Friday, November 24, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: November 24, 1784 - Zachary Taylor

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From the Kentucky Encyclopedia -

Zachary Taylor, twelfth president of the United States, was born on November 24, 1784, at Montebello in Orange County, Virginia. In the spring of 1785, Taylor's parents, Richard and Mary (Strother) Taylor, moved the family to a plantation in Jefferson County , Kentucky. At Springfield, as the Taylor residence was known, Zachary Taylor helped with farm work and was educated by a tutor. In 1808 he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 7th Infantry. Taylor saw active service in the War of 1812, distinguishing himself in particular in the defense of Fort Harrison against an Indian assault in September of 1812.

After the war Taylor returned briefly to civilian life, working for a year (1815-16) on the 324-acre farm given to him by his father near Louisville. He then rejoined the military and in succeeding years was stationed at various outposts along the American frontier. He participated in the Black Hawk War in 1832 and commanded American forces in a successful campaign against the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1837. During the Mexican War (1845-47) he earned popular acclaim as the victorious commander of the Army of the Rio Grande. After the war he won election to the presidency as a Whig candidate and was inaugurated on March 5, 1849.

Taylor maintained Kentucky as his official residence during most of his adult life. He lived in Louisville while on furlough, from the late summer of 1818 until February of 1820. On June 30, 1819, during President James Monroe's tour through the southern states, Taylor dined with the president and Gen. Andrew Jackson at ex-senator John Brown's Frankfort residence. During his period of service in the army, Taylor often visited his father's home at Springfield. He owned stock in two Kentucky banks and purchased warehouses and town lots in Louisville. Taylor eventually sold his Kentucky farm and made various land purchases in Louisiana and Mississippi during the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s. On February 14, 1849, during his last visit to Kentucky on the way to his inauguration in Washington, Taylor visited Frankfort and was honored there by the local population.

Taylor married Margaret Mackall Smith of Calvert County, Maryland, on June 18, 1810, and had six children by her, two of whom died in childhood. Taylor died in office on July 9, 1850. He was buried in Washington, D.C.; later his remains were moved to the family graveyard at Springfield. This graveyard became a part of the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

JOHN FORGY, Entry Author 

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Montgomery, Henry. The Life of Major-General Zachary Taylor : Twelfth President of the United States. Philadelphia: Porter & Coats, 1847. Print.
E422 .M76 1847, Special Collections Research Center

Taylor, Zachary. Zachary Taylor Papers, 1812-1850. (1812). Print.

87M17, Special Collections Research Center, Manuscript Vertical Files

Bauer, K. Jack. Zackary Taylor : Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1985. Print. Southern Biography Ser.
E422 .B26 1985, Young Library - 4th Floor

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