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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
Order:12th President
Term of Office:March 5, 1849 - July 9, 1850
Followed:James Knox Polk
Succeeded by:Millard Fillmore
Date of BirthNovember 24, 1784
Place of Birth:Barboursville, Virginia[?]
Date of Death:July 9, 1850
Place of Death:Washington, D.C.
Wife:Margaret Mackall Smith
First Ladies:Margaret Mackall Smith
Mary Elizabeth Bliss (daughter)
Political Party:Whig
Vice President:Millard Fillmore

Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was the 12th (1849-1850) President of the United States, and the second President to die in office.

Taylor was a career soldier. Starting with a commission as a first lieutenant, in 1808, he fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the second Seminole War. President Polk sent an army under his command to the Rio Grande in 1846. When the Mexicans attacked Taylor's troops, Polk declared war. Taylor defeated the Mexicans, despite being outnumbered 4-1. He became a national hero and received the Whig nomination for President in 1848, although he had never even bothered to vote before.

Taylor earned a footnote in Presidential history before he even took office. His term of service was scheduled to begin at noon on March 4, 1849, but being a Sunday, Taylor refused to be sworn in until the following day. As Vice President Millard Fillmore also was not sworn on that day, as a result the nation in effect had no President or Vice President. Over a century and a half later, constitutional scholars and presidential historians differ as to whether David Rice Atchison, then President Pro Tempore of the Senate and under the law at the time next in the line of Presidential succession, was technically Acting President.

Taylor died in office after only 16 months, and was succeeded by his vice president, Millard Fillmore.

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Preceded by:
James Knox Polk
Presidents of the United States Succeeded by:
Millard Fillmore

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