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York Gazette: President Zachary Taylor lost sense of propriety during visit

The York (Pa.) Gazette reported about Zachary Taylor’s visit in a miffed tone after the president turned a bi-partisan occasion into one of partisanship, in the newspaper’s view. (To see a list of other visits by presidents or presidental candidates, click here.) Background posts: Isabel Small led procession of women who made wreath for Abe Lincoln’s coffin and Bill Goodling: Jerry Ford might have been the most important president he served with and York-based historian shakes hands with 8 U.S. presidents.





A bi-partisan group played host to President Zachary Taylor’s visit to York County in August 1849.
The famous general and Whig president, on a tour of western Pennsylvania and other eastern states, arrived via railroad and stayed at the Washington House.
In its report of the visit, the York Gazette stressed that both Democrats and Whigs escorted him to the hotel and were to join him for a “sumptuous” dinner… .

But the president chose to give a speech from the front portico of the hotel. And he chose to give a political speech vowing to carry out the wishes of the Whig party, according to the Democratic Gazette.
This troubled the Gazette and cast a pall over the event – and its coverage. The president’s friends would even be troubled when they hear of his misjudgment, the newspaper reported.
“They will not believe it possible that the General … could so far lose all sense of propriety,” the newspaper stated.

For more posts on presidential visits, click here.