Zachary Taylor Research Paper

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Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to the rank of major general.
Taylor's status as a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican-American War won him election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died seventeen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.
Taylor was born into a prominent family of planters who migrated westward from Virginia to Kentucky in his youth. He was commissioned as an officer in the
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Army, receiving a commission as a first lieutenant of the Seventh Infantry Regiment. He was among the new officers commissioned by Congress in response to the Chesapeake–Leopard Affair, in which an American frigate had been boarded by the crew of a British warship, sparking calls for war. Taylor spent much of 1809 in the dilapidated camps of New Orleans and nearby Terre aux Boeufs. He was promoted to captain in November 1810. His army duties were limited at this time, and he attended to his personal finances. Over the next several years, he began to purchase slaves and a good deal of bank stock in Louisville. He bought a plantation in Louisville for $95,000 that had 83 slaves attached to it, as well as the Cypress Grove Plantation near Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi, bringing the total number of slaves under him above 200. In July 1811 he was called to the Indiana Territory, where he assumed control of Fort Knox after the commandant fled. In only a few weeks, he was able to restore order in the garrison, for which he was lauded by Governor William Henry …show more content…
forces battled the British Empire and its Indian allies, Taylor successfully defended Fort Harrison in Indiana Territory from an Indian attack commanded by the Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Taylor gained recognition and received a brevet promotion to the rank of major. Later that year he joined General Samuel Hopkins as an aide on two expeditions: the first into the Illinois Territory and the second to the Tippecanoe battle site, where they were forced to retreat in the Battle of Wild Cat Creek. Taylor moved his growing family to Fort Knox after the violence subsided. In spring 1814, he was called back into action under Brigadier General Benjamin Howard. That October he supervised the construction of Fort Johnson, the last toehold of the U.S. Army in the upper Mississippi River Valley. Upon Howard's death a few weeks later, Taylor was ordered to abandon the fort and retreat to Saint Louis. Reduced to the rank of captain when the war ended in 1815, he resigned from the army. He re-entered it a year later after gaining a commission as a

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