Zachary Taylor letter in DC Archives

President Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850; president from March 1849 to July 1850)

Zachary Taylor letter, before restoration

Zachary Taylor letter, prior to undergoing conservation treatment (used with permission of Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)











Today marks the 164th anniversary of the death of President Zachary Taylor, who died only 16 months into his term of office. Theories about the cause of his unexpected demise still vary from the result of his eating large quantities of cherries and gulping down iced milk followed by several glasses of water to some real medical conditions linked to elements of that story: cholera from the water, bacteria in the milk, or gastroenteritis from acid in the cherries. What has this to do with the Daughters of Charity? Years ago, one of the Sisters inherited an autograph letter written by Taylor in 1848 to a certain Dr. Prichard in Iberville, LA. As the photograph demonstrates, the years took a toll on the letter, its ink having eaten through parts of the paper. The letter is currently undergoing conservation treatment and will be back in the Archives within the next few months. Provincial Archivist Dee Gallo recently saw it and reports that the repairs are amazing. We’ll be posting an image of the letter as soon as it is returned to our collections.

Learn more about Zachary Taylor’s presidency (from

Link to finding aid for the Zachary Taylor Papers housed at the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress

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Filed under Preservation, U.S. Presidents, Zachary Taylor

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