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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
James Walker, 1819 - 1889
Zachary Taylor, 24 Nov 1784 - 9 Jul 1850
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 78.1 x 63.5cm (30 3/4 x 25")
Frame: 105.4 x 92.7 x 10.2cm (41 1/2 x 36 1/2 x 4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Eric Martin Wunsch
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Orange County, Virginia
A career army officer, by the 1840s Zachary Taylor-"Old Rough and Ready"-was the commanding general of the southwestern territories. With the outbreak of the Mexican American War in 1846, Taylor led a small army that achieved victories against overwhelming odds at Palo Alto and Monterrey. With victory came public acclaim, which crested when Taylor won the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847, ending the war. The Whig Party capitalized by nominating Taylor for the presidency, and he was elected in 1848. Ironically, Taylor, who had become a wealthy Louisiana planter, had opposed the annexation of Texas, knowing that expansion would reopen the slavery question. Taylor died during debate over the Compromise of 1850, the attempt to integrate the Mexican territories into the Union without disturbing the status quo on the slavery issue.
Eric Martin Wunsch; gift through (Bernard Danenberg Galleries)1972 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 124