“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gonzales in Ascension Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

The Mexican-American War

The Louisiana Connection

The Mexican-American War Marker image. Click for full size.
May 7, 2016
1. The Mexican-American War Marker
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,

The Mexican-American War Marker image. Click for full size.
May 6, 2016
2. The Mexican-American War Marker
The Mexican-American War Kiosk
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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

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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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, Mexican-American. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson, the Former U.S. Presidents: #11 James K. Polk, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #12 Zachary Taylor series lists.
Location. 30° 13.694′ N, 90° 54.804′ W. Marker is in Gonzales, Louisiana, in Ascension Parish. Marker can be reached from South Irma Boulevard, 0.3 miles north of East Worthey Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gonzales LA 70737, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mexico Will Poison Us (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Mexican-American War (here, next to this marker); Star Spangled Banner
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(a few steps from this marker); The Battle of New Orleans, 1815 (a few steps from this marker); The War of 1812 (a few steps from this marker); The Freedom Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gonzales.
More about this marker. Located at the Gonzales Veterans Memorial Park
Credits. This page was last revised on March 10, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 10, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 261 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 10, 2018.

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Sep. 27, 2022