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President Zachary Taylor Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: November 24, 1784 in Barboursville, Virginia
Died: July 9, 1850 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
The popularity of war hero Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) led to his election as the 12th U.S. President (1849-1850). A 40-year veteran of the Army, Taylor was a veteran of several campaigns against the Indians, including the Black Hawk War and the Seminole wars. As a colonel, he won the Battle of Okeechobee on December 25, 1837, with a loss of only 26 men, resulting in his promotion to Brigadier General. In 1845, Congress passed a resolution for the annexation of Texas, which was then an independent republic. Taylor was sent to occupy disputed territory claimed by Mexico between the Rio Grande and Neuces Rivers, winning important battles against numerically superior forces at Palo Alto, Resaca de Palma, Monterrey and Buena Vista. He became a national hero, dubbed "Old Rough and Ready," leading the Whigs to nominate him for U.S. President. Elected as a Whig, Taylor alienated Congressional leaders of that party by refusing to support their program of high tariffs and a national bank. Although a Louisiana slave owner, he also angered southerners by taking a moderate stance on the slavery issue and threatening to lead the Army personally against any attempt at rebellion. Taylor died in office on July 9, 1850. Some have alleged that the President was poisoned, but no supporting evidence was found when his body was exhumed in 1991. Taylor was the last slave-owning President. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore. Taylor was still in Baton Rouge on January 19 because, until passage of the 20th Amendment, Presidents were inaugurated in March, not January.

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