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Home > History > President 12 - Zachary Taylor - Presidents Series

President 12 - Zachary Taylor - Presidents Series

This is a full biography on Zachary Taylor. It is part of our presidents series.

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor

12th President

Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, was born on November 24, 1784. Taylor was born in Barboursville, Virginia to a wealthy family of planters.

Old Rough and Ready

In 1808, Zachary Taylor joined the army as a first lieutenant of the Seventh Infantry Regiment. By 1809, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. Soon after his commission as an officer, he was made a captain in 1810. One year later in 1811, Taylor was sent to Fort Knox where he took command and received honors for his successful restoration of order among the men serving at Fort Knox. Taylor continued to prove himself a solid leader for the United States eventually rising to the rank of Major General. His victories during the Second Seminole War resulted in his nickname "Old Rough and Ready" and his victories in the Mexican-American War at Palo Alto and Monterrey made him an American hero and household name ready for the presidency.

California Enters the Union

During his short presidency, Taylor was instrumental in admitting California as an official state of the Union. Taylor also helped to settle state border disputes between Texas and New Mexico that would bring the western territories of the United States together. Taylor served as President of the United States from March of 1849 until his death in July 1850.

Death from Cholera

In July of 1850, Zachary Taylor was diagnosed with cholera morgues. Cholera was a common digestive illness of the time. Taylor was first buried in Washington D.C. at the Congressional Cemetery. However, his body was later removed and buried at the Taylor family plantation in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1883, a fifty foot tall monument was placed near his grave by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to memorialize his life and presidency.

United States Presidents

 1. George Washington  16. Abraham Lincoln  32. Franklin D. Roosevelt
 2. John Adams  17. Andrew Johnson  33. Harry S. Truman
 3. Thomas Jefferson  18. Ulysses S. Grant  34. Dwight D. Eisenhower 
 4. James Madison  19. Rutherford B. Hayes  35. John F. Kennedy
 5. James Monroe  20. James A. Garfield  36. Lyndon B. Johnson
 6. John Quincy Adams  21. Chester A. Arthur  37. Richard Nixon
 7. Andrew Jackson  22/24. Grover Cleveland  38. Gerald R. Ford
 8. Martin Van Buren  23. Benjamin Harrison  39. Jimmy Carter
 9. William Henry Harrison  25. William McKinley  40. Ronald Reagan
10. John Tyler  26. Theodore Roosevelt  41. George H.W. Bush
11. James K. Polk  27. William Howard Taft  42. Bill Clinton
12. Zachary Taylor  28. Woodrow Wilson  43. George W. Bush
13. Millard Fillmore  29. Warren G. Harding  44. Barack Obama
14. Franklin Pierce  30. Calvin Coolidge  45. Donald J. Trump
15. James Buchanan  31. Herbert Hoover  


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