The Mexican-American War

The Mexican-American War (HM25WU)

Location: Gonzales, LA 70737 Ascension Parish
Country: United States of America

N 30° 13.694', W 90° 54.804'

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The Louisiana Connection

Three Louisiana men played prominent roles in the Mexican-American War. Though John Slidell was born in New York, he moved to New Orleans in 1819, started a successful law practice, and eventually became an important leader of the Democratic Party in Louisiana. He would serve Louisiana as a U.S. Congressman from 1843-1845 and as a U.S. Senator from 1853-1861. In September 1845, Slidell was sent by President Polk as a secret envoy to Mexico primarily to buy California and New Mexico from them. Mexico's refusal to see Slidell was one of the main justifications for war in Polk's war message to Congress. In 1861, when Louisiana joined the Confederate States of America, Slidell began to serve as a foreign diplomat for them. He had very little success in convincing France to help the Confederacy. When the Civil War ended, Slidell moved to Paris and eventually to London where he spent the final years of his life. In Louisiana, Zachary Taylor (Nov. 24, 1784-July 9, 1850) is probably best known for being the only President of the United States from the state. But Taylor actually spent most of his life outside of Louisiana. He was born in Virginia, grew up in Kentucky, and after joining the military spent many active years serving in various places. A military assignment to Louisiana brought him to the state in 1840, and he settled in Baton



Rouge. At the outset of the Mexican-American War, Taylor led the main thrust of U.S. military operations, crossing the Rio Grande and moving towards central Mexico. Taylor became known as the "Hero of Buena Vista" for his astonishing victory in northern Mexico over a much larger Mexican army. His fame and popularity from this battle caught the attention of the Whig party who nominated him for president in 1848. Taylor won, but his presidency was short lived. Only eighteen months into it, President Taylor died in office of cholera. Unlike Zachary Taylor who spent his later years in Louisiana, Nicholas Trist (June 2, 1800-February 11, 1874) spent his youth in Louisiana. He was born in Virginia, but moved to Louisiana shortly after with his family in 1803. In 1817, Trist graduated from the first institution of higher learning in Louisiana, the College of Orleans. From there, Trist went to study law under Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in Virginia. In the 1820s and 1830s, Trist would become a private secretary to Thomas Jefferson and then Andrew Jackson, serve in clerkships in the State Department and become a special consul in Cuba. In 1847, President Polk sent Trist, then the chief clerk in the State Department, to negotiate the treaty that would end the Mexican-American war. Trist disobeyed direct presidential orders to return to Washington D.C. after Polk got frustrated with his lack of progress. But Trist signed a treaty anyway with Mexico, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which turned out to be a very favorable treaty for the U.S. Polk loved the treaty, but hated Trist's insubordination. Polk fired him when he got back to Washington, and Trist never returned to Louisiana to live. He eventually died in Alexandria, Virginia in 1874 serving as its postmaster.
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HM NumberHM25WU
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, March 10th, 2018 at 7:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 700807 N 3345917
Decimal Degrees30.22823333, -90.91340000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 13.694', W 90° 54.804'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 13' 41.64" N, 90° 54' 48.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)225, 985
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 566-632 South Irma Boulevard, Gonzales LA 70737, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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