Quarter plate daguerreotype bust portrait of Zachary Taylor wearing what appears to be a civilian style coat and a stony expression, his gaze directed to the left side of the camera. (Significant tarnish to edges, spotting and light surface scratching throughout, and minor spotting to mat; unsealed.) Housed in a pressed paper case (fully separated at spine, spine edges nearly separated from each half of case, with surface wear including finish loss in some spots). Pencil inscription in back of case reads: "Taken in Camp near Baton Rouge La, in 1845 by D.C. Butchart." Maker's stamp to plate, lower left: "L.B. Binsse & Co. NY."
After commanding forces against Seminoles in Florida during the Second Seminole War and earning the nickname "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor was stationed at Fort Jesup, Louisiana, in 1845 when the Polk administration placed him in command of forces ordered to Texas after annexation. It is possible that Taylor had his portrait made while at or near Fort Jesup while awaiting orders to move south. He eventually led the occupying forces to Corpus Christi and then to the Rio Grande in Spring of 1846. Taylor and his men defeated Mexican forces at Palo Alto, drove them back at Resaca de la Palma, and eventually took the city of Monterey before engaging Mexican forces at the famed Battle of Buena Vista in February of 1847.
Treadwell and Darrah's Photographers of the United States of America refers to a stereoview by a Canadian photographer active in Philadelphia, PA, working under the name D.C. Butchart, but also known as David C. Butchart. The 1871 Census for Ontario, Canada lists a David C. Butchart at 42 years of age and occupied as a photographer.
RARE: Not included in Pfister's Facing the Light: Historic American Portrait Daguerreotypes. Believed to be a period copy enlargement of a previously unknown portrait of Taylor.
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