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Zachary Taylor Biography and Facts For Kids


Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Taylor was born on November 24, 1784, at Montebello, Virginia, the son of a lieutenant colonel who had been on George Washington’s Revolutionary War staff. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor 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 last Whig to win a presidential election. In his inaugural address Taylor advocated military and naval effectiveness; friendly relations with foreign powers; Federal encouragement of agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing; and congressional conciliation of sectional controversy. Four of his seven Cabinet members were Southerners, and the Cabinet contained no men of real ability. Known as “Old Rough and Ready,” Taylor had a forty-year military career in the United States Army, serving in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War.

Fun Facts and Trivia about Zachary Taylor

When was Zachary Taylor born: November 24, 1784
Where was Zachary Taylor born: Orange County, VA
What was Zachary Taylor’s job before he became president: Soldier
Who was Zachary Taylor married to: Margaret Smith Taylor
What number president was Zachary Taylor: 12th
What political party did Zachary Taylor belong to: Whig
Who was Zachary Taylor’s vice president: Millard Fillmore
When was Zachary Taylor president: 1849-1850
How many terms did Zachary Taylor serve: less than 1
When did Zachary Taylor die: July 9, 1850
Where is Zachary Taylor buried: Louisville, KY

Zachary Taylor Quotes

  • “I think this is a great idea and I do like knowing where my donations are going. I’m a lot more willing to contribute to a cause this way.”
  • “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”

Timeline of the Life of Zachary Taylor

1784 Born near Barboursville, Va.
1810 Married Margaret Mackall Smith.
1811 Daughter Ann Taylor was born.
1812 Defended Fort Harrison against Tecumseh.
1829 Returned to the army as a lieutenant colonel.
1832 Received surrender of Black Hawk.
1837 Taylor was sent to Florida and defeated the Seminole Indians at Lake Okeechobee.
1847 Defeated Santa Anna in Battle of Buena Vista.
1848 Elected President of the United States.
1849 The California gold rush began.
1850 U.S. and Britain signed the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty.
1850 Congress adopted a series of laws called the Compromise of 1850.
1850 Zachary Taylor died in the White House.