Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
William Preston letter-book
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], William Preston letter-book, 1864-1865, 1M64M120, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
Lawyer, diplomat, politician. William Preston, born near Louisville, Ky. in 1816, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1838 and practiced law in Louisville until the outbreak of the Mexican War. He served in the Mexican War as Lt. Colonel of the 4th Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry and in 1858 was appointed Minister to Spain where he remained until 1861. He entered the Confederate Army in August, 1861 and subsequently was made a brigadier-general. In January, 1864 he was appointed Minister to Mexico from the Confederate States by Jefferson Davis.
A negative microfilm of the original is also available; film number: M-568.
The collection is comprised of letters written by William Preston to various Confederate officials in an attempt to establish diplomatic relations between the C. S. A. and Mexico. Also included is a typescript of the original. Correspondents include Jefferson Davis, Judah P. Benjamin, John Slidell, James A. Seddon and others written from Havana, Nassau and several other places outside the Confederate States. Preston discusses in detail his efforts to reach Maximilian and Maximilian's intentions. When he was unsuccessful in his mission, he joined E. Kirby-Smith's command in Texas and was elevated to Major-General.