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Zachary Taylor

Updated on June 3, 2010

Great Statesmen

It Can Be Tuff to be a Homeschool Mom.

As a home-school mom making learning interesting and fun can some times be hard. Especially if you have a son like mine. Good grades mean your a goody goody, and its not cool to be a goody goody. Even if he likes what we are studying he would never admit it. His main goal is to make me quit.

Anyhow we decided to do U.S. presidential history. I did a report along side him so he could see what I expected. I could have written so much more but did not want to overwhelm him.

Zachary Taylor

My Report On Zachary Taylor


Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States from “1849-1850”.  Zachary Taylor was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready”, this came from his career as a soldier. He was born November 24, 1874, near Barboursville, Virginia. His religion of choice was Episcopalian.

Zachary Taylor was married to Margaret Mackall Smith on June 21, 1810. They had five children, four girls and one boy. Their names were Ann Mackall (1811-1875), Sara Knox (1814-1835), Octavia P. (1816-1820), Margaret Smith (1819-1820), Mary Elizabeth (1824-1909), and Richard (1826-1829). Two of Taylor’s children died at infancy, there was only one surviving child at the time of his presidency, which was Mary Elizabeth. Sara Taylor married Jefferson Davis whom later became the president of the Confederacy.

Zachary Taylor died July 9, 1850. His sudden death shocked the nation, he suffered severe stomach pains for 5 days and was diagnosed with “cholera morbus”. His funeral took place on July 13th and an estimated 100,000 people stood by on the funeral route to witness the presidential hearse, drawn by eight white horses and accompanied by grooms dressed in white and wearing white turbans. His final resting place is Louisville Kentucky, the site of the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and Monument today.

Zachary Taylor was educated but a poor student. His handwriting, spelling and grammar were crude an unrefined throughout his life. As a small boy he wanted a career in the military, this was a respectable alternative to law or the ministry. He received his first commission in the military in 1808 as commander of the garrison at Fort Pickering. From that moment until he was elected President Taylor was in the military and stationed at a succession of frontier outpost.

At the time of his election he was considered the most popular man in America. He was known as an Indian fighter and Indian Protector. He was also known as a Mexican war hero. Many thought he was not the right man for the job because he owned slaves. On November 7th, for the first time the entire nation voted on the same day with 2,880,572 male voters or 72.7% of elgiable voters cast their ballots.  He won the majority of the popular vote, with 1,360,967 votes and 163 electoral votes. Taylor campaigned under the WHIG party, who promoted him as a man “without regards to creeds or principals” and ran him without platform. Millard Fillmore was Taylors Vice President.  Taylor earned $25,000 a year for his presidential term.

The most notable event during his term was: The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty signed with Britain guaranteed that any future canal across Central America would be available to all nations.

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.  


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