Mount Gambier trucking magnate and publisher Allan Scott passed away this week, aged 85. I didn’t get to know him well enough to comment much on his extraordinary life, except to say he was a great man by any measure.
Visiting Millicent today I met one of his close friends, Rocky Smith, who told me Allan was the great-grandson of Winfield Scott.
I had never heard of Winfield Scott, known as “Old Fuss and Feathers” because of his attention to detail and a penchant for gaudy uniforms, but he turns out to be equally as extraordinary as his descendant.
Winfield (pictured) was an American general who stood for president in 1852, losing to Democrat Franklin Pierce because of his opposition to slavery.
Wikipedia records that Winfield was born in 1786 near Petersburg, Virginia.
He served on active duty as a general longer than any other man in American history and most historians rate him the ablest American commander of his time. Over the course of his fifty-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War, and, briefly, the American Civil War, conceiving the Union strategy known as the Anaconda Plan that would be used to defeat the Confederacy.
A national hero after the Mexican-American War, he served as military governor of Mexico City. Such was his stature that, in 1852, the United States Whig Party passed over its own incumbent President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to nominate Scott in the United States presidential election. Scott lost to Democrat Franklin Pierce in the general election, but remained a popular national figure, receiving a brevet promotion in 1856 to the rank of lieutenant general, becoming the first American since George Washington to hold that rank.
Allan Scott’s life was just as colourful. He started his business career with a single truck, but rose to become one of the richest men in the country with a diverse range of interests.
I can see the physical resemblance with Winfield as well.
I don’t know how Allan’s branch of the family ended up in Australia, but I’ll find out.