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See the fact file below for more information on the Margaret Taylor or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Margaret Taylor worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- MARGARET “PEGGY” MACKALL SMITH TAYLOR was born on September 21, 1788 by Major Walter Smith (1747-1804) and Ann Hance Mackall (1755-1789) in in Calvert County, Maryland.
- Her father was an American Revolutionary War major then became a successful tobacco planter. She was also related to some of the region’s most powerful figures through her mother’s side.
- She was the youngest of seven; three brothers, three sisters: Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary Anne Smith Chew, Richard, Sarah Smith Hellen and Walter Taylor.
- Nothing is known of her early life but it can be presumed that she received lessons on sewing, embroidery, music, dancing, and management of servants.
- Orphaned by her parents by the age of 16, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky to live with her oldest sibling, Mary Anne.
- In 1809, Margaret was introduced to U.S. Lieutenant Zachary Taylor. He courted her and in the next spring, they were married at Mary Anne’s home on June 21, 1810.
- Together, they had six children: Sarah Knox, Anne Margaret, Octavia Pannel, Margaret Smith, Mary Elizabeth, and Richard.
- Following their marriage, the family slept in tents, cabins, and forts following Zachary to various frontier postings.
- For a while, she also stayed on a farm she had received as a marriage gift from her father.
- In 1832 to 1845, the Taylors were transferred to various forts until Zachary joined the Mexican war in 1845.
- Zachary commanded the army and returned victorious, much to his wife’s relief.
- Margaret Taylor was at the side of her husband when the city of New Orleans celebrated him with parades and tributes as the great hero of the Mexican War.
THE FIRST LADY
- According to some accounts, Peggy Taylor protested Zachary’s nomination as the Whig candidate for president in 1848.
- He won the race and Margaret attended his Inauguration.
- She then skipped all other related formal functions.
- As the First Lady, Margaret Taylor focused her attention on the maintenance of the executive household – ordering food for family meals and public entertaining, overseeing the slaves and servant duties, and supervising the gardens, the dairy, and the kitchen.
- She also took charge of the president’s diet, health, and appropriate wardrobe after he earned a reputation as something of a sloppy dresser.
- Margaret refused to engage over any public functions as hostess and instead relayed the job to her popular daughter, known to the general public by the nickname “Miss Betty.”
- She had been acting as a spokesperson for her more reclusive mother.
- Despite limited socialization, Margaret was well-versed enough in her husband’s policies to always take “every opportunity to drop a good word in company that might help her husband.”
- Tragedy came when Zachary Taylor died on July 9, 1850 after a sudden gastric illness of five days. Margaret Taylor was so distraught that she asked to see her husband’s face three times.
- The rest of the family left the White House and Margaret lived with her daughter Ann Wood in Baltimore and then in New Orleans where the former president’s property was legally divided among the heirs.
- Margaret Taylor lived a comfortable life as a widow who was left an ample estate, including five slaves.
- Although Margaret Taylor was voted the franking privilege by Congress as a presidential widow, she made no public appearances or remarks.
- During a visit to her daughter Betty, who had by then relocated to East Pascagoula, Mississippi, the former First Lady died suddenly on August 14, 1852.
- Margaret was buried beside her husband at what later became the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.
- For many years, photographs of the first lady were not seen. Long held privately, the photographic image of Margaret “Peggy” Taylor was finally permitted to be adapted into the widely circulated engraving later made of her.
Margaret Taylor Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Margaret Taylor across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Margaret Taylor worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Margaret Taylor who was an American first lady and the wife of Zachary Taylor, an American military hero and the 12th president of the United States.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Life in the 1850s
- Office of the President
- The First Family
- US First Ladies
- The Big Roles
- The First Lady
- First Lady Decorum
- Women in Politics
- A Lady President?
- Margaret Taylor
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Link will appear as Margaret Taylor Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 28, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.