Back Up Next


Zachary Taylor

12th President of the United States
(March 5, 1849 to July 9, 1850)

Nickname: "Old Rough and Ready"

Born: November 24, 1784, near Barboursville, Virginia
Died: July 9, 1850, in Washington, D.C.

Father: Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor
Mother: Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor
Married: Margaret Mackall Smith (1788-1852), on June 21, 1810
Children: Ann Mackall Taylor (1811-75); Sarah Knox Taylor (1814-35); Octavia P. Taylor (1816-20); Margaret Smith Taylor (1819-20); Mary Elizabeth Taylor (1824-1909); Richard Taylor (1826-79)

Religion: Episcopalian
Education: No formal education
Occupation: Soldier
Political Party: Whig
Other Government Positions:

  • None

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

Presidential Election Results:



Popular Votes

Electoral Votes


Zachary Taylor




Lewis Cass



Vice President: tiny U.S. flag Millard Fillmore (1849-50)


Secretary of State

John M. Clayton (1849-50)

Secretary of the Treasury

William M. Meredith (1849-50)

Secretary of War

George W. Crawford (1849-50)

Attorney General

Reverdy Johnson (1849-50)

Postmaster General

Jacob Collamer (1849-50)

Secretary of the Navy

William B. Preston (1849-50)

Secretary of the Interior

Thomas Ewing (1849-50)

Notable Events:

  • 1850

    • The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty signed with Britain guaranteed that any future canal across Central America would be available to all nations.

Internet Biographies:

Zachary Taylor -- from The Presidents of the United States of America

Compiled by the White House.

Zachary Taylor -- from Table of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States - MSN Encarta

Grolier Online has created this resource from its collection of print articles in Encyclopedia Americana. Contains a full biography, written by Holman Hamilton of the University of Kentucky, along with suggestions for further reading.

Zachary Taylor -- from The American President

From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1849)

Other Internet Resources:

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site

Site commemorating the first battle of the U.S.-Mexican War in May 1846. General Zachary Taylor led 2,300 soldier into battle at this site. From the National Park Service.

President Zachary Taylor and the Laboratory: Presidential Visit from the Grave

Some historians believe that President Taylor might not have died of gastroenteritis, but might have been poisoned with arsenic. Forensic scientists tested the remains of President Taylor in 1991 and found...

Points of Interest:

  • Taylor refused all postage due correspondences. Because of this, he didn't receive notification of his nomination for president until several days later.

  • As a soldier always moving from location to location, Taylor never established an official place of residence and never registered to vote, He didn't even vote in his own election. It wasn't until he was 62 that he cast his first ballot.

  • November 7, 1848 was the first time a presidential election was held on the same day in every state.

  • Visitors to the White House would take souvenir horse hairs from Whitey, Taylor's old Army horse that he kept on the White House lawn.




Zachary Taylor

12th President of the United States
(March 5, 1849 to July 9, 1850)


Margaret Taylor