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President Zachary Taylor

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President Zachary Taylor
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

Our twelfth president was born on November 24, 1784 in Barboursville, Virginia. As a young child, his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky and lived as planters. The family prospered, and turned their small log cabin into a large brick house. Zachary Taylor’s father owned about 10,000 acres of land and owned about 26 slaves. Taylor had never been a good student in his life, and joined the military. He became an officer in 1808, and fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole war, and the Mexican-American war. After winning several battles, Taylor became a national hero.

Although Zachary Taylor had never even bothered to vote before, the Whig party nominated him for president in 1848. His vice president would be Millard Fillmore. After a close election, Taylor barely won. Although he was considered a Whig, Taylor never ran his presidency according to a set party philosophy. Taylor never took a side on the slavery issues in America. The southern states threatened to secede, but in response he stated people, “taken in rebellion against the Union he would hang… with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico.”

Zachary Taylor fell ill after participating in ceremonies at the Washington Monument on July 4, 1850. He died five days later after only 16 months in office. He was succeeded by his vice president, Millard Fillmore.



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