(1784-1850) During the Mexican War, he scored two quick victories against Mexico, which made him very popular in America. President Polk chose him as the commander in charge of the war. However, after he was not put in charge of the campaign to capture Mexico City, he chose to return home. Later he used his popularity from his military victories to be elected the president as a member of the Whig party. Zachary Taylor was a general during the Mexican War. President James K. Polk chose him to be the commander in charge of the war. When Polk did not put him in charge of the campaign to capture Mexico City, he returned home to Louisiana. Later he decided to run for president and won. While in office, he worked toward the abolition of slavery. He encouraged the states of California and New Mexico to draft constitutions and apply for statehood, knowing that both states would become Free states. He was right, and this made the southern states angry with him, because they viewed this as his betrayal of them. Taylor died of Cholera Morbus after only 16 months in office. His successor was his Vice President Millard Fillmore.