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lost to the land. Without them, I venture to
assert, in conclusion, in the words of the late
Mr. Pope, England (Tooting included) will be
'a mighty maze without a plan.'

"I am, &c., &c.


"Paradise Row, Tooting."


TOWARDS the close of the last century there
was a movement of settlers to the frontiers of
Kentucky. The new comers to the then
unsettled district were from various parts of
the American continent, and each of the
pioneers who thus cast his lot upon the
extreme verge of civilisation made his
account for holding his homestead by aid of his
rifle, against the attacks of the denizens of
the neighbouring forests. Sometimes the
enemy was only in shape of a wolf or a bear
oftentimes in that of an Indian. In either
case the farmer had to maintain his ground
by the strong hand, in those days the only
law that held sway in the backwoods. In
such a state of affairs it is clear that none but
bold spirits would venture to found a home
on the frontier; yet such were not wanting;
and amongst them was a farmer, who at an
earlier period of his life had left the plough to
take up arms in defence of American
independence. In that rough and ready service
he had gained the often quickly-acquired rank
of Colonel; but the war ceasing, he, like
others among his patriotic countrymen,
quietly returned to his more peaceful
occupation as a farmer; choosing a location where
land was plenty and cheap to those who had
the courage to hold it where Indians and
other dangerous neighbours were abundant.
The sons of such a man, nurtured in such a
spot, might well be expected to inherit the
enterprise, courage, and hardihood which
distinguished their parent. Handling a rifle as
soon as they were strong enough to lift one;
accustomed to hunting excursions and "camping
out;" working now at the plough, now in
building up a barn, or in filling it when
complete; driving the waggon and its load to a
distant market, and bringing back at any
hour, and in all seasons, the stores that varied
their farm-grown contributions to the larder;
and when winter-time brought comparative
leisure, turning to books for almost the only
education procurable in the rough and
primitive region they inhabited;—boys, so
reared, could scarcely be other than bold,
energetic, and fruitful in resources, and equal
in after life to the shifting exigencies of an
active military career. From such a parent,
and such a childhood and youth, and with
such an early training, sprang President and
General Zachary Taylor, whose recent death
our Transatlantic brethren are even now
deploring; and the story of whose life their
journals will help us to tell.

Zachary Taylor before he was twenty-one
volunteered to leave home on a military
expedition needed by the exigencies of the time.
This, his first essay in war, proved very
harmless; for no enemy was found, and he
soon returned to his father's farm, with a
taste, however, for the new life he had made
this short trial of. The taste thus acquired
induced him to accept with great alacrity an
opportunity that subsequently offered of
joining the regular army of the United
States, which he did in 1803, with the rank
of lieutenant. Shortly afterwards an occasion
arose for distinguishing himself, and he did
not let it pass unimproved. He defended a
post called Fort Harrison, against great
odds; and by the check thus given to a large
hostile party of Indians, saved a frontier from
devastation. This gallant commencement
was followed by a succession of equally noticeable
exploits. He courted every chance of
securing active service, and in succession
won new reputation in contests with the
Indians, with the English, and lastly with the
Mexicans. Since it was with this last opponent
that his chief battles were fought, and
his really important victories won; and
as those victories have gained an European
reputation from the fact that they led to the
acquisition of the real land of goldEl
DoradoCalifornia itself; we may glance
over the events that induced and characterised
the strife, and led to so memorable a result.

Mexico and the United States had long had
causes of quarrel; not the least of which was
that the Mexicans got into debt to the Yankees,
and would not pay what they admitted to be
due. With several such unsettled and unsatisfactory
accounts on hand, the Texas difficulty
arose, and a large body of the Texians
declaring for annexation with the United States,
the few scruples that stood in the way of such
an increase of dominion were quickly
overlooked, and the large and fertile province was
incorporated in the Union. Half such a cause
of quarrel was enough to secure a declaration
of war from a country like Mexicoa country
that has gone through eighteen revolutions in
twenty-five yearsand accordingly war began.
The Mexicans took steps for re-assuming the
lost Texas, when, on the 4th of February,
1846, General Taylor received orders to march,
with a force of three thousand men under his
command, to the Rio Grande, the western
limit of the newly-attached State. The
President, for the time being, of Mexico claimed
Texas as a revolted province, and hastened to
submit the question to the ordeal of battle.
The Mexicans shed the first blood. They took
some prisonerssome Americansand shot
them in cold blood; and soon afterwards
they captured more Americans, including some
women, whose bodies were discovered
subsequently with their throats cut. This brutality
added fuel to the flame before existing, and
the struggle began that ended in the capture
of Mexico and the cession of California.

The early days of the war were characterised