Zachary Taylor

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Portrait, Zachary TaylorZachary Taylor 12th President of the United States (March 5, 1849 to July 9, 1850) Nickname: “Old Rough and Ready” Born: November 24, 1784, near Barboursville, Virginia Died: July 9, 1850, in Washington, D.C.

Father: Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor Mother: Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor Married: Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (1788-1852), on June 21, 1810 Children: Ann Mackall Taylor (1811-75); Sarah Knox Taylor (1814-35); Octavia P. Taylor (1816-20); Margaret Smith Taylor (1819-20); Mary Elizabeth Taylor (1824-1909); Richard Taylor (1826-79) Religion: Episcopalian Education: No formal education Occupation: Soldier Political Party: Whig Other Government Positions:

  • None

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:
YearPopular VotesElectoral Votes
1848Zachary Taylor1,360,967163
Lewis Cass1,222,342127

Vice President: tiny U.S. flagMillard Fillmore (1849-50) Cabinet:

Secretary of State
John M. Clayton (1849-50)
Secretary of the Treasury
William M. Meredith (1849-50)
Secretary of War
George W. Crawford (1849-50)
Attorney General
Reverdy Johnson (1849-50)
Postmaster General
Jacob Collamer (1849-50)
Secretary of the Navy
William B. Preston (1849-50)
Secretary of the Interior
Thomas Ewing (1849-50)

Notable Events:

  • 1850
    • The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty signed with Britain guaranteed that any future canal across Central America would be available to all nations.

Internet Biographies:

Zachary Taylor — from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Zachary Taylor — from American Presidents: Life Portraits — C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Zachary Taylor — from U.S. Presidents
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1849)

Other Internet Resources:

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site
Site commemorating the first battle of the U.S.-Mexican War in May 1846. General Zachary Taylor led 2,300 soldier into battle at this site. From the National Park Service.
Zachary Taylor’s Deadly Snack
Forensic scientists tested the remains of President Taylor in 1991 to put to rest the theory that he had died of poisoning and not gastroenteritis.

Points of Interest:

  • Taylor refused all postage due correspondences. Because of this, he didn’t receive notification of his nomination for president until several days later.
  • As a soldier always moving from location to location, Taylor never established an official place of residence and never registered to vote, He didn’t even vote in his own election. It wasn’t until he was 62 that he cast his first ballot.
  • November 7, 1848 was the first time a presidential election was held on the same day in every state.
  • Visitors to the White House would take souvenir horse hairs from Whitey, Taylor’s old Army horse that he kept on the White House lawn.

Previous President: tiny U.S. flagJames Knox Polk | Next President: tiny U.S. flagMillard Fillmore

©1996-2008. Robert S. Summers. All rights reserved.

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