BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE
Hello! My name is Cameron Coyle, and I am the Founder of The Zachary Taylor Project. Some readers may initially be intrigued as to why a modern day high school student from New Jersey would be so enthralled with a 19th century president from Kentucky and Louisiana. Allow me to tell you how a seedling of a thought four years ago has blossomed into a nationwide movement to honor the legacy of one of our nation’s greatest leaders.
My love for the Presidents started at a very early age. When I was three years old, my parents gave me a foldout about the Presidents of the United States. For every President, there was a picture and a couple little facts about them. After looking at it a few times, I became very curious about these men that I grew to be familiar with. Pretty soon, I had surrounded myself with as many Presidents books as my parents could find, and I began to memorize the names and deeds of all of the men that served in the nation’s highest office. With that passion being instilled in me from an early age, it became evident that the Presidents would always play a big role in many aspects of my life.
Eight years ago, my grandparents decided to take me and my younger brother to visit Mount Vernon. I will never forget the feelings that I experienced at that home. It was exciting because I learned so much more about President Washington than I had ever read about in my books while walking in his footsteps. That visit started my pastime of visiting presidential homes around the country. When I learned that Zachary Taylor was the only president without a historic site in his honor, I was both upset and intrigued as to why.
When I went back to school from summer break in eighth grade, I told one of my teachers this dilemma. How could this be possible? Somebody ought to do something about it!
And that was when it hit me.
“I can do something about it.”
With that statement, my teacher, and little direction, I set off on this journey to fulfill this dream.
OLD ROUGH AND READY
When I was younger, I had known about Zachary Taylor, but only vaguely. The only thing that I knew about him was that he died after eating cherries and milk in the White House. At that point, I didn’t know of his intangible leadership skills, devotion to his country, and growth in office as the leader of a nation tearing at the seams. There was so much for me to learn, and I was just waiting to get started.
I immediately started doing as much research as humanly possible about Taylor. I bought multiple biographies and reached out to people that had some expertise in our twelfth president. As I learned more and more, I became enthralled by Zachary Taylor. American historians often think less of him because of his inability to accomplish many things during his short term as president, but in reality he was so much more of a leader than anyone gave him credit for today. As a matter of fact, it is of my opinion that had Taylor lived, the Civil War may have been averted.
Over these past four years, I have had a lot of knowledge about Old Rough and Ready pent up, kicking it around in my mind and occasionally boring my friends with stories of battles, honor, and courage. Now, with a few people supporting my efforts and a head full of steam, I want to bring Taylor’s story to the public and fill a large gap in American history.
The motive to create this website comes from my desire to spread the stories of patriotism and character that define Zachary Taylor and educate the public about someone that has been unfortunately overlooked by American history. When history is presented correctly, it is the most interesting thing we can study. We can connect the stories that we read and hear to our own lives. We can learn about the challenges that they faced and how they overcame them. The historic sites that I have visited bring our presidents to life, and as a physical historic site for Taylor is in the works, I want to ensure that he has a place where his story can be told.
On our Zachary Taylor page, you can read an abbreviated biography of Taylor’s life and read up on some fast facts. There will also be links on that page to sources will have some more information about our twelfth president. As time progresses, the Blog page will periodically present new and unique stories about Old Rough and Ready, his life and times, and his contemporaries. On our Store page, we will strive to create merchandise which helps to tell the story of Zachary Taylor with designs that are culturally relevant. We also value your input - if there is a way that we can make the experience better, feel free to reach out to us on our Contact page. We will also be posting content on Facebook and Instagram at the handle @thezacharytaylorproject. Other things will be coming soon, and we will make sure to keep you updated on our ventures.
Cameron Coyle is a high schooler from New Jersey. He is the founder and visionary of the Zachary Taylor Project. When he is not busy learning more about Zachary Taylor, he is involved in many different activities. He served as a campaign manager for his local town council election bid, and he is the Vice President of the Bipartisan Student Political Action Club at his school, where students discuss the political topics of the day. Last year, he was elected team captain of his lacrosse team, and he is verbally committed to play goalie at Yale University. He plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in either political science or history.
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL ENTERPRISE
Daniel Weiss serves as the Director of Digital Enterprise of the Zachary Taylor Project. His roles include the oversight of all marketing materials and the direction of the Project social media pages. Daniel is the President and a founding member of the Bipartisan Student Political Action Club. He plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and eventually plans to earn a Juris Doctorate and be admitted to his state Bar association.