Margaret Taylor

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Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (September 21, 1788August 14, 1852), wife of Zachary Taylor, the President of the United States. She was First Lady of the United States from 1849 to 1850. Some people called her Peggy Smith.

She was born in Calvert County, Maryland. Her mother’s name was Ann Mackall and her father’s name was Walter Smith. Her father was a major in the American Revolutionary War. When she was visiting her sister in Kentucky in 1809, she met Zachary Taylor. Taylor was a lieutenant at that time. They married in June 1810. For sometime, she stayed in a farm she had got as a marriage gift from her father. There she gave birth to her first baby. But, then she started to live with her husband. Taylor’s garrison moved from one location to other on the western front, and she also moved with him.

Their two small daughters died in 1820. As described by Taylor, the children had died of “a violent bilious fever.” They had three other girls and a boy. All four grew to adulthood. Taylor knew the difficult life of a military man. He was always against their daughters marrying military men, but all the three married military persons from the United States Army.

At the White House, Peggy Taylor participated in the household activities and personal functions. She did not participate in formal and official functions. Her youngest daughter, Mary Elizabeth Bliss, acted as the official hostess for her mother.