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Favorable or Unfavorable #120: William O. Butler


Favorable or Unfavorable #120: William O. Butler  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #120: William O. Butler

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General William O. Butler of KY was mostly a political general, although he did serve in the War of 1812 in his youth. He serves as a US Rep for KY and as a nominee for Gov of KY. His appointment as general was to encourage volunteers from KY. Although a political general, he served ably as General Zachary Taylor's #2. When the war was decided, he replaced Gen Winfield Scott in Mexico City, who went back to the US, possibly to consider a run for president. Butler stayed in Mexico City until he was nominated as VP on a ticket opposing his former superior, Zachary Taylor. Undoubtedly, he was selected to try and compete with Zachary Taylor's war hero status. Butler was possibly the highest ranking Democrat general of note, since both Taylor and Scott were Whigs. 

He probably rejected Pierce's offer in 1854 because he opposed the extension of slavery, despite being a slaveholder. Pierce's embrace of popular sovereignty in territories probably bothered him. 

His actions: 

Butler, William O 1846 Maj Gen during Mexican War
Butler, William O 1848 Takes over command of occupation army in Mexico City for Gen Winfield Scott
Butler, William O 1848 Dem VP nominee
Butler, William O 1854 Rejects offer by Pierce of Gov of NE Territory
Butler, William O 1860 Attended Peace Conference to help avert Civil War
Butler, William O 1861 Stays w/ Union as a War Democrat
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I am not strongly unfavorable with him. He is almost saved by being pro-Union, but many in KY were. If he were pro-Union from TN, which had more Southern support, that might be a different matter. I am mostly bothered by the fact that he saw slavery as enough of a moral problem to oppose the extension of it, but he couldn't get himself to free his slaves. Sometimes it almost feels like it's worse when someone has the capacity for empathy and guilt and still does the wrong thing. In most cases, this is probably because money trumps morality for those that pine for wealth. 

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