- Mini Bio
- Name: Zachary Taylor
- Born: 24th November 1784, Barboursville, Virginia, U.S.
- Died: 9th July 1850, White House, Washington, D.C., U.S.
- Occupation: Soldier, politician and 12th president of the U.S.
- Military Rank: Major General (2 Stars)
- Political party: Whig Party
- Nickname: Old Rough and Ready; He got this nickname because he did without the luxuries of officers during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) and lived the same way as his soldiers
- Notable military achievements: There were many, but when his 4,600 troops defeated the 15,000 troops under the command of General Santa Anna at the battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican war he became a war hero
- Trivia: Unbeknown to him the Whig Party made him their presidential nomination in 1848 and he did not find out until weeks later
"I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me"Zachary Taylor
"The power given by the veto, is a high conservative power; but in my opinion, should never be exercised except in cases of clear violation of the constitution, or manifest haste, and want of consideration by congress"Zachary Taylor
"God knows I have endeavored to fulfill what I conceived to be an honest duty. But I have been mistaken. My motives have been misconstrued, and my feelings most grossly outraged"Zachary Taylor
"Well, you will move forward with the advance, bring on the engagement and then attack his flanks. I will push the regiments in to support you as they come up"Zachary Taylor
"I have no private purpose to accomplish, no party objectives to build up, no enemies to punish-nothing to serve but my country"Zachary Taylor
"I am not a party candidate, and if elected cannot be President of a party, but the President of the whole people"Zachary Taylor
"My life has been devoted to arms, yet I look upon war at all times, and under all circumstances, as a national calamity to be avoided"Zachary Taylor
"May the boldest fear and the wisest tremble when incurring responsibilities on which may depend our country's peace and prosperity"Zachary Taylor
"Let us invoke a continuance of the same protecting care which has led us from small beginnings to the eminence we this day occupy"Zachary Taylor
"Anyone taken in rebellion against the Union, we will hang ... with less reluctance than I hanged deserters and spies in Mexico"Zachary Taylor
"In the discharge of duties my guide will be the Constitution, which I this day swear to preserve, protect, and defend"Zachary Taylor
"For more than half a century, during which kingdoms and empires have fallen, this Union has stood unshaken"Zachary Taylor
"I did not expect to encounter what has beset me since my elevation to the Presidency"Zachary Taylor
"You have fought a good fight, but you cannot make a stand"Zachary Taylor
"I shall go to Fort Texas or stay in my shoes"Zachary Taylor
"Stop your nonsense and drink your whiskey!"Zachary Taylor
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Zachary Taylor Biography
Zachary Taylor was the son of a plantation owner in Orange County, Virginia and he went on to have a remarkably successful military career which prompted The Whig Party to name him as their presidential nomination in 1848. Bizarrely the Whigs never consulted Taylor about this and once he had been elected as president he refused to adopt their policies much to their consternation.
Indeed he chose his own cabinet also much to the disdain of the Whig hierarchy who completely overlooked the former generals ability to make his own decisions whilst using his war hero status as the ticket for the president and the party to be elected. Thus he became the first U.S. president to be elected without having held any previous posts in political office.
Taylor's term as president was cut short due to him contracting cholera during a 4th July celebration in 1850 after consuming fresh cherries that were contaminated, he died four days later after serving just 492 days as president making his tenure as the third shortest in White House history.
Zachary was a career military officer who served his country with distinction through the war of 1812 and the Indian wars right up to the Mexican war which lasted from 1846 to 1848. As a commanding officer he always had the respect of his men and he would never ask them to do anything he wasn't prepared to do himself.
Taylor would lead them into battle and even stayed in the same camps as his men eating the same food and sleeping in the same conditions. He was a more successful soldier than he was a president although the 16 months he served in the White House was not enough for him to really make his mark as commander in chief. He was good for a one liner also so this is my compilation of 16 of the best Zachary Taylor quotes
Quotes About Zachary Taylor
Presidential author William A. DeGregorio shared this assessment:
"By all accounts, Taylor was genuinely warm, open, and plainspoken.... Far from being the unmannerly boor that his long years in the military and careless dress led many to expect"
Biographer Holman Hamilton was quoted as calling him:
"A gentleman, inherently gracious, even gallant where women were concerned, and an affable and agreeable host... true to the Virginia-Kentucky tradition of unstudied manliness"
Ulysses S. Grant spoke highly of his then commanding officer:
"No soldier could face either danger or responsibility more calmly than he. These are qualities more rarely found than genius or physical courage. General Taylor never made any great show or parade, either of uniform or retinue. In dress he was possibly too plain, rarely wearing anything in the field to indicate his rank, or even that he was an officer; but he was known to every soldier in his army, and was respected by all"
His successor in the White House hot seat Millard Fillmore crafted a fitting eulogy to Taylor:
"A great man has fallen, one whose life has been devoted to the public service, whose career in arms has not been surpassed in usefulness or brilliancy, who has been so recently raised by the unsolicited voice of the people to the highest civil authority in the government, which he administered with so much honour and advantage to his country"