Kurt's Historic Sites

Taylor Mausoleum

Margaret Taylor

Interment LocationVisited 
Louisville, KYAugust 19, 2004 

Photographed August 19, 2004.

Perhaps no woman wanted to be first lady of the United States less than Margaret Taylor, who prayed for her husband’s defeat in the 1848 presidential election. To her dismay, Zachary Taylor was as dominant over Democrat Lewis Cass in the electoral college as Taylor and his Army of Occupation had been in the war with Mexico that elevated him to stardom. The Taylors’ stay in the White House was brief, though, as the president died less than a year and a half after his inauguration. Margaret Taylor lived but two more years, and then she joined him in the vault at the rear of the Taylor family’s cemetery in Louisville Kentucky. The burial ground was designated as the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery by an act of Congress in 1928.

Margaret Taylor did not have a strong influence in White House affairs. Like Letitia Tyler before her, Mrs. Taylor’s poor health kept her in relative seclusion from the public. Daughter Betty Taylor Bliss assumed the hosting duties that largely defined the role of first lady at that time. Margaret Taylor’s name also does not appear on the exterior of the mausoleum that was constructed for her and her husband in 1926, whereas the president’s name and lifespan are carved over the entryway my father is standing in for this picture.

Photographed August 19, 2004.
Photographed August 19, 2004.

My yellow shirt is easy to spot here through the glass panes of the mausoleum doorway. From this perspective, Margaret Taylor’s sarcophagus is on the left, and Zachary Taylor’s is on the right.

Fast Facts

Born: September 21, 1788 in Calvert County, Maryland

Spouse: Zachary Taylor (m. 1810-1850)

First Lady Tenure: 1849-1850

Died: August 14, 1852 in Pascagoula, Mississippi

Age: 63

Interment: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

National Cemetery Administration. “Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.” Accessed April 3, 2022. https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/zacharytaylor.asp.

Join a community of water activists
Join a community of water activists