Zachary Taylor

President of the Usa + 1849–50

Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States (1849–1850) and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass. Taylor was the last President to hold slaves while in office, and the second and also last Whig to win a presidential election.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Zachary Taylor.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Zachary Taylor.


1784 Birth Zachary Taylor was born on November 24, 1784, on a plantation in Orange County, Virginia, to a prominent family of planters of English ancestry. … Read More


1808 23 Years Old 1 More Event
Taylor was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army in 1808 and made a name for himself as a captain in the War of 1812. … Read More
1809 24 Years Old Taylor spent much of 1809 in the dilapidated camps of New Orleans and nearby Terre aux Boeufs.
1810 25 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 1810, Taylor married Margaret Mackall Smith, whom he had met the previous autumn in Louisville. "Peggy" Smith came from a prominent family of Maryland planters; she was the daughter of Major Walter Smith, who had served in the Revolutionary War. … Read More
1811 - 1812 2 More Events
1814 29 Years Old In spring 1814, he was called back into action under Brigadier General Benjamin Howard. … Read More


1815 30 Years Old Reduced to the rank of captain when the war ended in 1815, he resigned from the army. … Read More
1819 34 Years Old For two years, Taylor commanded Fort Howard at the Green Bay, Michigan Territory, settlement. He then returned to Louisville and his family. In April 1819 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and dined with President James Monroe.
1821 36 Years Old In late 1821, Taylor took the 7th Infantry to Natchitoches, Louisiana, on the Red River. … Read More
1824 39 Years Old That November he was transferred to Fort Robertson at Baton Rouge, where he remained until February 1824. … Read More


1826 41 Years Old In late 1826 he was called to Washington, D.C., to work on an Army committee to consolidate and improve military organization. … Read More
1828 43 Years Old In May 1828, Taylor was called back to action, commanding Fort Snelling in Michigan Territory (now Minnesota) on the northern Mississippi River for a year, and nearby Fort Crawford for a year.
1832 47 Years Old After some time on furlough, when he expanded his landholdings, Taylor was promoted to colonel of the 1st Infantry Regiment in April 1832. … Read More


1835 - 1836 2 More Events
1837 52 Years Old By 1837, the Second Seminole War was underway when Taylor was directed to Florida. … Read More
1841 56 Years Old He was made commander of the Second Department of the Army's Western Division in May 1841. … Read More
1844 59 Years Old For his Vice Presidential nominee the convention chose Millard Fillmore, a prominent New York Whig who had chaired the House Ways and Means Committee and had been a contender for Henry Clay's Vice Presidential nominee in the 1844 election. … Read More


1845 60 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1845, as the annexation of Texas was underway, President James K. Polk dispatched Taylor to the Rio Grande area in anticipation of a potential battle with Mexico over the disputed Texas–Mexico border. … Read More
1846 61 Years Old 1 More Event
Taylor's men advanced to the Rio Grande in March 1846. … Read More
Santa Anna attacked Taylor with 20,000 men at the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847, leaving around 700 Americans dead or wounded at a cost of over 1,500 Mexican. … Read More
In December he received a hero's welcome in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and his popular legacy set the stage for the 1848 presidential election.
As president-elect, Taylor kept his distance from Washington, not resigning his Western Division command until late January 1849. … Read More
Arguably the Taylor administration's definitive accomplishment in foreign policy was the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty of 1850, regarding a proposed inter-oceanic canal through Central America. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.