War hero and president are how Zachary Taylor is usually remembered, if at all. Though obscure today, he was at one time one of the most famous figures in the country. An Arkansas resident for a time, “Old Rough and Ready,” as his troops affectionately called him, stirred the nation’s imagination.

Taylor was born into a wealthy plantation family in central Virginia in 1784. As a youth, his family left Virginia for Kentucky. The area was still largely a wild frontier region, and Taylor received little formal education. However, he was known for being a quick thinker and for a sense of curiosity about the world.

Dr. Ken Bridges is a Professor of History at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado. He has written seven books and his columns appear in more than 85 papers in two states. Dr. Bridges can be contacted by email at kbridges@southark.edu.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.