National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, object, site, or structure, recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks. A National Historic Landmark District may include contributing properties that are buildings, sites or objects, it may include non-contributing properties. Contributing properties may or may not be separately listed. Prior to 1935, efforts to preserve cultural heritage of national importance were made by piecemeal efforts of the United States Congress. In 1935, Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, which authorized the Interior Secretary authority to formally record and organize historic properties, to designate properties as having "national historical significance", gave the National Park Service authority to administer significant federally owned properties. Over the following decades, surveys such as the Historic American Buildings Survey amassed information about culturally and architecturally significant properties in a program known as the Historic Sites Survey.
Most of the designations made under this legislation became National Historic Sites, although the first designation, made December 20, 1935, was for a National Memorial, the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri; the first National Historic Site designation was made for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on March 17, 1938. In 1960, the National Park Service took on the administration of the survey data gathered under this legislation, the National Historic Landmark program began to take more formal shape; when the National Register of Historic Places was established in 1966, the National Historic Landmark program was encompassed within it, rules and procedures for inclusion and designation were formalized. Because listings triggered local preservation laws, legislation in 1980 amended the listing procedures to require owner agreement to the designations. On October 9, 1960, 92 properties were announced as designated NHLs by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton; the first of these was a political nomination: the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City, Iowa was designated on June 30 of that year, but for various reasons, the public announcement of the first several NHLs was delayed.
NHLs are designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior because they are: Sites where events of national historical significance occurred. More than 2,500 NHLs have been designated. Most, but not all, are in the United States. There are the District of Columbia. Three states account for nearly 25 percent of the nation's NHLs. Three cities within these states all separately have more NHLs than 40 of the 50 states. In fact, New York City alone has more NHLs than all but five states: Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. There are 74 NHLs in the District of Columbia; some NHLs are in U. S. commonwealths and territories, associated states, foreign states. There are 15 in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, other U. S. territories. S.-associated states such as Micronesia. Over 100 ships or shipwrecks have been designated as NHLs. About half of the National Historic Landmarks are owned; the National Historic Landmarks Program relies on suggestions for new designations from the National Park Service, which assists in maintaining the landmarks.
A friends' group of owners and managers, the National Historic Landmark Stewards Association, works to preserve and promote National Historic Landmarks. If not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs. American Water Landmark List of U. S. National Historic Landmarks by state List of churches that are National Historic Landmarks in the United States Listed building, a similar designation in the UK National Historic Sites and Persons, similar designations in Canada National Natural Landmark United States Memorials United States National Register of Historic Places listings Official National Historic Landmarks Program website A History of the NHL Program List of National Historic Landmarks National Historic Landmarks: Archaeological Properties Historical Landmarks - United States Lighthouses
Geography of Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, in the U. S. state of Kentucky. It is located at the Falls of the Ohio River. Louisville is located at 38°13′31″N 85°44′30″W. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Louisville Metro has a total area of 397.68 square miles, of which 380.46 square miles is land and 17.23 square miles is covered by water. Although the soils and underlying rocks put Louisville in the outer Bluegrass region, the city's landscape is better described as being in a wide part of the Ohio River flood plain. Louisville's part of the valley is located between two plateaus, the karst plateau of Southern Indiana and the Bluegrass plateau of Kentucky, both with an elevation of around 900 feet. Elevations drop off the Indiana plateau sharply via the Muldraugh Escarpment, whereas the rise in elevation up to the Bluegrass plateau is done more gradually; the flood plain is much longer north to south. For example, within several miles of downtown, the Highlands sitting at 540 feet is out of the thousand year flood plain, whereas areas 10 miles from downtown such as Fairdale and Okolona have the same elevation as downtown Louisville.
Most areas in the east end have an elevation from 600 to 700 feet, with the east bound winds, trap in heat and pollutants. Areas along and west of the south fork of Beargrass Creek are located where the Ohio River once ran, so the land here is flat and is composed of harder rocks. Prior to urbanization much of this area was composed of wetlands, early roads through these were made of wooden planks; this history is still evident in street names, for example the spoke road Poplar Level, whose name describes its original construction on planks of poplar. 3rd Street was called Central Plank Road for the same reason. As industry, namely Standiford Field airport, moved into the area in the 1950s most creeks through the area were rerouted into ditches to alleviate the area's poor drainage and constant flooding. Areas east of I-65 were not in the flood plain and thus are gentle rollings hills composed of soft loess soils, hence the reason roads here are prone to potholes; the southern quarter of Jefferson County is in the rugged Knobs region.
This is the only part of Jefferson County to not have experienced any urbanization and is today entirely parkland for the Jefferson Memorial Forest. The eastern third is in the Eden Shale Hills section of the Bluegrass region and has experienced less urbanization than the flood plain, although, starting to change; the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 43rd-largest in the United States, includes the Kentucky counties of Jefferson, Henry, Nelson, Shelby and Trimble. The southern Indiana counties Clark, Floyd and Washington are included in the Louisville MSA; this MSA is included in the Louisville-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN Combined Statistical Area, which includes the Elizabethtown, KY MSA as well as the Scottsburg, IN Micropolitan Statistical Area. Louisville's Metro Area was expanded more than any other in the country during a March 2003 overhaul of U. S. Metropolitan Area statistics by the federal government. In the 2000 census very fast growing counties such as Spencer County weren't included.
The Metro Area's ranking rose from 49th to 42nd, the added Combined Statistical Area measured the area as the nation's 31st-largest. The total Metro area population increased from just over 1 million to nearly 1.4 for the CSA. Seventeen percent of the state's population lives in Jefferson County and 25% live in counties in the Louisville CSA, Jefferson County has two-and-a-half times more people than Kentucky's second-most populous county, Fayette County. Twelve of the 15 buildings in Kentucky over 300 feet are located in Downtown Louisville. 40% of the population growth in Kentucky are in Louisville's CSA counties. Louisville has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons and is located in USDA hardiness zones 6b and 7a. Spring-like conditions begin in mid-to-late March, summer from mid-to-late-May to late September, with fall in the October–November period. Seasonal extremes in both temperature and precipitation are not uncommon during early spring and late fall. Winter brings a mix of rain and snow, with occasional heavy snowfall and icing.
Louisville averages 5.8 days with low temperatures dipping to 10 °F, while readings of 0 °F or below occur on average every several years, the last occurrence being January 7, 2014. Summer is hazy and humid with long periods of 90–100 °F temperatures and drought conditions at times. Louisville averages 35 days a year with high temperatures at or above 90 °F, the average window for such temperatures on average fall on June 7 and September 10, respectively; the mean annual temperature is 58.2 °F, with an average seasonal snowfall of 12.5 in and an average annual rainfall of 44.9 inches. The first and last measurable snowfalls of the season on average fall on December 8 and March 12, respectively; the greatest amount of precipitation in 24 hours was 10.48 inches on March 1, 1997 and
Louisville, Kentucky, in the American Civil War
Louisville in the American Civil War was a major stronghold of Union forces, which kept Kentucky in the Union. It was the center of planning, supplies and transportation for numerous campaigns in the Western Theater. By the end of the war, Louisville had not been attacked once, although skirmishes and battles, including the battles of Perryville and Corydon, took place nearby. During the 1850s, Louisville became a vibrant and wealthy city, but together with the success, the city harbored racial and ethnic tensions, it attracted numerous immigrants, had a large slave market from which enslaved African Americans were sold to the Deep South, had both slaveholders and abolitionists as residents. In 1850 Louisville became the tenth largest city in the United States. Louisville's population rose from 10,000 in 1830 to 43,000 in 1850, it became an important tobacco pork packing center. By 1850, Louisville's wholesale trade totaled $20 million in sales; the Louisville–New Orleans river route held top rank in freight and passenger traffic on the entire Western river system.
Not only did Louisville profit from the river, but in August 1855, its citizens greeted the arrival of the locomotive "Hart County" at Ninth and Broadway and connection to the nation via railroad. The first passengers arrived by train on the Frankfort Railroad. James Guthrie, president of the Louisville & Frankfort, pushed the railroad along the Shelbyville turnpike through Gilman's Point and on to Frankfort; the track ended at Brook Street. The state paid tribute to James Guthrie by naming the small railroad community of Guthrie, Kentucky in Todd County after him. Leven Shreve, a Louisville civic leader, became the first president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, to prove more important for trade, it linked with Mississippi River traffic. With the railroads, Louisville could manufacture furniture and other goods, export products to Southern cities. Louisville was on her way to becoming an industrial city; the Louisville Rolling Mill built girders and rails, other factories made cotton machinery, sold to Southern customers.
Louisville built steamboats. Louisville emerged with an iron-working industry. Louisville became a meat packing city, becoming the second largest city in the nation to pack pork, butchering an average of 300,000 hogs a year. Louisville led the nation in hemp cotton bagging. Farmington Plantation, owned by John Speed, was one of the larger hemp plantations in Louisville. Hemp was Kentucky's leading agricultural product from 1840 to 1860, the leading commodity crop of the fertile Bluegrass Region. Jefferson County led all other markets in gardening and orchards; the sales of livestock, quality horses and cattle, was important. Attracted by jobs and pushed by political unrest and famine, European immigrants flowed into the city from Germany and Ireland. By 1850, 359,980 immigrants arrived in the United States, by 1854, 427,833 immigrants arrived to seek out a new living. With the increase in new immigrants in the city, native Louisville residents felt threatened by change, began to express anti-foreign, anti-Catholic sentiments.
In 1841, the growth in population prompted the Catholic archdiocese to move the bishop's seat from Bardstown to Louisville. The archdiocese began construction on a new Catholic cathedral, completed in 1852; this asserted Catholic presence in the city. In 1843, a new political party called the American Republican Party. On July 5, 1845, the American Republican party changed their name to the Native American Party and held their first national convention in Philadelphia; the party opposed liberal immigration policies. On June 17, 1854, the Order of the Star Spangled Banner held its second national convention in New York City; the members were anti-Catholic. When the members answered questions about the group, they responded with "I know nothing about it," giving rise to the nickname Know-Nothing for the Native American Party; the new political party gained national support. The Know-Nothing party encouraged and tapped into the nation's prejudice and fears that Catholic immigrants would take control of the United States.
Hostility to Catholics had a long history based on national rivalries in Europe. By 1854, the Know-Nothings gained control of Jefferson County's government. Ethnic tension came during the mayor's office election. On August 6, 1855, "Bloody Monday" erupted, in which Protestant mobs bullied immigrants away from the polls and began rioting in Irish and German neighborhoods. Protestant mobs killed at least twenty-two people; the rioting progressed through the city's East End. After burning houses on Shelby Street, the mob headed for William Ambruster's brewery in the triangle between Baxter Avenue and Liberty Street, they set ten Germans died in the fire. When the mob burned Quinn's Irish Row on the North side of Main between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets, some tenants died in the fire; the Know-Nothing party won the election in many other Kentucky counties. As in other cities, slavery was a consuming topic. Slave traders' revenues, those from feeding and transporting the slaves to the Deep South, all contributed to the city's economy.
The direct use of slaves as labor in the central Kentucky economy had
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
Jefferson County, Kentucky
Jefferson County is a county located in the U. S. Commonwealth of Kentucky; as of the 2010 census, the population was 741,096. It is the most populous county in the commonwealth. Since a city-county merger in 2003, the county's territory and government have been coextensive with the city of Louisville, which serves as county seat; the administrative entity created by this merger is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, abbreviated to Louisville Metro. Jefferson County is the anchor of the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as Kentuckiana. Jefferson County—originally Jefferson County, Virginia—was established by the Virginia General Assembly in June 1780, when it abolished and partitioned Kentucky County into three counties: Fayette and Lincoln. Named for Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia at the time, it is one of Kentucky's nine original counties. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark's militia and 60 civilian settlers, established the first American settlement in the county on Corn Island in the Ohio River, at head of the Falls of the Ohio.
They moved to the mainland the following year. Richard Mentor Johnson, the 9th Vice President of the United States, was born in Jefferson County in 1780, while the family was living in a settlement along the Beargrass Creek; the last major American Indian raid in present-day Jefferson County was the Chenoweth Massacre on July 17, 1789. Whenever possible, the metro government avoids any self-reference including the name "Jefferson County" and has renamed the Jefferson County Courthouse as Metro Hall. Prior to the 2003 merger, the head of local government was the County Judge/Executive, a post that still exists but now has few powers; the office is held by Queenie Averette. Local government is now led by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, Greg Fischer. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 398 square miles, of which 380 square miles is land and 17 square miles is water; the Ohio River forms its northern boundary with the state of Indiana. The highest point is South Park Hill, elevation 902 feet, located in the southern part of the county.
The lowest point is 383 feet along the Ohio River just north of West Point. As of the census of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, 183,113 families residing in the county; the population density was 1,801 per square mile. There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of 794 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 77.38% White, 18.88% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, 1.42% from two or more races. 1.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 287,012 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.20% were married couples living together, 14.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.20% were non-families. 30.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males. The median income for a household in the county was $43,789, the median income for a family was $49,161. Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females; the per capita income for the county was $22,352. About 9.50% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.10% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over. NOTE: Since the formation of Louisville Metro on January 6, 2003, residents of the cities below became citizens of the newly expanded Metro, but none of the incorporated places dissolved in the process; the functions served by the county government for the towns were assumed by Louisville Metro. However, the former City of Louisville was absorbed into the new city-county government. † Formerly a census-designated place in the county, but, in 2003, these places became neighborhoods within the city limits of Louisville Metro.
Jefferson County Public Schools Jefferson County Sunday School Association Louisville/Jefferson County metro government, Kentucky National Register of Historic Places listings in Jefferson County, Kentucky Jefferson County Clerks Office Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Louisville/Jefferson County Information Consortium Louisville Metro
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806 known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. It began in Pittsburgh, Pa, made its way westward, passed through the Continental Divide of the Americas to reach the Pacific coast; the Corps of Discovery was a selected group of US Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, to establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it; the campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, geography, to establish trade with local American Indian tribes. The expedition returned to St. Louis to report its findings to Jefferson, with maps and journals in hand.
One of Thomas Jefferson's goals was to find "the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce." He placed special importance on declaring US sovereignty over the land occupied by the many different Indian tribes along the Missouri River, getting an accurate sense of the resources in the completed Louisiana Purchase. The expedition made notable contributions to science, but scientific research was not the main goal of the mission. During the 19th century, references to Lewis and Clark "scarcely appeared" in history books during the United States Centennial in 1876, the expedition was forgotten. Lewis and Clark began to gain attention around the start of the 20th century. Both the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon showcased them as American pioneers. However, the story remained shallow until mid-century as a celebration of US conquest and personal adventures, but more the expedition has been more researched.
In 2004, a complete and reliable set of the expedition's journals was compiled by Gary E. Moulton. In the 2000s, the bicentennial of the expedition further elevated popular interest in Lewis and Clark; as of 1984, no US exploration party was more famous, no American expedition leaders are more recognizable by name. Jefferson met John Ledyard in Paris in the 1780s, they discussed a possible trip to the Pacific Northwest. Jefferson had read Captain James Cook's A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, an account of Cook's third voyage, Le Page du Pratz's The History of Louisiana, all of which influenced his decision to send an expedition. Like Captain Cook, he wished to discover a practical route through the Northwest to the Pacific coast. Alexander Mackenzie had charted a route in his quest for the Pacific, following the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean in 1789. Mackenzie and his party were the first to cross America north of Mexico to the Pacific when he arrived near Bella Coola, British Columbia in 1793—a dozen years before Lewis and Clark.
Mackenzie's accounts in Voyages from Montreal informed Jefferson of Britain's intent to control the lucrative fur trade of the Columbia River and convinced him of the importance of securing the territory as soon as possible. Two years into his presidency, Jefferson asked Congress to fund an expedition through the Louisiana territory to the Pacific Ocean, he did not attempt to make a secret of the Lewis and Clark expedition from Spanish and British officials, but rather claimed different reasons for the venture. He used a secret message to ask for funding due to poor relations with the opposition Federalist Party in Congress. In 1803, Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery and named Army Captain Meriwether Lewis its leader, who selected William Clark as second in command. Lewis demonstrated remarkable skills and potential as a frontiersman, Jefferson made efforts to prepare him for the long journey ahead as the expedition was gaining approval and funding. Jefferson explained his choice of Lewis: It was impossible to find a character who to a complete science in botany, natural history, mineralogy & astronomy, joined the firmness of constitution & character, habits adapted to the woods & a familiarity with the Indian manners and character, requisite for this undertaking.
All the latter qualifications Capt. Lewis has. In 1803, Jefferson sent Lewis to Philadelphia to study medicinal cures under Benjamin Rush, a physician and humanitarian, he arranged for Lewis to be further educated by Andrew Ellicott, an astronomer who instructed him in the use of the sextant and other navigational instruments. Lewis, was not ignorant of science and had demonstrated a marked capacity to learn with Jefferson as his teacher. At Monticello, Jefferson possessed the largest library in the world on the subject of the geography of the North American continent, Lewis had full access to it, he spent time conferring with Jefferson. Lewis and Clark met near Louisville, Kentucky in October 1803 at the Falls of the Ohio and the core "Nine Young Men" were enlisted into the Corps of Discovery, their goals were to explore the vast territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase and to establish trade and US sovereignty over the Indians along the Missouri River. Jefferson wanted to establish a US claim of "discovery" to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon territory by documenting an American presence there before European nations could claim the land.
According to some historians, Jefferson understood that he would have
Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War; as a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died sixteen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, inflaming tensions in Congress. Taylor was born into a prominent family of plantation owners who moved westward from Virginia to Kentucky in his youth, he was commissioned as an officer in the U. S. Army in 1808 and made a name for himself as a Captain in the War of 1812, he climbed the ranks establishing military forts along the Mississippi River and entered the Black Hawk War as a Colonel in 1832. His success in the Second Seminole War attracted national attention and earned him the nickname "Old Rough and Ready".
In 1845, during the annexation of Texas, President James K. Polk dispatched Taylor to the Rio Grande in anticipation of a battle with Mexico over the disputed Texas–Mexico border; the Mexican–American War broke out in April 1846, Taylor defeated Mexican troops commanded by General Mariano Arista at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and drove his troops out of Texas. Taylor led his troops into Mexico, where they defeated Mexican troops commanded by Pedro de Ampudia at the Battle of Monterrey. Defying orders, Taylor led his troops further south and, despite being outnumbered, dealt a crushing blow to Mexican forces under Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista. Taylor's troops were transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott, but Taylor retained his popularity; the Whig Party convinced the reluctant Taylor to lead their ticket in the 1848 presidential election, despite his unclear political tenets and lack of interest in politics. At the 1848 Whig National Convention, Taylor defeated Scott and former Senator Henry Clay to take the nomination.
He won the general election alongside New York politician Millard Fillmore, defeating Democratic Party candidates Lewis Cass and William Orlando Butler, as well as a third-party effort led by former president Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams, Sr. of the Free Soil Party. Taylor became the first president to be elected without having served in a prior political office; as president, Taylor kept his distance from Congress and his cabinet though partisan tensions threatened to divide the Union. Debate over the status of slavery in the Mexican Cession dominated the political agenda and led to threats of secession from Southerners. Despite being a Southerner and a slaveholder himself, Taylor did not push for the expansion of slavery, sought sectional harmony above all other concerns. To avoid the issue of slavery, he 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. Taylor died of a stomach-related illness in July 1850, with his administration having accomplished little aside from the ratification of the Clayton–Bulwer Treaty.
Fillmore served the remainder of his term. Historians and scholars have ranked Taylor in the bottom quartile of U. S. presidents, owing in part to his short term of office, he has been described as "more a forgettable president than a failed one." Zachary Taylor was born on November 24, 1784, on a plantation in Orange County, Virginia, to a prominent family of planters of English ancestry. His birthplace may have been Hare Forest Farm, the home of his maternal grandfather William Strother, though this has not been determined with certainty, he had three younger sisters. His mother was Sarah Dabney Taylor, his father, Richard Taylor, had served as a lieutenant colonel in the American Revolution. Taylor was a descendant of Elder William Brewster, a Pilgrim leader of the Plymouth Colony, a Mayflower immigrant, a signer of the Mayflower Compact. Taylor's second cousin through that line was the fourth president, his family forsook their exhausted Virginia land, joined the westward migration and settled near future Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio River.
Taylor grew up in a small woodland cabin until, with increased prosperity, his family moved to a brick house. The rapid growth of Louisville was a boon for Taylor's father, who by the start of the 19th century had acquired 10,000 acres throughout Kentucky, as well as 26 slaves to cultivate the most developed portion of his holdings. Taylor's formal education was sporadic because Kentucky's education system was just taking shape during his formative years, his mother taught him to read and write, he attended a school operated by Elisha Ayer, a teacher from Connecticut. He attended a Middletown, Kentucky academy run by Kean O'Hara, a classically trained scholar from Ireland, the father of Theodore O'Hara. Ayer recalled Taylor as a patient and quick learner, but his early letters showed a weak grasp of spelling and grammar, as well as poor handwriting. All improved over time. In June 1810, Taylor married Margaret Mackall Smith, whom he had met the previous autumn in Louisville. "Peggy" Smith came from a prominent family of Maryland planters—she was the daughter of Major Walter Smith, who had served in the Revolutionary War.
The couple had six children: Ann Mackall Taylor