Mississippi Moment: President Zachary Taylor

Mississippi Moment

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – One U.S. president was living in Mississippi at the time he was elected.

There is not much left in the old Mississippi River Port of Rodney, which is about half way between Vicksburg and Natchez. It used to be a thriving community before the Mississippi River changed course to the west and the railroad bypassed it to the east.

If you ever stop and read the history of the town on the markers beside the Presbyterian church, you will read about Zachary Taylor. He was elected President of the United States in 1848 and could have been walking the streets of Rodney when he got the news.

Taylor was born in Virginia, moved to Kentucky, joined the military, was a Mexican War hero and bought a plantation, Cypress Grove, in Mississippi. He was living there when he reluctantly became president. He didn’t want the job, but he won anyway.

My friend Gordon Cotton just published and article about him in the Vicksburg Daily News about week ago and called him “Mississippi’s Unclaimed President.”

There’s nothing left of Cypress Grove Plantation anymore. I imagine the house was similar in style to Winter Quarters Plantation in Newellton, Louisiana.

After Taylor went to Washington, he never came back to Mississippi. Most of the acreage of his plantation has fallen into the Mississippi River now. The most tangible place left associated with him is Rodney, and it has almost faded way.

Taylor is buried in Louisville, Kentucky.

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