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Rough and Ready

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Zachary Taylor half plate daguerreotype c1843-45
Known by his nickname Old Rough and Ready, the 12th President of the United States, Zachary Taylor was an interesting man. A southerner, and slave holder to boot, he was one of the 4 Whig presidents, alongside William Harrison, John Tyler and his Vice President Millard Fillmore. He was also an ardent unionist, supporting the strength and unity of the U.S, and opposed many-to-all talks about succession. With his presidency taking place during the rising tensions between slave holders like himself, the northern abolitionists which he often aligned himself with, and the unionists who only wanted to see the nation hold strong, who he agreed with.

In 1850, Henry Clay presented the Compromise of 1850 to Congress; a bundle of bills that he and his fellow congressmen hoped would stop the slavery debate for some time. However, Taylor felt there was nothing to comprise about; he even began to challenge Congress, saying that if the bill was passed, he would veto it, something he promised he would not do during the 1848 election.

Tensions brought about by the Compromise reached it peak in mid-1850, with Taylor threatening the state of Texas with federal troops if it didn't stand down from the New Mexican border. However, what could of escalated further died down after his death in July 1850, and the signing of the Compromise into law by his successor, Millard Fillmore. 

This timeline will examine the results of his survival on that faithful July 9 night in 1850, and continued his role as president in a house rapidly dividing.  

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