Zachary Taylor was the twelfth American president. It came from an impressive line of important people in the history of the United States.
Including the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the pilgrims who came to the Mayflower. His term as president was short because he died after only sixteen months in office.
1784 Zachary Taylor was born
Zachary was born on a plantation in Virginia. His family was prominent in the area, but soon they left behind Virginia and emigrated to Kentucky.
1808 Zachary Taylor, military
Without schools on the Kentucky border, Zachary had little formal education. When he was 24 years old, he joined the army and served in many places, including New Orleans.
1810 A promotion
After a loyal and reliable service to the country, Zachary was promoted to Captain. He continues to advance both professionally and personally.
1810 Zachary marries
Zachary met Margaret Smith in Kentucky, and in 1810 they got married. They had six children.
1811 A growing military career (1811-1837)
Over the years, Mr. Taylor served in many skirmishes throughout the country. One of the most prominent was the Second Seminole War, where he earned his nickname “Old Rough and Ready.”
1846 The war between Mexico and the United States
After Texas was annexed, the Mexicans wanted to reclaim the land. Taylor led a large army in Texas during the Mexico-United States War.
1848 The presidential election
Due to its growing popularity in the Second Seminole War and the Mexico-United States War, many people asked Taylor to run for president. Taylor fought to nail down his exact political beliefs, but won the elections independently.
January 1849 President!
President Taylor took his time to get to the White House. In fact, he did not come to the office until he spent a whole month as president!
1849 A traveling president (summer of 1849)
Taylor spent the summer touring the country and getting acquainted with the people he now ruled.
October 1849 California is admitted to the Union
Tensions grew between pro-slavery and antislavery states. Taylor took advantage of the recent California gold rush by helping them admit them into the Union as an anti-slavery state.
December 1849 State of the Union
The western territories were in turmoil at the end of Taylor’s first year as president. Washington was deciding the fate of New Mexico and Utah, and it was during this time that Taylor delivered his only speech on the State of the Union.
1850 The commitment of 1850
Tensions continued to grow over whether Western territories should be slave states or remain federal territories. Taylor hoped that his Commitment of 1850 would help alleviate the dispute.
Scandal of April 1850
The Commitment never came to fruition under Taylor’s rule. During the months leading up to his death, his office was filled with the Galphin scandal, in which two members of the cabinet awarded a large amount of the treasure to another member of the cabinet.
July 1850 Taylor’s death
Taylor contracted a mysterious stomach ailment and, while receiving treatment, died a few days later. More than forty years later a memorial was built in Kentucky in his honor.