Future President Zachary Taylor Is Born - 11/24/1784

US History |

Exactly on this day in 1784, the future president of United States of America Zachary Taylor is born in Barboursville, Virginia.

He was born to the family of one of the founding fathers of America and the second cousin to the forth president of James Madison, at a time when the American Revolution ended. Taylor was bred in the woodland cabin of his father's plantation in Kentucky before he left home and enlisted in the U.S. Army. As a soldier, he served in the War of 1812, the Blackhawk War (1832) and second Seminole War (1835-1837) respectively. The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, gave Taylor much fame and attracted national attention while he was dubbed "Old Rough and Ready" for his valor and for the cordial relationship he had with his fellow troopers even the lowliest subordinates. 

As soon as the war ended, Taylor chose to run for the White House even though his political beliefs were vague. Luckily, he won the race against the former President Martin Van Buren and Democratic candidate Lewis Cass. However, his administration was widely criticized for his inability to address slavery despite the fact that he was against the inhumane act and pledged to lead a military assault against any state that threatened to withdraw from the Union and for his awkward death barely spending only 1year and four months in office.

On July 9, 1850, President Zachary Taylor died, but the cause of his death remains a mystery that has sparked several debates through the years by historians; it is believed that he may have died of cholera. On July 4, in Washington, D.C., Taylor had gone to celebrate at the recently dedicated grounds whereupon the Washington Monument would be raised. As indicated by a few sources, Taylor drank some glasses of iced milk with cherry fruits before going back to the White House, where he took a few glasses of water to quench his thirst.

During the 1800s, amid the summer months in hot humid Washington a deadly cholera disease broke-out at a time when sewage systems were yet to be properly managed. Almost everyone believe that the cause of Taylor's death was the presence of the deadly bacteria in the water or iced milk he took, while other sources assumed that he died of food poisoning or typhoid fever. His death was blow to his family because he left behind his darling spouse Peggy, two girls and a boy. In in 1835, one of his daughters married future Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a southerner who is in support of slavery and a junior officer in Taylor's regiment but resigned and marry Sarah even though Taylor was not in support of the union. Unfortunately, she died three months after their marriage of malaria sickness at the age of 21, while his only male child Richard joined the Confederate Army, which he could not live to see.

After his death, his vice president Millard Fillmore succeeded him and served the country until 1853.

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