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President Zachary TAYLOR

Male 1784 - 1850  (65 years)

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  • Name Zachary TAYLOR 
    Title President 
    Born 24 Nov 1784  "Montebello," Orange County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    AFN 8QS4-3B 
    Name Zachary "Old Rough and Ready" TAYLOR 
    Died 9 Jul 1850  Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) Source: Roberts, Gary Boyd, Ancestors of American Presidents, 2009 Edition, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009, p. 33.

      (2) "Zachary Taylor," Encyclopædia Brittanica, 2010, © 2010 Encyclopædia Brittanica, Inc.:

      Zachary Taylor, (b. Nov. 24, 1784, Montebello, Va., U.S. - d. July 9, 1850, Washington, D.C.), 12th president of the United States (1849-50). Elected on the ticket of the Whig Party as a hero of the Mexican-American War (1846-48), he died only 16 months after taking office. . . .

      Taylor's parents, Richard Taylor and Mary Strother, migrated to Kentucky from Virginia shortly after Zachary, the third of their nine children, was born. After spending his boyhood on the Kentucky frontier, Taylor enlisted in the army in 1806 and was commissioned first lieutenant in the infantry in 1808. In 1810 he married Margaret Mackall Smith (Margaret Taylor), with whom he had six children. His daughter Sarah Knox Taylor married Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederate States of America, in 1835, and his son, Richard Taylor, fought in the Civil War as a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army.

      Taylor served in the army for almost 40 years, finally advancing to the rank of major general (1846). He commanded troops in the field in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War (1832), and the second of the Seminole Wars in Florida (1835-42), in which he won promotion to the rank of brigadier general for his leadership in the Battle of Lake Okeechobee (1837). In 1840 he was assigned to a post in Louisiana and established his home in Baton Rouge.

      Soon after the annexation of Texas (1845), Pres. James K. Polk ordered Taylor and an army of 4,000 men to the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican city of Matamoros. A detachment of Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and engaged Taylor's forces in a skirmish (April 25, 1846) that marked the beginning of the Mexican-American War. Two weeks later Mexican troops again crossed the river to challenge Taylor, whose forces decisively defeated the invaders on two successive days in the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma (May 8 and 9). On May 13 the United States formally declared war on Mexico. Taylor then led his troops across the Rio Grande and advanced toward Monterrey, capturing the city on September 22-23 and granting the Mexican army an eight-week armistice, an action that displeased Polk. Taylor further alienated Polk by writing a letter, which found its way into the press, criticizing Polk and his secretary of war, William L. Marcy. Polk then ordered Taylor to confine his actions to those necessary for defensive purposes and transferred Taylor's best troops to the army of Gen. Winfield Scott. The following February, however, Taylor disobeyed these orders and with his diminished force marched south and, in the Battle of Buena Vista, won a brilliant victory over a Mexican army that outnumbered his troops by about four to one.

      Having thus won the north of Mexico, Taylor emerged as a hero and began to be seen by Whig politicians as a possible presidential candidate. At the Whig Party convention in 1848 Taylor gained the nomination on the fourth ballot. He defeated the Democratic candidate, Lewis Cass, in the general election, winning the electoral college vote 163 to 127. . . .

      Taylor's brief administration was beset with problems, the most perplexing of which was the controversy over the extension of slavery into the newly acquired Mexican territories. By 1848 Taylor had come to oppose the creation of new slave states, and in December 1849 he called for immediate statehood for California, whose new constitution explicitly prohibited slavery. Southerners in Congress, who feared a permanent majority of free states in the Senate, fought bitterly against the proposal, and the controversy was not finally resolved until September of the following year (two months after Taylor's death), with the adoption of the Compromise of 1850. A further problem was the revelation in mid-1850 of financial improprieties on the part of three members of Taylor's cabinet. Deeply humiliated, Taylor, who prided himself on honesty, decided to reorganize his cabinet, but before he could do so he died suddenly of an attack of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.

      (3) Hardy, Stella Pickett, Colonial Families of the Southern States of America, Baltimore, MD: Southern Book Co., 1958, pp. 509-510:

      GEN. ZACHARY TAYLOR, U. S. A., . . . b. Sept. 24, 1784, at "Hare Forest," Orange Co., Va.; d. July 9, 1850, Washington, D. C. His brilliant military record is so generally known that we will not repeat it; he served with distinction in the War of 1812; various Indian campaigns, and the Mexican War; was the twenty-second President of the United States, March 5, 1849, until his death, July 9, 1850. He was elected to the Presidency on his brilliant military record. During his forty years of military service, he won the name of "Old Rough and Ready." He m. 1810, Margaret Smith, b. 1790, Calvert Co., Md.; d. Aug. 18, 1852, in Louisiana; dau. of Walter and Ann (Mackall) Smith, of St. Leonards. Issue: . . .

      [i] Sarah Knox, b. 1814; d. Sept. 15, 1835, West Feliciana Parish, La.; m. 1835, Hon. Jefferson Davis, son of Samuel and Jane (Cook) Davis, of Christian Co., Ky., b. June 3, 1808, in Christian Co., Ky.; d. Dec. 6, 1889, in New Orleans, La. . . .

      [ii] Ann, m. Robert C. Wood; line untraced. . . .

      [iii] Blandine, m. (first) Edward Bryce; (second) Baron Grabot; untraced. . . .

      [iv] Richard, Gen., U. S. A., and C. S. A., b. Jan. 27, 1826, in New Orleans, La.; d. April 12, 1876, in New York, N. Y.; served with distinction in U. S. A. and the C. S. A.; m. unknown, and had issue: 1. Zette; 2. Elizabeth; 3. Myrtie, m. April 21, 1884, Isaac Stauffer, of New York, N. Y. . . .

      [v] Mary Elizabeth, b. 1829; m. (first) 1848, Col. William Wallace Smith Bliss, U. S. A., b. Aug. 17, 1815; d. Aug. 4, 1855; son of Capt. John and Olive Hall (Simonds) Bliss; (second) Philip Dandridge, of Winchester, Va.


      Zachary Taylor
      Birth: Nov. 24, 1784, Orange, Orange County, Virginia, USA
      Death: Jul. 9, 1850, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA

      12th United States President. Taylor fought in the War of 1812 and vanquished the Seminoles in Florida. He antagonized the South by advocating the integration of California (a non-slave state). He was the second President to die in office. He died 5 days after he became ill after attending a July 4th celebration at the Washington Monument. In the late 1980's, author Clara Rising theorized that he was murdered by poison and was able to convince Taylor's closest living relative, as well as the Jefferson Co., KY Coroner, to order an exhumation. Since his wife would not allow embalming at the time of his death in 1850, his remains did not allow more extensive testing to be done. The results came back 9 days later that his body contained arsenic, but no more than what a normal human being would have and his death was ruled as severe gastroenteritis. He was first buried in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington D.C. - July 13, 1850. His remains were then shipped back to his home in Louisville, Kentucky on October 25, 1850. There, they remained in the family vault until he and his wife were moved to their final resting place on May 6, 1926 in the mausoleum. He remained there undisturbed until June 17, 1991 when his body was brought out of the crypt for the exhumation. He was re-interred in the mausoleum next to his wife.

      Family links: Parents: Richard Taylor (1744 - 1829), Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor (1760 - 1822); Spouse: Margaret Smith Taylor (1788 - 1852); Children: Sarah Knox Taylor Davis (1814 - 1835), Mary Elizabeth Taylor Dandridge (1824 - 1909)

      Burial: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA

      Maintained by: Find A Grave
      Record added: Jan 01, 2001
      Find A Grave Memorial# 1023
    Person ID I17937  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Aug 2021 

    Father Col. Richard TAYLOR,   b. 3 Mar 1744, Orange County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jun 1829, Woodford County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Mother Sarah Dabney STROTHER,   b. 14 Dec 1760, Probably Orange County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 1822, Woodford County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Married 20 Aug 1779  Orange County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8018  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Mackall SMITH,   b. 21 Sep 1788, Calvert County, MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Aug 1852, East Pascagoula, Jackson County, MS Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Married 21 Jun 1810  Jefferson County, KY Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Sarah Knox TAYLOR,   b. 6 Mar 1814, Vincennes, Knox County, IN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Sep 1835, West Feliciana Parish, LA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 21 years)
    Last Modified 5 Aug 2021 
    Family ID F8019  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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    Zachary TAYLOR
    Zachary TAYLOR