Zachary Taylor (1784 – 1850) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: At the time he became President, Zachary Taylor was the most popular man in America, a hero of the Mexican-American War. However, at a time when Americans were confronting the explosive issue of slavery, he was probably not the right man for the … more life in brief » Essays about Zachary Taylor Life in Brief Life in Brief: At the time he became President, Zachary Taylor was the most popular man in America, a hero of the Mexican-American War. However, at a time when Americans were confronting the explosive issue of slavery, he was probably not the right man for the job. Taylor was a wealthy slave owner who held pro… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: Born into a family of planters in Virginia on November 24, 1784, Zachary Taylor spent his youth in the frontier outpost of Louisville, Kentucky. For most of Zachary's childhood, his Louisville home was a small cabin in the woods. As his family prospered, the cabin became a substantial brick hous… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1848: As a career officer in the regular Army, Zachary Taylor had never revealed his politics, nor had he even voted prior to 1848. Upon his victory at Buena Vista, "Old Rough and Ready" political clubs sprang up in support of Taylor's candidacy for Presid…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: Zachary Taylor served only sixteen months in office, dying on July 9, 1850, from a bout of severe "stomach sickness," specifically diagnosed at the time as "cholera morbus." However brief, he served at a momentous time for the presidency. The issue of slavery in the western terri…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: Neither Zachary Taylor nor his secretary of state, John M. Clayton, had had much experience in foreign affairs. As in domestic matters, Taylor was not directly involved in either foreign policy formation or diplomacy. His administration acted to stop an expedition filibustering against Cuba, support…Family Life Family Life: Zachary Taylor lived most of his life as an army officer at various frontier outposts. Two of his five daughters died as young children. Another daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor, married the young Mississippian who would become the president of the Confederacy and who served under Taylor in Mexico&md…The American Franchise The American Franchise: In the 1820s, white manhood, rather than property, had become the qualification for voting. Hence, only white males over the age of twenty-one could vote in the 1848 presidential election. At that time, many states determined qualifications for suffrage and allowed aliens who were not citizens t…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: Zachary Taylor's presidency was too short-lived to have substantially impacted the office or the nation. He is not remembered as a great President. Most historians believe that he was too nonpolitical in a day when politics, parties, and presidential leadership demanded close ties with polit… About His Administration First Lady Margaret Taylor Vice President Millard Fillmore (1849–1850) Secretary of State John M. Clayton (1849–1850) Secretary of the Interior Thomas Ewing (1849–1850) Attorney General Reverdy Johnson (1849–1850) Postmaster General Jacob Collamer (1849–1850) Secretary of the Treasury William M. Meredith (1849–1850) Secretary of the Navy William B. Preston (1849–1850) Secretary of War George W. Crawford (1849–1850) Facts about Zachary Taylor Term: 12th President of the United States (1849 – 1850) Born: November 24, 1784, near Barboursville, Virginia Political Party: Whig Died: July 09, 1850 Nickname: "Old Rough and Ready" Religion: Episcopalian Marriage: June 21, 1810, to Margaret Mackall Smith (1788–1852) Children: Ann Margaret Mackall (1811–1875), Sarah Knox (1814–1835), Octavia Pannill (1816–1820), Margaret Smith (1819–1820), Mary Elizabeth (1824–1909), Richard (1826–1879) Career: Soldier Buried: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, near Louisville, Kentucky WritingsLetters of Zachary Taylor (1908) Zachary Taylor Image Gallery More images » In all disputes between conflicting governments it is our interest not less than our duty to remain strictly neutral . . . . March 5, 1849 Citation Information Consulting Editor Michael F. Holt Professor Holt is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. His writings include: The Civil War and Reconstruction (Co-authored with Jean H. Baker and David Herbert Donald, W.W. Norton, 2001) The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1999) Political Parties and American Political Development from the age of Jackson to the age of Lincoln (Louisiana State University Press, 1992) Millard Fillmore » « James K. Polk American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!