Timeline Description: Zachary Taylor was the twelfth American president. He came from an impressive line of important people in American history, including signers of the Declaration of Independence and Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower. His term as president was short because he died after only sixteen months in office.
|1784||Zachary Taylor is born
Zachary was born on a plantation in Virginia. His family was prominent in the area, but they soon left Virginia behind and migrated to Kentucky.
|1808||Zachary Taylor, military man
Without any schools on the Kentucky frontier, Zachary had little formal education. When he was 24 years old, he joined the army and served in many places including New Orleans.
After loyal and reliable service to the country, Zachary was promoted to Captain. He continue advancing himself professionally as well as personally.
|1810||Zachary gets married
Zachary had met Margaret Smith in Kentucky, and in 1810 they were married. They had six children.
|1811||A growing military career (1811-1837)
Over the years, Mr. Taylor served in many skirmishes across the country. One of his most prominent was the Second Seminole War, where he earned his nickname "Old Rough and Ready".
|1846||The Mexican-American War
After Texas was annexed, the Mexicans wanted to take the land back. Taylor led a large army in Texas during the Mexican-American War.
|1848||The Presidential Election
Because of his growing popularity in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War, many people urged Taylor to run for president. Taylor struggled in nailing down his exact political beliefs, but he won the election regardless.
President Taylor took his time in getting to the White House. In fact, he didn't arrive in office until an entire month as president had passed!
|1849||A Travelling President (Summer 1849)
Taylor spent the summer touring the country and familiarizing himself with the people he was now governing.
|October 1849||California is admitted to the Union
Tensions were growing between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery states. Taylor took advantage of California's recent gold rush by helping admit them to the Union as an anti-slavery state.
|December 1849||State of the Union
The western territories were in an upheaval by the end of Taylor's first year as president. Washington was deciding the fate of New Mexico and Utah, and it was during this time Taylor delivered his only State of the Union Address.
|1850||The Compromise of 1850
Tensions continued growing over whether the western territories should be slaveholding states or remain federal territories. Taylor hoped his Compromise of 1850 would help ease the dispute.
The Compromise never reached fulfillment under Taylor's rule. During the months leading up to his death, his office was full of the Galphin Scandal, in which two cabinet members awarded a large amount of the treasury to another cabinet member.
|July 1850||Taylor's death
Taylor came down with a mysterious stomach ailment, and while he had treatment he still died within a few days. Over forty years later a memorial was built in Kentucky in his honor.