Zachary Taylor
Cause of Death Age Burial Location President Grave #
Cholera morbus 65 Louisville, Kentucky 14th visited

After visiting William Harrison's grave in North
Bend, Ohio, we drove to Louisville, Kentucky,
where Zachary Taylor is interred.

Locked out! Unlike with William Harrison's
tomb, there was no one with a key to let us
into President Taylor's mausoleum.

Taylor was the second president to die in
office. He was commander-in-chief for just
sixteen months when he took ill after a
Fourth of July celebration and passed away
on July 9, 1850.

This monument stands beside
the president's current resting place.
The old Taylor burial vault was
built into a hill and can be seen in
the background.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* As was the case with several of his presidential predecessors, Taylor was a general in the army. Though he had served in the War of 1812 and fought valiantly in both the Black Hawk and Seminole Wars, Taylor did not achieve great fame until the Mexican-American War. It was in 1845, months before the fighting began, that President James Polk sent General Taylor down to Texas where he was to protect the borderlines from hostile Mexicans. While some of the general's men were out on patrol near the Rio Grande they were attacked by a group of Mexican cavalry members, leaving sixteen Americans dead. Within a few weeks, Polk persuaded Congress to declare war. This proved to be very good for Taylor as he was able to win several decisive battles. Perhaps the most famous clash that he participated in was the Battle of Buena Vista, where Taylor's men vanquished the much larger forces that were led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. It was this victory that propelled Zachary Taylor into office.

* Old Rough and Ready was not destined to be the president for long, though. On July 4, 1850 the president took part in a ceremony that was being held at the Washington Monument, which was under construction at the time. It was an extremely hot day, and when the president returned to the White House he consumed a large bowl of cherries and a pitcher of iced milk. Later that evening Taylor took ill, complaining of pains. Doctors used several remedies to cure the president, but as was the case with Washington and Harrison prior, these methods only made Taylor's condition worsen. He ended up passing away several days later.

* Over time several rumors surfaced about President Taylor's death; rumors that said he had been poisoned by political rivals. Eventually, after years of speculation, it was decided that the matter had to be put to rest once and for all. In 1991, with the consent of Taylor's descendants, the old soldier's body was exhumed. Several strands of hair and pieces of tissue were removed from his corpse and were tested to see if they displayed any signs of foul play. All tests for arsenic came up negative, and the president was laid to rest once more.

First Lady: Margaret Smith Taylor

  - Spouse: Margaret Smith Taylor (m. 1810-1850)

Political Party:
Whig Party

Vice President:
Millard Fillmore

Last Words:
"I am about to die. I expect the summons very soon... I have
                     tried to discharge all of my duties faithfully. I regret nothing, but    
                     I am sorry that I am about to leave my friends."

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