Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Zachary Taylor

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TAYLOR, Zachary (1784–1850), president of the United States, was born in Orange county, Virginia, November 24, 1784. He entered the army as lieutenant in 1808, and rose to the rank of major in the war with Great Britain which followed. At the outbreak of the Mexican War he was in command of the American forces in Louisiana and Texas, and was directed to make the advance into the disputed territory which brought on the war. Beating the Mexicans in two battles, he followed them into Mexico, and there defeated Santa Anna in the crowning battle of his campaign, Buena Vista (1847). Dissatisfied with his treatment by the administration, he resigned and returned to the United States, where the Whig party nominated him and elected him president (1848). The struggle over the question of the admission of slavery to the territory taken from Mexico occupied his term of office, and he died at Washington, July 9, 1850.