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Zachary Taylor in the beginning.....

Zachary Taylor, number 12 president of the United States of America.
And it all started on the day he was born, November 24,1784 in Orange county near Barboursville, Virginia.
He was born in Va. but soon moved and was raised in Jefferson county Ky. near Louisville Kentucky, on a plantation.
Despite his family's wealth and prominence, Zachary had little formal education. For a brief period he had a private tutor, but his education consisted primarily of the practical knowledge gained from living on a frontier plantation.Elisha Ayres of Connecticut, who declared that his pupil displayed qualities of stability, firmness and studiousness.
During his teens he assisted his father on the plantation where the family lived, on the Muddy Fork of Beargrass Creek in Jefferson County, KY.
Zachary was #3 child and #3 son of 6 children. Zachary helped his father run his plantation, but he did not decide on farming as a career.

His father was Lt. Col. Richard Taylor of the Revolutionary Army and his mother was Sarah Dabney Strother Taylor.

There were also other well known people in his family tree. One such as William Brewster a Mayflower Pilgrim. And James Madison was a second cousin. Not to mention that Robert E. Lee was also a kinsman.

In 1808 Zachary was comissioned First Lieutenant of Infantry. He will then spend the next 40 years at being a career soldier. But if you were to have a conversation with him, his words and thoughts would be about home and the cotton plantations.

In Jefferson County, Kentucky, on June 21, 1810 he married Margaret Mackall Smith, who was born in Calvert County, Maryland, September 21, 1788.
As a wedding gift from his father, a very wealthy man, he received a farm of his own. It is also noted that Zachary also had 100 slaves working for him on his cotton plantation.

Margaret was a delicate gentle woman, very quiet and refined. Born in 1788. And then became the mother to his 6 children. Five girls;

  • Ann Mackall (1811-75),

  • Sarah Knox (1814-35),

  • Octavia P.(1816-20),

  • Margaret Smith (1819-20),

  • Mary Elizabeth (1824-1909),

  • and one son Richard Taylor (1826-79).

  • Margaret spent her life following her husband, as a wife of a soldier. She spent some time as a leading society lady entertaining families at the various forts, that is until the Mexican War. With prayers for a safe return for her husband she vowed to give up a life of high society, something that she had been trained for all her life. After that time she helped out as a teacher.
    Tragic times hit the family twice as 2 of their children died during their infant years. This had such a toil on her that by the time Zachary becomes President and they move to the White House, Margaret is now semi-invilid.
    She never had her portrait painted, sketched or drawn. There is no photo available of her.
    Margaret died near Pascagoula, Mississippi, August 18, 1852 and is buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

    These were the early years of Zachary Taylor, Lets move on to the career soldier that he was.

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