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The Hughes Family History

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  • ID: I5263
  • Name: Zachary Taylor
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 24 NOV 1784 in Montebello Plant, Orange Co, Va 1
  • Death: 9 JUL 1850 in Washington, DC
  • Occupation: President of US 1849-1850
  • Reference Number:

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    • Note:
      Northerners and Southerners disputed sharply whether the
      territories wrested from Mexico should be opened to slavery,
      and some Southerners even threatened secession. Standing
      firm, Zachary Taylor was prepared to hold the Union together
      by armed force rather than by compromise.

      Born in Virginia in 1784, he was taken as an infant to Kentucky
      and raised on a plantation. He was a career officer in the Army,
      but his talk was most often of cotton raising. His home was in
      Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and he owned a plantation in
      Mississippi.

      But Taylor did not defend slavery or southern sectionalism; 40
      years in the Army made him a strong nationalist.

      He spent a quarter of a century policing the frontiers against
      Indians. In the Mexican War he won major victories at
      Monterrey and Buena Vista.

      President Polk, disturbed by General Taylor's informal habits of
      command and perhaps his Whiggery as well, kept him in
      northern Mexico and sent an expedition under Gen. Winfield
      Scott to capture Mexico City. Taylor, incensed, thought that "the
      battle of Buena Vista opened the road to the city of Mexico and
      the halls of Montezuma, that others might revel in them."

      "Old Rough and Ready's" homespun ways were political
      assets. His long military record would appeal to northerners; his
      ownership of 100 slaves would lure southern votes. He had not
      committed himself on troublesome issues. The Whigs
      nominated him to run against the Democratic candidate, Lewis
      Cass, who favored letting the residents of territories decide for
      themselves whether they wanted slavery.

      In protest against Taylor the slaveholder and Cass the
      advocate of "squatter sovereignty," northerners who opposed
      extension of slavery into territories formed a Free Soil Party
      and nominated Martin Van Buren. In a close election, the Free
      Soilers pulled enough votes away from Cass to elect Taylor.

      Although Taylor had subscribed to Whig principles of legislative
      leadership, he was not inclined to be a puppet of Whig leaders
      in Congress. He acted at times as though he were above
      parties and politics. As disheveled as always, Taylor tried to run
      his administration in the same rule-of-thumb fashion with which
      he had fought Indians.

      Traditionally, people could decide whether they wanted slavery
      when they drew up new state constitutions. Therefore, to end
      the dispute over slavery in new areas, Taylor urged settlers in
      New Mexico and California to draft constitutions and apply for
      statehood, bypassing the territorial stage.

      Southerners were furious, since neither state constitution was
      likely to permit slavery; Members of Congress were dismayed,
      since they felt the President was usurping their policy-making
      prerogatives. In addition, Taylor's solution ignored several
      acute side issues: the northern dislike of the slave market
      operating in the District of Columbia; and the southern
      demands for a more stringent fugitive slave law.

      In February 1850 President Taylor had held a stormy
      conference with southern leaders who threatened secession.
      He told them that if necessary to enforce the laws, he
      personally would lead the Army. Persons "taken in rebellion
      against the Union, he would hang ... with less reluctance than
      he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico." He never
      wavered.

      Then events took an unexpected turn. After participating in ceremonies at the
      Washington Monument on a blistering July 4, Taylor fell ill; within five days he was dead.
      After his death, the forces of compromise triumphed, but the war Taylor had been willing
      to face came 11 years later. In it, his only son Richard served as a general in the
      Confederate Army.


      Father: Richard Taylor b: 3 APR 1741 in Orange Co, Va
      Mother: Sarah Sally Dabney Strother

      Marriage 1 Margaret Mackall Smith
      • Married: 21 JUN 1810 in Louisville, Ky 1
      Children
      1. Has No Children Ann Margaret Mackall Taylor
      2. Has No Children Sarah Knox Taylor b: 1814
      3. Has No Children Octavia Pannill Taylor
      4. Has No Children Margaret Smith Taylor
      5. Has No Children Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Taylor
      6. Has No Children Richard "Dick" Taylor b: 27 JAN 1826 in Lousiville, ky

      Sources:
      1. Abbrev: Mannan, James Donald //jimmannan@geocities.com
        Note:
        Mannan, James Donald //jimmannan@geocities.com http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/6359/