Key Dates

1808 Zachary Taylor becomes and officer in the U.S. Army.

1812: Taylor fights in the War of 1812

1832 Zachary Taylor fights the Black Hawk War in Illinois.

1836 Taylor fights in the Seminole Wars in Florida.

1846 Mexican War begins with Taylor’s troops engaging Mexican troops.

1847 Even though Taylor’s army was outnumber, he wins and important battle at Buena Vista.

1848 Zachary becomes a general.

1850 Taylor dies Unexpectedly of a intestinal disorder.

Zachary Taylor
1849 - 1850
Twelfth President

Zachary Taylor was born in Montebllo,Virginia on November 24, 1784.

President Taylor was one of six Presidents born in a log cabin. He was one of seven Presidents from Virginia.

President Taylor
Description: Zachary Taylor.
1849 daguerreotype by Mathew Brady.
Library of Congress

At one time Taylor owned slaves. Begining with Taylor's campaign, slavery became and issue in every Presidental Election.

Zachary Taylor was known as "Old Rough and Ready." Plain, unassuming, and downright messy, he almost never wore a proper uniform. "He wears an old oil cap," said one man, "a dusty green coat, a frightful pair of trousers and on horseback he looks like a toad."

Taylor didn't vote until he was 62. Until that time he was in the army and never was a residence because he moved so much.

President Taylor was a member of the Whig Party. He ran for election against Lewis Cass from Michigan.

He was one of 15 Presidents who did not win the Popular Vote.

Zachary Taylor's Vice President was Millard Fillmore (1849-1850).

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

Zachary Taylor's horse grazed on the White House lawn.

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

Taylor chewed tobacco. He was known as a sure shot when he spit tobacco. He never missed the sawdust box in the White House.

President Zachary Taylor never lived in one place long enough to register to vote. He voted for the first time when he was 62 years old. Taylor had never voted in a Presidential Election until he voted for himself in 1848.

His daughter, Sarah married a lieutenant on his fathers staff. His name was Jefferson Davis. Davis became President of the Confederacy.

He was the first President elected from a state west of the Mississippi (Louisiana).

Zachary was the second President to die in office.

Zachary Taylor suffered from heat stroke on July 4,1850 and died 5 days later in Washington D.C. He was 84 years and 291 days old. Taylor and William Harrison are the only two Presidents who died in the White House.

His body was later exhumed because some believed he was poisoned, but this was proved to be false.


“God knows that I have endeavored to fulfill what I conceived to be my honest duty.” 1850 

Quick Facts

12th President 1849-1850

Born: Montebello, Va, Nov. 24, 1784

Inaugurated: March 5, 1849

Party: Whig

Died: Washington, D.C. July 9, 1850, age 65



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012