paramount interests of the country, and which they solemnly demand. If elected to the Presidential Office it must be without any agency of my own, (it will be at variance with my most cherished aspirations,) and to those duties I must go untrammeled by party pledges of every character.
Should the people nominate and elect (and there is ample space for this, previous to the time of the election) some one of the gifted statesmen of the country to represent its highest interests, I should hail the measure with joy.
With sentiments of highest respect,
I have the honor to subscribe myself,
Your most obedient servant.
Major General U. S. Army.
J. A. Birkey, Esq., President Native American Convention, Pittsburgh, Pa.