Zachary Taylor Biography for Kids


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Zachary Taylor


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.

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.

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.

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.



Click on the image below to learn about First Lady Margaret "Peggy" Taylor

Margaret Taylor