US Map > List of US Presidents > 12th President of the US – Zachary Taylor

12th President of the US – Zachary Taylor

by usavishul

Zachary Taylor was elected as the twelfth US President in the year of 1849 and worked in the President’s office till 9th July, 1850. His Presidency was cut off by…

Zachary Taylor was elected as the twelfth US President in the year of 1849 and worked in the President’s office till 9th July, 1850. His Presidency was cut off by his untimely death at the age of 65.

Zachary Taylor was born in a log cabin in Orange County, Virginia on November 1784. His infancy and childhood was spent in a plantation of Kentucky. Zachary Taylor was an officer in the army, which he joined on the 3rd of May 1808. With the passage of time Zachary Taylor became an efficient military commander and was soon promoted to be a Major, then a lieutenant colonel, and finally a brigadier general. the most important battles that were fought under Zachary Taylor include:

  1. the Battle of Fort Harrison
  2. the Black Hawk War
  3. the Battle of Lake Okeechobee

Zachary Taylor had no political inclinations as such but in the year 1848, he received the Whig nomination for Presidency. Although, Zachary Taylor like many army personnels of his time was disinterested in politics.

He was a war hero with unquestioned patriotism and these were his most endearing aspects to his countrymen. Zachary Taylor was successful in defeating Lewis Cass, the Democratic candidate, and Martin Van Buren, the Free Soil candidate.

To the astonishment of the Whigs, Zachary Taylor was ignorant about the Whig platform. Zachary Taylor made it clear that his adherence to the Whig principles of legislative leadership did not mean that he would abide by the wishes of the Whig party. His views regarding the tariff, the banking,and internal improvements did not totally adhere to Whig’s views on these issues.


Full Name: Zachary Taylor
Date of Birth: November 24, 1784, Montebello, Virginia
Died on: July 9, 1850, Washington, D.C.
Burial site: Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; moved to Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
Parents: Richard and Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor
Spouse: Margaret “Peggy” Smith (1788-1852; m. 1810)
Children: Ann Margaret Mackall (1811-75); Sarah Knox (1814-35); Octavia Pannill (1816-20); Margaret Smith (1819-20); Mary Elizabeth (1824-1909); Richard (1826-79)
Religion: Episcopalian
Education: No formal education
Profession(s): Farmer; soldier
Government ranks: None
Political Party: Whig
President Term: March 5, 1849-July 9, 1850
Age when assumed office: 64

Presidential Term and its details

Dates: March 5, 1849-July 9, 1850
Vice President: Millard Fillmore (1849-50)

Outcome of the Elections

1848 Presidential / Vice Presidential Candidates Popular votes Electoral votes
Zachary Taylor / Millard Fillmore (Whig) 1360099 163
Lewis Cass / William O. Butler (Democratic) 1220544 127
Martin Van Buren / Charles Francis Adams (Free Soil) 291263 0

Snapshot of Zachary Taylor’s life

1784 Born in Virginia
1806 Joins the Virginia militia at age twenty-two
1810 Accepts a commission in the Seventh Infantry of the United States Army by his second cousin, Secretary of State James Madison
1812 Taylor’s company of about fifty men holds back an attack by four hundred Native Americans led by famous warrior Tecumseh at Fort Harrison in Indiana
1832 At Fort Crawford (now Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin) during the Black Hawk War, Taylor supervises the surrender of Chief Black Hawk
1837 On Christmas Day, Taylor’s forces defeat Seminoles in a battle at Lake Okeehobee in Florida
1846-48 Taylor’s small army unit repulses a Mexican force three times as large at the Battle of Palo Alto during the Mexican War; victories in Mexco at Resaca de Palma, Moneterrey, and Buena Vista bring national hero status to General Taylor
1849-50 Serves as twelfth U.S. President
1850 Dies in Washington, D.C., after falling ill during a Fourth of July celebration

It was under the leadership of Zachary Taylor that the Department of the Interior of the United States was organized and Thomas Ewing, the former treasury Secretary was appointed as the Secretary of the Interior. This department is mainly focused on the security of the nation.

The slavery issue was the most important issue that dominated the tenure of Zachary Taylor, particularly with respect to the five newly acquired states after the Mexican-American War. However, Taylor himself very consciously took a moderate stance about it, infuriating many of the Southern Democrats. Although he served only about 16 months in the office, it was during his tenure that the platform for the 1850 Compromise was laid down. the slavery and territorial controversies were much resolved by the laws enacted in the Compromise of 1850.

Zachary Taylor died while still in office in the year 1850. the reason of Zachary Taylor’s death is a little vague and can be debated, although it is generally attributed to gastroenteritis. An eulogy was given by Abraham Lincoln at his funeral.

Some of the famous quotations by Zachary Taylor are as such:

  1. “It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe”
  2. “I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me”.

Related Maps