History of its Founding
Original members of the Aztec Club came from both
the Regular and Volunteer forces, but not from the
militia. Major-General Emory Upton (1839-1881)
". . .[T]he Mexican War marked a great change if
not a revolution in our military policy. This
result was due to the decay and gradual abandonment
of the military system which, up to that time, had
been regarded as the 'great bulwark of
". . .[W]hile in the War of 1812 the combined
force of regulars and volunteers of twelve or more
months' service was but 12% of the total number of
troops employed, the same force in the Mexican War
was no less than 88%."
Although entirely non-political in its organization
and scope, no less than six of the Aztec Club's members have been
the standard bearers of their respective parties for
President of the United States:
Ulysses Simpson Grant,
George Brinton McClellan and
Hancock. Of these, three were elected to and have
administered that great office.
Two of the Club's members have been candidates for
Vice President of the United States, John A. Logan
Simon Bolivar Buckner, and a long line of its
distinguished members have held high place in
Congress, in the professions and other prominent
fields of civic authority and in the Army, Navy and
On the 13th of October, 1847, as soon as the United
States Army was quietly established in the City of
Mexico, a meeting of officers was called with a view
toward forming a Club and opening a clubhouse for
the entertainment of its members and their guests
while in the City.
Colonel DeLancey Floyd-Jones, an original member of
the Club, described its founding as follows:
". . .The Club was organized for the purpose of
forming a resort for officers, as a promoter of good
fellowship, and of furnishing a home where they
could pass their leisure hours in social
intercourse, and where more palatable and healthful
viands could be procured at a reduced price than at
the best Fandas of the city.
C. F. Smith, Col.
John B. Grayson, Gen.
John B. Magruder, Gen.
Robert Buchanan, General
P. Stone, Professor
Henry Coppée, of the
Regular Army, and General
Franklin Pierce of the
volunteers, and President of the United States, were
the organizers of the Club."
Elected that day as the Aztec Club's first officers
The original site of the Club was the handsome
former residence of
Senõr Boca Negra.
Mexico's former Minister to the United States, his
palace, built during the 18th century for the
Viceroy of Spain, was located on one of the streets
leading out of the Calle Plateros, not far from the
headquarters of Gen. Winfield Scott,
The building housing the Aztec Club appears to the
left of the Metropolitan Cathedral and National
Palace off the Plaza de la Constitución, also
known as the Zócalo, in Carl Nebel's
painting, Gen. Scott's Entrance into Mexico City.
Lithographed from Adolphe Jean Baptiste Bayot's work
by Appleton & Company in 1851.
Gen. Scott’s Entrance into Mexico City
Adolphe Jean Baptiste Bayot after Carl Nebel. Lithograph. Appleton and Company, 1851.
This famous lithograph depicts the artist's view of Winfield Scott, on white horse, triumphantly entering the Grand Plaza, or Zócalo. The Cathedral and National Palace sit center and right. On the left is the estate of Senór Bocanegra, the building in which the Aztec Club of 1847 was founded on October 13, 1847. The home was utilized as the Aztec Club until May 25, 1848.