Born on November 24, 1781 on a plantation in Orange County, Virginia to a family of prominent planters—Zachary Taylor knew what hard work looked like from a very young age. This had been the time of westward migration, so Taylor’s family began to move around a lot. Due to constant migration, Taylor’s education was quite sporadic in his early years, but he was still able to receive some form of education and was remarked as a quick learner from all his teachers. Once his father settled in Kentucky and acquired a lot of land, Taylor decided to join the military.
On May 3, 1808—Taylor officially joined the military which catapulted him into a very successful career on the battlefield. Soon after joining and with tons of hard work, he was commissioned by congress to serve as a lieutenant of the Seventh Infantry Regiment. Once the War of 1812 hit the nation, Tyler was promoted to captain and represented the first land victory of the war in the battle of September. Following this, Taylor spent two years commanding Fort Howard at the Green Bay, Michigan Territory and was shortly promoted to lieutenant colonel of that area and even had the opportunity to dine with President Monroe. In 1826, Taylor was called into Washington D.C. to work for the army committee to better consolidate and improve military organization and funding. But that wasn’t it for Taylor on the battlefield as he was called back to fight in the Black Hawk War after some time Taylor was promoted to colonel of the 1st infantry regiment, forcing his wife to become a military wife and his daughter to be raised around the battlefield. Once 1837 came the Seminole War inevitably occurred, and during this time Taylor started to gain some interest in politics. Following this the Mexican American War surfaced and through hard work of Taylor and everyone else on the battlefield, U.S. officially added Texas into our nation. After this battle Taylor started to become more vocal on a political basis and through his immense popularity gained on the battlefield, he announced his candidacy for president. Taylor announced he would not accept any political nomination or predisposed notion, and instead decided to run on his own terms and principles. Taylor ended up winning by 47.4% of popular, and he marks the last president to be elected without a political affiliation.
Taylor was inaugurated on March 5th, 1849 and immediately chose a cabinet that would better suit his needs and goals as president. One huge accomplishment of Taylor as president was the Clayton Buwler Treaty which was “was an agreement between the U.S. and Great Britain signed in 1850 that related to the status of canals and colonization in Central America that passed while Taylor was president. Both sides agreed that all canals would be neutral and neither side would colonize Central America.” Shortly after passing this treaty, Taylor passed away on July 4, 1850 from cholera at the age of 65. Although his presidency was short lived, the impact Zachary Taylor had in the American people through his bravery in battle and time as president, is truly notable and will forever go down in history.