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Zachary Taylor: A Presidential Unit

Zachary Taylor was born 24 Nov 1784 in Montebello, Orange County, Virgina. He was elected the 12th US President and began his term on 4 March 1849, only serving a year before succumbing to cholera and dieing in July 1850.

Political Party: Whig
Years Served: 4 March 1849 – 9 July 1850
Vice President(s): Millard Fillmore
Name of his parents: Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor and Sarah Dabney Strother
Wife’s name: Margaret Mackall Smith (1788-1852), on June 21, 1810
Yearly Salary as President: $25,000.00
Physical Stature: 5 feet, 8 inches
State of Birth: Virginia

“Zachary Taylor was raised near the Kentucky frontier on the family farm. There were no schools, so he studied with tutors. He joined the army in his teens and had a military career for forty years. He fought in many battles and became a hero. The Whig Party recognized his popularity and drafted him as their nominee. He was the first military leader to become president without hold a political office previously. He realized he lacked experience so he sought advice from others, but his decisions were always based on his perception of each situation. Slaver and the extension of slavery in the newly acquired western land were the main issues of his term. They were never resolved however, because he died suddenly after only sixteen months in office.”

On Line Lesson Plans:

Zachary Taylor Polk from TeacherVision
Zachary Taylor from DiscoverySchool.com
Presidential Thinkquest

Coloring Pages, Crafts, and Fun Activities:

Presidential Finger Puppets
Annie’s Page
Zachary Taylor from Enchanted Learning

On Line Resources:

Biography of Zachary Taylor
From Revolution to Reconstruction
Remembering President Zachary Taylor
American Presidents’ Life Portraits
The American Presidency from Grollier
White House Historical Society
The History Buff -- US Presidents
Roll Call of the Presidents

Trivia Questions:

1. What was Zachary Taylor’s nickname? [Answer: “Old Rough and Ready.”]

2. How many children did Taylor have? [Answer: 6 -- 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)]

Of Note:

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 offical 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 souvenier horse hairs from Whitey, Taylor's old Army horse that he kept on the White House lawn.

Zachary Taylor hated politics and politicians. In fact, he had never even voted for President. When the Whigs nominated him, he ran because he felt it was his duty to his country.

While Taylor was President, his old war horse, Whitey, grazed on the White House lawn.

After Taylor was President for a little more than a year, he died from cholera. It was caused by germs on some cherries that hadn’t been washed properly.

Taylor’s future father-in-law was against the marriage between his daughter and Taylor because he felt a soldier’s life was too dangerous.


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