University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

General Winfield Scott Collection, 1831-1866

Descriptive Summary

Title General Winfield Scott Collection
Dates: 1831-1866
Extent 1983-003
Extent 1 box, 35 items; 0.5 linear feet
Language English.
Note: University of Houston Libraries
Department of Special Collections
Repository University of Houston LibrariesSpecial Collections Houston, TX 77204-2000

Biographical Note

Winfield Scott was born on June 13, 1786, near Petersburg, Virginia. After studying law at the College of William and Mary he embarked upon a military career. During the War of 1812 he was captured by the British. Following an exchange of prisoners, Scott fought again, was injured in the battle of Lundy's Lane, and emerged from the war a national hero. After the war Scott earned the reputation of a peacemaker by helping to ease the Nullification Crisis in 1832 and settling border disputes with Canada. In 1838 Scott supervised the removal of the Cherokee from Georgia and other southern states to reservations west of the Mississippi River.

Scott was appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army in 1841. During the Mexican-American War Scott commanded a seaborne invasion that led, after a string of victories, to the conquest of Mexico City in 1847. Scott was honored with an appointment to the brevet rank of lieutenant general for his service during the war. Riding an unprecedented wave of popularity, Scott won the Whig Party presidential nomination in 1852, but lost in the general election to Democrat Franklin Pierce.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Scott was 75 years old and still commander in chief of the U.S. Army. His proposed strategy to strangle Confederate forces, called the Anaconda Plan, was criticized sharply by many. Scott retired from military service, wrote his memoirs, traveled through Europe, and lived to see his Anaconda Plan, in its essential form, effectively employed to help bring an end to the Civil War. He died in West Point, New York, on May 29, 1866.

Scope and Contents

The 35 items in the Winfield Scott collection document aspects of the life, military service and political career of General Scott from 1831 to 1866. The items include letters, general orders, legislative ordinance, maps, sheet music, envelopes, several printed engravings and a printed mezzotint. A letter addressed to Elisa Wyse from Lieutenant John Wyse, with whom General Scott corresponds, also is included.


Photocopy decisions will be made on a case by case basis by Special Collections staff. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Administrative Information


The collection was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. George M. Britton.

Processed by

John Merkel, May 2000


Beringer, Richard E. Winfield Scott. American National Biography, vol 19. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Elliott, Charles W. Winfield Scott, the Soldier and the Man. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1979.

Detailed Description


General Winfield Scott Collection

box folder
1 1 Wyse, John M. Ms with AN. Deer Park near Pikeville. To General Scott. February 24, 1844.
2 Marshall, Jacob. ALS. Reading, Penn. To General Winfield Scott. January 27, 1851.
3 Scott, Winfield. ALS. New York, New York. To William Jenks. October 2, 1854.
4 [Wyse, John M.] AL. New Orleans Barracks, La. To Elisa Wyse. n.d.
5 Scott, Winfield. General Orders, No.1, with manuscript address. Washington, D.C. January 3, 1842.
6 Scott, Winfield. General Orders, No. 13, with manuscript address. Washington, D.C. March 17, 1842.
7 Scott, Winfield. General Orders, No. 21, with manuscript address. Washington, D.C. April 1, 1842.
8 Scott, Winfield. General Orders, No. 44. Washington, D.C. July 21, 1842.
9 Townsend, E. General Orders, No. 34. Washington, D.C. May 30, 1866.
10 An Ordinance. [Richmond] Va. June 18 [1862].
11 Map. Survey of the Mexican Lines of Defence at Cerro Gordo, and the Lines of Attack of the American Army under Major General Scott, on the 17th and 18th of April 1847. 1847.
12 Map. Battles of Mexico, Line of Operations of the U.S. Army under the Command of Major General Winfield Scott on the 19th and 20th of August 1847. 1847.
13 Kyle, Alex R. A Grand Slow March Composed Expressly for the Examination Review of the Cadets U.S.M. Academy, W.P. and Dedicated by Permission to General Winfield Scott. 1831.
14 Sixteen envelopes with anti-secessionist cartoons and captions.
15 Five printed engravings.
16 One printed mezzotint.