The Zachary Taylor Oak is a massive live oak tree located at the southeast corner of South Pearl Street and Bay Street in Rockport. This tree marks the spot where Brig. Gen. Zachary Taylor, with three companies of United States occupation forces headed for the Rio Grande, camped with his men on August 1, 1845. A landing party had visited nearby St. Joseph's (San José) Island on July 26, and had officially planted the United States stars and stripes for the first time in Texas. Low water in Aransas Bay barred a landing by the steamer Alabama, which had brought the force from Louisiana. Even the lighter steamer Undine ran aground when Taylor and two companies of his men attempted to land. On the evening of August 1, a fleet of fishing boats rescued Taylor and his stranded men and transported them to the mainland, where they camped under the oak tree. Later Taylor and his men made a successful landing at Corpus Christi.
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John A. Haislet, ed., Famous Trees of Texas (College Station: Texas Forest Service, 1970; 3d ed. 1984).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
John A. Haislet,
“Zachary Taylor Oak,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 03, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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