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A Useless Demand


[BUENA VISTA, BATTLE OF]. CURRIER, Nathaniel (publisher). Santa Anna’s Messengers Requesting Genl. Taylor to Surrender His Forces at Discretion, Previous to the Battle of Buena Vista. “General Taylor Never Surrenders” Sir: In reply to your note of this date, summoning me to surrender my forces at discretion, I beg leave to say that I decline acceding to your request—With high respect I am, Sir, your obedient serv’t, Z. Taylor. [along bottom] Lith. & Pub. By N. Currier. Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1847 by N. Currier, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of N.Y. 152 Nassau St. Cor. of Spruce N.Y. [at bottom] 453. Print: image area: 21.2 x 32.4 cm; overall image area: 25.5 x 35.5 cm. Contemporary hand color. Professionally matted. Margins somewhat darkened and and with a few small chips, overall slight age toning.

First edition. Currier 5382. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 561. Peters, p. 355. This is the version with Taylor’s horse with its left leg raised.

Depiction of a unique moment in Mexican-American War history in which Santa-Anna’s pride got the best of him. No doubt the American public laughed out loud at the news that the Mexican general would demand surrender from Taylor, especially in light of the battle results. In this scene, three Mexican emissaries are on the right, facing Taylor on the left astride his horse and looking somewhat sour. In the background troops are camped.


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