Richard Taylor, Soldier Prince of Dixie

Richard Taylor, Soldier Prince of Dixie

Richard Taylor, Soldier Prince of Dixie

Richard Taylor, Soldier Prince of Dixie


The only son of President Zachary Taylor and the brother-in-law of Jefferson Davis, Richard Taylor (1826-79) epitomized the ideals of the Old South, graduating from Yale to become a prominent Louisiana sugar planter and influential politician.


Oh! no, sir, I'd rather be free!

William, one of Richard Taylor's slaves

Owing fundamentally to his father's personal guidance and financial legacy, Richard Taylor had gained enough confidence to manage Fashion by himself. By channeling his independent temperament and energetic mind into serious work, he would soon accustom himself to the rigors of complete ownership. His periodic bouts with severe illness, rather than discouraging him, only seemed to harden his will to succeed on his own.

Thanks also to his father, Dick had experienced a first-class education, an advantage that spurred within him a lofty self-image to match his determination. Hardly satisfied to settle down to business alone, he had achieved considerable social standing among the South's plantation aristocracy. His father's frontier-style crustiness and outward humility had left no impression upon Dick. Now a gentleman planter in the region of Dixie that boasted the largest per capita wealth in the nation, he would not be mistaken for a common farmer as his father often had been. One of his socially sophisticated friends later observed, "Dick Taylor had a magnetic personality, which overshadowed the fact [that] he was the only son of . . . the President." His intellect and polished manners and his heritage--the aristocratic colonial Virginia heritage the old family slaves had . . .

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