Zachary Taylor (March 4, 1849 - July 9, 1850)

Zachary TaylorZachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was an American military leader and the twelfth President of the United States. Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a 40-year military career in the U.S. Army, serving in the War of 1812, Black Hawk War, and Second Seminole War after achieving fame while leading U.S. troops to victory at several critical battles of the Mexican-American War. A Southern slaveholder who opposed the spread of slavery to the territories, he was uninterested in politics but was recruited by the Whig Party as their nominee in the 1848 presidential election. In the election Taylor defeated the Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass, and became the first U.S. president never to hold any prior office. Taylor was also the last southerner to be elected president until Woodrow Wilson (Andrew Johnson became president through succession).

As president, Taylor urged settlers in New Mexico and California to by-pass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850.

Taylor died of acute gastroenteritis just 16 months into his term. Vice President Millard Fillmore then became President.¹

Quotes

"I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me."

"It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe."

"I am a Whig, but not an ultra-Whig."

"The idea that I should become President seems to me too visionary to require a serious answer. It has never entered my head, nor is it likely to enter the head of any sane person."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Zachary Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Books on Zachary Taylor
Biography of Zachary Taylor
Essays on Zachary Taylor and His Administration
POTUS -- Zachary Taylor

 


 
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