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Known as "Old Rough and Ready", Taylor had a 40-year military career in the U.S. Army, serving in the War of 1812, Black Hawk War, and Second Seminole War before achieving fame leading U.S. troops to victory at several critical battles of the Mexican-American War. A Southern slaveholder who opposed the spread of slavery to the territories, he was uninterested in politics but was recruited by the Whig Party as their nominee in the 1848 presidential election.
In the election, Taylor defeated the Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass, and became the first U.S. president never to hold any prior elected office. Taylor was also the last southerner to be elected president until Woodrow Wilson. As president, Taylor urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850.
His death has been claimed to be due to arsenic poisoning, possibly related to anti-Slavery positions. However, the results from a 1991 exhumation and forensic examination of his body contradicted this.
- ↑ How Did President Zachary Taylor Actually Die? https://priceonomics.com/how-did-president-zachary-taylor-actually-die/