A Guide to the Zachary Taylor Collection, 1808-1823, 1855-1861, 1898.
President of the United States Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was born to Richard and Sarah Dabney (Strother) Taylor in Orange County, Virginia. Enlisting as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1808, he served for over thirty years, fighting in the Black Hawk War (1832) and Seminole Wars (1837-1840). A Mexican attack on Taylor's forces at Corpus Christi, Texas, marked the beginning of the Mexican War (1846-1847). Taylor’s subsequent military victories and rise to the rank of major general resulted in his presidential nomination by the Whig Party and his election to the presidency in 1848. Although a slaveowner, Taylor opposed the expansion of slavery into the territories and resisted Texan claims of expansion westward.
Taylor married Margaret Mackall Smith in 1810 and they had six children. A nephew, John G. Taylor, served as an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and was killed at the battle of Frazier’s Farm, also known as the battle of Glendale, in June 1862.
Source: Bauer, K. Jack, “Taylor, Zachary,” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed on April 8, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fta29.
Photocopies of correspondence compose the Zachary Taylor Collection, 1808-1823, 1855-1861, 1898, documenting Taylor’s life and family. Letters from Taylor shed light on his military service and the operations of his plantation. Correspondence relating to the military career of John G. Taylor includes his resignation from the U.S. Army and enlistment into the Confederate Army during the Civil War (1861). A letter from Capt. G.T. McGehee to Margaret L. Taylor (1898) concerns the death of John G. Taylor at the battle of Frazier’s Farm in 1862.
This collection is open for research use.
Zachary Taylor Collection, 1808-1823, 1855-1861, 1898, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers