I Heart Indies

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16 Presidential Losers: Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott, 1852

The Whigs and the Democrats had virtually no differences in their political platform, but the Whigs had the snappier dresser in Winfield “Old Fuss and Feathers” Scott, a hero of the Mexican American War, a man of Spartan temperament known for rising at the crack of 6 PM for “a hasty bowl of soup.”  During a forty-seven year career in the military, Winfield had his high points and low points.  A low point was being captured by the British in the War of 1812.  Another low point was supervising the Indian Removal from Georgia – that’s was they called it, the Indian Removal.  It wasn’t until later someone thought to call it the Trail of Tears, which is a catchier name.  Scott’s conscience troubled him about the removal, but he had to follow the orders he’d been given; he’d only been in the army thirty years by that point, and was still seventeen years away from retirement.  The high point was capturing Mexico City, but like every sweet moment, this was soured by the slight tang of defeat.  The same year as the victorious Mexican Campaign, Scott was defeated in chess by an eight-year-old chess prodigy.  Such was Scott’s life: some laughter, some tears.  Scott did pretty much the same thing for the Whig Party he’d done for the Mexicans: after 1852, the party split, some joining the Democrats, and some forming the Republican party.


Franklin Pierce: 254 
Winfield Scott: 42

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