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Margaret Taylor

Margaret TaylorAKA Margaret Mackall Smith

Born: 21-Sep-1788
Birthplace: Calvert County, MD
Died: 14-Aug-1852
Location of death: East Pascagoula, MS
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, KY

Gender: Female
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Zachary Taylor

Margaret Mackall Smith -- friends called her 'Peggy' -- was 21 when she married infantry officer Zachary Taylor, who went on to become America's twelfth President. She lived most of her life as a dutiful military wife, accompanying her husband to his posts at various rustic, frontier locations. When he turned to politics late in life she had no interest in such endeavors. She was sixty when her husband assumed the Presidency, and she eschewed virtually all social events during his brief administration. She refused to pose for an official portrait, and asked her youngest daughter, Betty Taylor Bliss, to assume the traditional White House hosting duties.

Because the First Lady was rarely seen, vile rumors portrayed her as uncultured, gap-toothed, smoking a corn cob pipe, or living in a cage. In reality, she was a kind and intelligent woman, but she disliked pomp and protocol, and preferred solitude to feigning friendship with high-society people she did not know and assumed she would not like. Upon her husband's death, she oversaw the packing of their belongings and left Washington almost immediately after his funeral, never to return.

One of the Taylors' daughters, Sarah Knox Taylor, married Army Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, against her parents wishes. Davis went on to become President of the Confederacy, but his bride contracted malaria, which killed her less than three months after their wedding. Zachary and Margaret Taylor's only son, Richard Taylor, fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War, most notably leading rebel forces to victory at the Battle of Mansfield in 1864, where about 2,300 Union soldiers were killed and hundreds more were captured.

Father: Walter Smith (plantation owner, b. 1747, d. 1804)
Mother: Ann Mackall (b. circa 1753, d. 1789)
Sister: Elizabeth Smith
Brother: Joseph Smith
Sister: Mary Ann Smith Chew (d. circa 1825)
Brother: Richard Smith
Sister: Sarah Smith Hellen
Brother: Walter Smith Jr.
Husband: Zachary Taylor US President (b. 24-Nov-1784, dated 1809-10, m. 21-Jun-1810, d. 9-Jul-1850)
Daughter: Anne Margaret Mackall Taylor Wood (b. 8-Apr-1811, d. circa 1875)
Daughter: Sarah Knox Taylor Davis (b. 3-Jun-1814, m. Jefferson Davis 17-Jun-1835, d. 15-Sep-1835)
Daughter: Octavia Pannill Taylor (b. 16-Aug-1816, d. 8-Jul-1820 malaria)
Daughter: Margaret Smith Taylor (b. 27-Jul-1819, d. 22-Oct-1820 malaria)
Daughter: Blandine Taylor Bryce Grabot (b. 1821, d.)
Daughter: Mary Elizabeth Taylor Bliss Dandridge ("Betty", b. 20-Apr-1824, d. 25-Jul-1909)
Son: Richard Taylor (Confederate military officer, b. 27-Jan-1826, d. 12-Apr-1879)

    Slaveowners
    Risk Factors: Smoking


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