Dorothy Sloan – Books

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“An extraordinary feat”

<p>Title page</p>


[CALIFORNIA]. MCWHORTER, George Cumming. Incident in the War of the United States with Mexico, Illustrating the Services of Wm. Maxwell Wood, Surgeon U.S.N. in Effecting the Acquisition of California...Read before the New York Historical Society. [New York]: Sherwood & Co’s Steam Press, [ca. 1872]. [2], [1] 2-9 [1] pp. 8vo (20 x 13.5 cm), stitched. Somewhat soiled, first and last leaves becoming detached. Maryland Historical Society duplicate with their purple ink stamps and date on title.

First edition. Cowan II, p. 410. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 151. Haferkorn, p. 36. Streeter Sale 2934. Tutorow 7044.

Something of a tale of diplomatic and military intrigue. A naval surgeon at Mazatlán when the war broke out, Wood was given the responsibility of getting dispatches to the Secretary of the Navy in Washington. This he accomplished after a dangerous trip across Mexico to Veracruz, where he boarded a warship for the United States. On the way, he got word back to Sloat that the war had indeed broken out, whereupon Sloat promptly began the reduction of California. A rather singular tale in the history of the war.

Wood (1809-1880) eventually became the first Surgeon General of the Navy, among other offices. This journey is his most memorable adventure. Because the article mentions that he is still alive, it must have been read before 1880.


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