Tuesday, April 1, 2008

#12 - Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850

"Old Rough and Ready," so named because of his slovenly dress Zachary Taylor was the second president to die in office, although he did manage to hold on longer than the 31 days of poor William Henry Harrison. A career military man, although raised primarily in the South, he was a strong nationalist and was prepared to hold the Union together by armed force, if necessary.

The issue of slavery dominated Taylor's shortened term. At the time of his death the Compromise of 1850 was being negotiated in the US Congress.

The Facts
  • born November 24, 1784 in Orange County, Virginia
  • died July 9, 1850 at the White House (allegedly after eating cherries and milk following a July 4 celebration, although allegations of poisoning by arsenic continued into the 20th Century)
  • Party: Whig
The Election of 1848
  • Zachary Taylor - popular votes, 1,360,967 / 163 electoral votes
  • Lewis Cass - popular votes, 1,222,342 / 127 electoral votes
  • Martin Van Buren
  • Taylor's only son, Richard, served as a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Taylor's daughter, Sarah, married future Confederate President Jefferson Davis, although she died three months later of malaria.
  • Election Day in 1848 marked the first time that votes were cast across the country on the same day, November 7.
  • Taylor was the second president to hold no other elected office (Washington was the first).
  • Taylor is the last Southern president to be elected until Woodrow Wilson.
  • Taylor was the first President to have been born after the end of the Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Paris, making him the first President born a true native American.


Lana Gramlich said...

Very interesting, as usual! Makes me think about how much our country's changed over the years...Gads, you'd hardly recognize her now!

Brave Astronaut said...

And of course, with all her scars from what she has been through. Someone should call a battered women's hotline.