Letter dated (Jan. 30, 1850) From President Zachary Taylor
To Josiah Ware of Clarke County, VA
Transcribed by Judy C. Ware April 2009
Washington, January 30, 1850
My Dear Sir:
Your forms of December 27th and January 22nd came duly to hand, and I must thank you for your kind attention in giving me information about the extraordinary mutton which you have sent to market and while I had the good fortune to see as they pass through Washington, I could not, of course, have expected a repetition of your very handsome present of last spring, even had not your mutton been in such demand. I hope your business or leisure may soon bring you again to Washington when I shall expect the pleasure of seeing you at the White House.
Meanwhile, I remain,
Very truly your friend,
Z. (Zachary) Taylor
Col. Josiah W. Ware
Clark County, Virginia
***I would like to thank Jane & Scott Dudgeon for allowing me to copy & transcribe this letter for my historical research. I am deeply grateful.
*** President Taylor died just 6 short months after this letter was written.
*** Josiah was well known throughout the country for having outstanding breeding stock, racing horses, cattle, and sheep. He was particularly famous for his stock of Cotswold sheep.
The Cotswold breed originated in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucester, a south midland county of England. The name “Cotswold” was given the breed because in the early days they were folded or housed in shelters known locally as “cots” or “cotes” and they were pastured on the wild, treeless hills of the area, called “wolds”.
Cotswold sheep are a large, white-faced, hornless breed with a broad, flat back, moderately deep body, heavy fleece, and long, coarse wool hanging in ringlets. .
From: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition| Date: 2008 | The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright 2008 Columbia University Press.
We know from other letters, that Josiah also provided mutton for President John Tyler. His son, Josiah William Ware wrote that:
“When President Tyler was a guest at Springfield, he was taken into the dining room where the decanters and wine glasses were on the side-board. The “saddle of mutton” was brought in, and he was more enthusiastic over it than the refreshments.”
It is interesting to note that there is a “distant” link between the Taylor and Ware families. Josiah’s wife, Frances Toy Glassell, was the daughter of John & Louisa Glassell and the granddaughter of Andrew Glassell and Elizabeth Taylor; the daughter of Erasmus Taylor and granddaughter of James Taylor II.
President Zachary Taylor’s father was Richard, his grandfather was Zachary Taylor Sr., and his great grandfather was James Taylor II.
Another way of looking at it is like this: Frances Toy Glassell’s paternal grandmother (Elizabeth Taylor) was the niece of Zachary Taylor Sr. who was the grandfather of President Zachary Taylor.
Background Information on President Zachary Taylor
Researched & written by Judy C. Ware
Zachary Taylor was born November 24, 1784 which means that he was 66 years of age when he wrote this letter to Josiah. The letter was written in January of 1850 and just six short months later; President Taylor was dead.
Taylor was born in Orange County, Virginia but his family relocated to Kentucky in 1785. (At this time in history, Kentucky was still part of Virginia.) Young Zachary was educated at home by a tutor, so he didn’t have the advanced education that other politicians of his time were blessed with. As President, he was best known for his distinguished service in the military. He joined the army in 1808, was promoted to Captain in 1810, & was promoted to the rank of Major during the War if 1812. After that war, Taylor continued to serve during the Indian campaigns; attaining both the ranks of Lt. Colonel and full Colonel. By the time Taylor fought in the Mexican War, he had attained the rank of General & had earned himself a reputation as a national hero.
When the Mexican War was over, General Taylor wanted to return to life on his farm, but his Whig party badly needed a hero for a presidential candidate in 1848. The country had fondly nicknamed him “Old Rough and Ready” & his popularity helped win him the election. He took over the office in 1849 and served just 16 months before he died suddenly after an illness of only 5 days.
*** It is interesting to note that although President Taylor never saw the onset of the Civil War, his son became a general in the Confederate army and his son-in-law, Jefferson Davis, was elected President of the Confederate States.
References: The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 16, Field Enterprises, Inc. Chicago copyright 1954