Millard Fillmore (1800 - 1874) MP

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Nicknames: "President /Fillmore/"
Birthplace: Loke Township, (now Summerhill), Cayga County, New York, United States
Death: Died in Buffalo, New York, United States
Occupation: 13th President of the United States, President of the United States, US President and Lawyer, Teacher, Attorney, NY Controller, Vice President, 13th President(1850-1853), 13th U.S. President, President of the United States (#13), 13th President of the USA
Managed by: William F. Aimone
Last Updated:

About Millard Fillmore

13th United States President. He was born in upstate New York in Cayuga County the second of eight children to such an impoverished family that they could not even afford to feed him. His father apprenticed (indentured servant) him to a cloth maker at age fifteen, so brutal it stopped just short of slavery. Millard Fillmore taught himself to read by stealing books. He finally managed to accumulate thirty dollars to pay the obligation to his master and was free. He was obsessed with an education. He managed to enroll in a nearby town school where a fellow student was Abigail Powers. She began to tutor him while encouraging him to study law. She began teaching school and Millard Fillmore began a courtship which ended in marriage. He received a clerkship with a local judge then attained prosperity with his own law practice in Buffalo becoming interested in politics. First a Congressman, then State comptroller. Vice President under Zachary Taylor, he gained the Presidency with his death. President Fillmore was very effective in his one term. Stuck with the omnibus bill that became known as the Compromise of 1850 was passed: It would admit California as a free state, organize New Mexico and Utah as Territories and re-adjust the disputed boundary between Texas and New Mexico. It also established a Fugitive Slave Law that guaranteed that runaway slaves apprehended would be returned to their owners. On the international stage, Fillmore dispatched Commodore Perry to "open" Japan to western trade. His enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law in the Northern states became his downfall. Disgruntled Northerns denied him the nomination for a second term. Tragedy struck - He and Abigail lingered in Washington to attend the outdoor inauguration of his successor President Pierce. Abigail became chilled, developed pneumonia and died. He returned to Buffalo and his mansion on Niagara Square. Millard Fillmore remarried, this time a wealthy middle aged widow. During his retirement years, he was active on behalf of animals. The year before his death, Fillmore founded the Buffalo chapter of the SPCA while lobbying for passage of a national law to prevent cruelty to animals which was enacted. While shaving, he suffered a paralytic stroke and did not recover. Death came to him at age 74. His funeral was held at his mansion and a procession took him to Forest Lawn Cemetery. Both his wives and a daughter are interred with him. Fillmore Glen State Park, Moravia, New York - His birthplace Log Cabin was torn down but the Millard Fillmore Memorial Association used materials from a similar cabin to construct a replica. It is located in a 900 acre park with five waterfalls with a deep limestone and shale glen. The Millard Fillmore Home located in East Aurora, New York was the home he built for his first wife. It is a repository for many Fillmore artifacts including a carriage barn which contains a sleigh used by the family. The site is maintained by the Aurora Historical Society and has restored the property to its original condition. The John Hollister house was the Presidents last residence. It was the grandest of Buffalo's Gothic homes. This is the place of his death and where his funeral was held. However, it was demolished during World War I and replaced by the Statler Hotel. Finally, Millard Fillmore was honored by the city of Buffalo with the erection of a huge statue sculpted by Bryant Baker which is located next to the City Hall on Niagara Square which was opposite the location of the Fillmore Home. -------------------- Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) 13th President of the United States of America Made president after the sudden death of President Taylor, Vice-President Millard Fillmore made his mark on the country by signing the Compromise of 1850 in an effort to avoid Civil War.

Biography: a Representative from New York, Vice President and 13th President of the United States; born in Locke Township (now Summerhill), Cayuga County, N.Y., January 7, 1800; reared on a farm; largely self-taught; apprenticed to a clothier; taught school in Buffalo while studying law; admitted to the bar in 1823 and commenced practice in East Aurora, N.Y.; moved to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1830; member, State assembly 1829-1831; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-third Congress (March 4, 1833-March 3, 1835); elected to the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, and Twen-ty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1837-March 3, 1843); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1842; unsuccessful Whig candidate for Governor in 1844; State comptroller 1847-1849; elected Vice President of the United States on the Whig ticket headed by Zachary Taylor in 1848, and was inaugurated March 4, 1849; became President upon the death of President Taylor and served from July 10, 1850, to March 3, 1853; unsuccessful candidate for the Whig nomination for president in 1852; unsuccessful candidate for president on the National American ticket in 1856; commanded a corps of home guards during the Civil War; traveled extensively; died in Buffalo, N.Y., March 8, 1874; interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery.|Bibliography: Rayback, Robert J. Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President. Buffalo: Buffalo Historical Society, 1959. -------------------- Millard Fillmore

In his rise from a log cabin to wealth and the White House, Millard Fillmore demonstrated that through methodical industry and some competence an uninspiring man could make the American dream come true.

Born in the Finger Lakes country of New York in 1800, Fillmore as a youth endured the privations of frontier life. He worked on his father's farm, and at 15 was apprenticed to a cloth dresser. He attended one-room schools, and fell in love with the redheaded teacher, Abigail Powers, who later became his wife.

In 1823 he was admitted to the bar; seven years later he moved his law practice to Buffalo. As an associate of the Whig politician Thurlow Weed, Fillmore held state office and for eight years was a member of the House of Representatives. In 1848, while Comptroller of New York, he was elected Vice President. .

Fillmore presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850. He made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before President Taylor's death, he intimated to him that if there should be a tie vote on Henry Clay's bill, he would vote in favor of it.

Thus the sudden accession of Fillmore to the Presidency in July 1850 brought an abrupt political shift in the administration. Taylor's Cabinet resigned and President Fillmore at once appointed Daniel Webster to be Secretary of State, thus proclaiming his alliance with the moderate Whigs who favored the Compromise.

A bill to admit California still aroused all the violent arguments for and against the extension of slavery, without any progress toward settling the major issues.

Clay, exhausted, left Washington to recuperate, throwing leadership upon Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. At this critical juncture, President Fillmore announced in favor of the Compromise. On August 6, 1850, he sent a message to Congress recommending that Texas be paid to abandon her claims to part of New Mexico.

This helped influence a critical number of northern Whigs in Congress away from their insistence upon the Wilmot Proviso--the stipulation that all land gained by the Mexican War must be closed to slavery.

Douglas's effective strategy in Congress combined with Fillmore's pressure from the White House to give impetus to the Compromise movement. Breaking up Clay's single legislative package, Douglas presented five separate bills to the Senate:

  1. Admit California as a free state.
  2. Settle the Texas boundary and compensate her.
  3. Grant territorial status to New Mexico.
  4. Place Federal officers at the disposal of slaveholders seeking fugitives.
  5. Abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia.

Each measure obtained a majority, and by September 20, President Fillmore had signed them into law. Webster wrote, "I can now sleep of nights."

Some of the more militant northern Whigs remained irreconcilable, refusing to forgive Fillmore for having signed the Fugitive Slave Act. They helped deprive him of the Presidential nomination in 1852.

Within a few years it was apparent that although the Compromise had been intended to settle the slavery controversy, it served rather as an uneasy sectional truce.

As the Whig Party disintegrated in the 1850's, Fillmore refused to join the Republican Party; but, instead, in 1856 accepted the nomination for President of the Know Nothing, or American, Party. Throughout the Civil War he opposed President Lincoln and during Reconstruction supported President Johnson. He died in 1874. . On February 10, 1858, he married a widow Mrs. Caroline Carmichael McIntosh. The two bought a home at 52 Niagara Street in Buffalo, New York where Fillmore would live for the rest of his life. . He died at 11:10 p.m. on March 8, 1874, of the after-effects of a stroke, with his last words alleged to be, upon being fed some soup, "the nourishment is palatable." On January 7 each year, a ceremony is held at his grave site in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millard_Fillmore -------------------- Millard Fillmore was the 13th president of the United States. -------------------- Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He was the second Vice President to assume the Presidency upon the death of a sitting President, succeeding Zachary Taylor who died of acute gastroenteritis. Fillmore was never elected President; after serving out Taylor's term, he failed to gain the nomination for the Presidency of the Whigs in the 1852 presidential election, and, four years later, in the 1856 presidential election, he again failed to win election as President as the Know Nothing Party and Whig candidate. -------------------- Millard Fillmore (pronounced /ˈmɪlɚd ˈfɪlmɔər/; January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He was the second Vice President to assume the Presidency upon the death of a sitting President, succeeding Zachary TaylEarly life and career

Fillmore was born in a log cabin in Cayuga County in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, to Nathaniel Fillmore and Phoebe Millard, as the second of nine children and the eldest son.[1] (As this was three weeks after George Washington's death, Fillmore was the first U.S. President born after the death of a former president.) Though a Unitarian in later life,[2] Fillmore was descended from Scottish Presbyterians on his father's side and English dissenters on his mother's. His father apprenticed him to a brutal cloth maker in Sparta, New York, at age fourteen to learn the cloth-making trade. He left after four months but subsequently took another apprenticeship in the same trade at New Hope, New York. He struggled to obtain an education under frontier conditions, attending New Hope Academy for six months in 1819. Later that same year, he began to clerk for Judge Walter Wood of Montville, New York, under whom Fillmore began to study law.

He fell in love with Abigail Powers, whom he met while at New Hope Academy and later married on February 26, 1826. The couple had two children, Millard Powers Fillmore and Mary Abigail Fillmore. After leaving Wood and buying out his apprenticeship, Fillmore moved to Buffalo, New York, where he continue his studies in the law office of Asa Rice and Joseph Clary. He was admitted to the bar in 1823 and began his law practice in East Aurora. In 1834, he formed a law partnership, Fillmore and Hall (becoming Fillmore, Hall and Haven in 1836), with his good friend Nathan K. Hall (who would later serve in his cabinet as Postmaster General).[3] It would become one of western New York's most prestigious firms.[4]

In 1846, he founded the private University of Buffalo, which today is the public State University of New York at Buffalo (UB, University at Buffalo), the largest school in the New York state university system.

His military service was limited. He served in the New York militia during the Mexican War of 1846 and during the American Civil War.

Politics Engraving of Millard Fillmore Engraving of Millard Fillmore

In 1828, Fillmore was elected to the New York State Assembly on the Anti-Masonic ticket, serving for one term, from 1829 to 1831. He was later elected as a Whig (having followed his mentor Thurlow Weed into the party) to the 23rd Congress in 1832, serving from 1833 to 1835. He was re-elected in 1836 to the 25th Congress, to the 26th and to the 27th Congresses serving from 1837 to 1843, declining to be a candidate for re-nomination in 1842.

In Congress, he opposed the entrance of Texas as a slave territory. He came in second place in the bid for Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1841. He served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 1841 to 1843 and was an author of the Tariff of 1842, as well as two other bills that President John Tyler vetoed.

After leaving Congress, Fillmore was the unsuccessful Whig candidate for Governor of New York in 1844. He was the first New York State Comptroller elected by general ballot, and was in office from 1848 to 1849. As state comptroller, he revised New York's banking system, making it a model for the future National Banking System.

[edit] Vice Presidency 1849–1850

At the Whig national convention in 1848, the nomination of Gen. Zachary Taylor for president angered the supporters of Henry Clay as well as the opponents of slavery extension into the territory gained by the U.S.-Mexican War. A group of practical Whig politicians nominated Fillmore for vice president, believing that he would heal party wounds and help the ticket carry New York state. Taylor/Fillmore campaign poster Taylor/Fillmore campaign poster

Having worked his way up through the Whig Party in New York, Fillmore was selected as Taylor's running mate. It was thought that the obscure, self-made candidate from New York would complement Taylor, a slave-holding military man from the south.

Fillmore was also selected in part to block New York state machine boss Thurlow Weed from receiving the vice presidential nomination (and his front man William H. Seward from receiving a position in Taylor's cabinet). Weed ultimately got Seward elected to the senate. This competition between Seward and Fillmore led to Seward's becoming a more vocal part of cabinet meetings and having more of a voice than Fillmore in advising the administration. The battle would continue even after Taylor's death.

Taylor and Fillmore disagreed on the slavery issue in the new western territories taken from Mexico in the Mexican-American War. Taylor wanted the new states to be free states, while Fillmore supported slavery in those states as a means of appeasing the South. In his own words: "God knows that I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil... and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution."

Fillmore presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850. During one debate, Senator Henry S. Foote of Mississippi pulled a pistol on Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. Fillmore made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before President Taylor's death, Fillmore suggested to the president that, should there be a tie vote on Henry Clay's bill, he would vote in favor of the North.

[edit] Presidency 1850–1853

[edit] Policies Official White House portrait of Millard Fillmore Official White House portrait of Millard Fillmore

Fillmore ascended to the presidency upon the sudden and unexpected death of President Taylor in July 1850. The change in leadership also signaled an abrupt political shift as Fillmore appointed his own cabinet. Taylor, himself, had been about to replace his entire scandal-ridden cabinet at the time of his death,[5] but now, beginning with the appointment of Daniel Webster as Secretary of State, Fillmore's cabinet would be dominated by individuals who, with the exception of Treasury Secretary Thomas Corwin, favored what would come to be called the Compromise of 1850.

As president, Fillmore dealt with increasing party divisions within the Whig party; party harmony became one of his primary objectives. He tried to unite the party by pointing out the differences between the Whigs and the Democrats (by proposing tariff reforms that negatively reflected on the Democratic Party). Another primary objective of Fillmore was to preserve the Union from the intensifying slavery debate.

Henry Clay's proposed bill to admit California to the Union still aroused all the violent arguments for and against the extension of slavery without any progress toward settling the major issues (the South continued to threaten secession). Fillmore recognized that Clay's plan was the best way to end the sectional crisis (California free state, harsher fugitive slave law, abolish slave trade in DC). Clay, exhausted, left Washington to recuperate, passing leadership to Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. At this critical juncture, President Fillmore announced his support of the Compromise of 1850.

On August 6, 1850, he sent a message to Congress recommending that Texas be paid to abandon its claims to part of New Mexico. This, combined with his mobilization of 750 Federal troops to New Mexico, helped shift a critical number of northern Whigs in Congress away from their insistence upon the Wilmot Proviso—the stipulation that all land gained by the Mexican War must be closed to slavery.

Douglas's effective strategy in Congress combined with Fillmore's pressure gave impetus to the Compromise movement. Breaking up Clay's single legislative package, Douglas presented five separate bills to the Senate:

   * Admit California as a free state.
   * Settle the Texas boundary and compensate the state for lost lands.
   * Grant territorial status to New Mexico.
   * Place federal officers at the disposal of slaveholders seeking escapees—the Fugitive Slave Act.
   * Abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia.

Portrait of Millard Fillmore Portrait of Millard Fillmore

Each measure obtained a majority, and, by September 20, President Fillmore had signed them into law. Webster wrote, "I can now sleep of nights." Whigs on both sides refused to accept the finality of Fillmore's law (which led to more party division, and a loss of numerous elections), which forced Northern Whigs to say "God Save us from Whig Vice Presidents."

Fillmore's greatest difficulty with the fugitive slave law was how to enforce it without seeming to show favor towards Southern Whigs. His solution was to appease both northern and southern Whigs by calling for the enforcement of the fugitive slave law in the North, and enforcing in the South a law forbidding involvement in Cuba (for the sole purpose of adding it as a slave state).

Another issue that presented itself during Fillmore's presidency was the arrival of Lajos Kossuth (exiled leader of a failed Hungarian revolution). Kossuth wanted the United States to abandon its non-intervention policies when it came to European affairs and recognize Hungary’s independence. The problem came with the enormous support Kossuth received from German-American immigrants to the United States (who were essential in the re-election of both Whigs and Democrats). Fillmore refused to change American policy, and decided to remain neutral despite the political implications that neutrality would produce.

Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as the first governor of the Utah Territory in 1850.[6] Utah now contains a city and county named after Millard Fillmore.

Another important legacy of Fillmore's administration was the sending of Commodore Matthew C. Perry to open Japan to Western trade, though Perry did not reach Japan until Franklin Pierce had replaced Fillmore as president. A less dramatic legacy is that Fillmore, a bookworm, found the White House devoid of books and initiated the White House library. -------------------- Millard Fillmore was the 13th president of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853. He was the last member of the Whig Party to hold office. -------------------- Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. He was the second Vice President to assume the Presidency upon the death of a sitting President, succeeding Zachary Taylor who died of what is thought to be acute gastroenteritis or hyperthermia (heat stroke). Fillmore was never elected President; after serving out Taylor's term, he failed to gain the nomination for the Presidency of the Whigs in the 1852 presidential election, and, four years later, in the 1856 presidential election, he again failed to win election as the Know Nothing Party and Whig candidate.

Fillmore was born in a log cabin in Cayuga County in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, to Nathaniel Fillmore and Phoebe Millard, as the second of nine children and the eldest son.[1] (As this was three weeks after George Washington's death, Fillmore was the first U.S. President born after the death of a former president.) Though a Unitarian in later life,[2] Fillmore was descended from Scottish Presbyterians on his father's side and English dissenters on his mother's. His father apprenticed him to a brutal cloth maker in Sparta, New York, at age fourteen to learn the cloth-making trade. He left after four months but subsequently took another apprenticeship in the same trade at New Hope, New York. He struggled to obtain an education under frontier conditions, attending New Hope Academy for six months in 1819. Later that same year, he began to clerk for Judge Walter Wood of Montville, New York, under whom Fillmore began to study law.


He fell in love with Abigail Powers, whom he met while at New Hope Academy and later married on February 26, 1826. The couple had two children, Millard Powers Fillmore and Mary Abigail Fillmore. After leaving Wood and buying out his apprenticeship, Fillmore moved to Buffalo, New York, where he continue his studies in the law office of Asa Rice and Joseph Clary. He was admitted to the bar in 1823 and began his law practice in East Aurora. In 1834, he formed a law partnership, Fillmore and Hall (becoming Fillmore, Hall and Haven in 1836), with his good friend Nathan K. Hall (who would later serve in his cabinet as Postmaster General). It would become one of western New York's most prestigious firms.

In 1846, he founded the private University of Buffalo, which today is the public State University of New York at Buffalo (UB, University at Buffalo), the largest school in the New York state university system.

His military service was limited. He served in the New York militia during the Mexican War of 1846 and during the American Civil War.

In 1828, Fillmore was elected to the New York State Assembly on the Anti-Masonic ticket, serving for one term, from 1829 to 1831. He was later elected as a Whig (having followed his mentor Thurlow Weed into the party) to the 23rd Congress in 1832, serving from 1833 to 1835. He was re-elected in 1836 to the 25th Congress, to the 26th and to the 27th Congresses serving from 1837 to 1843, declining to be a candidate for re-nomination in 1842.

In Congress, he opposed the entrance of Texas as a slave territory. He came in second place in the bid for Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1841. He served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 1841 to 1843 and was an author of the Tariff of 1842, as well as two other bills that President John Tyler vetoed.

After leaving Congress, Fillmore was the unsuccessful Whig candidate for Governor of New York in 1844. He was the first New York State Comptroller elected by general ballot, and was in office from 1848 to 1849. As state comptroller, he revised New York's banking system, making it a model for the future National Banking System.

At the Whig national convention in 1848, the nomination of Gen. Zachary Taylor for president angered the supporters of Henry Clay as well as the opponents of slavery extension into the territory gained by the U.S.-Mexican War. A group of practical Whig politicians nominated Fillmore for vice president, believing that he would heal party wounds and help the ticket carry New York state.

Having worked his way up through the Whig Party in New York, Fillmore was selected as Taylor's running mate. It was thought that the obscure, self-made candidate from New York would complement Taylor, a slave-holding military man from the south.

Fillmore was also selected in part to block New York state machine boss Thurlow Weed from receiving the vice presidential nomination (and his front man William H. Seward from receiving a position in Taylor's cabinet). Weed ultimately got Seward elected to the senate. This competition between Seward and Fillmore led to Seward's becoming a more vocal part of cabinet meetings and having more of a voice than Fillmore in advising the administration. The battle would continue even after Taylor's death.


Taylor/Fillmore campaign posterTaylor and Fillmore disagreed on the slavery issue in the new western territories taken from Mexico in the Mexican-American War. Taylor wanted the new states to be free states, while Fillmore supported slavery in those states as a means of appeasing the South. In his own words: "God knows that I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil... and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution."

Fillmore presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850. During one debate, Senator Henry S. Foote of Mississippi pulled a pistol on Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. Fillmore made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before President Taylor's death, Fillmore suggested to the president that, should there be a tie vote on Henry Clay's bill, he would vote in favor of the North.

Fillmore ascended to the presidency upon the sudden and unexpected death of President Taylor in July 1850. The change in leadership also signaled an abrupt political shift as Fillmore appointed his own cabinet. Taylor, himself, had been about to replace his entire scandal-ridden cabinet at the time of his death,[5] but now, beginning with the appointment of Daniel Webster as Secretary of State, Fillmore's cabinet would be dominated by individuals who, with the exception of Treasury Secretary Thomas Corwin, favored what would come to be called the Compromise of 1850.

As president, Fillmore dealt with increasing party divisions within the Whig party; party harmony became one of his primary objectives. He tried to unite the party by pointing out the differences between the Whigs and the Democrats (by proposing tariff reforms that negatively reflected on the Democratic Party). Another primary objective of Fillmore was to preserve the Union from the intensifying slavery debate.

Henry Clay's proposed bill to admit California to the Union still aroused all the violent arguments for and against the extension of slavery without any progress toward settling the major issues (the South continued to threaten secession). Fillmore recognized that Clay's plan was the best way to end the sectional crisis (California free state, harsher fugitive slave law, abolish slave trade in DC). Clay, exhausted, left Washington to recuperate, passing leadership to Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. At this critical juncture, President Fillmore announced his support of the Compromise of 1850.

On August 6, 1850, he sent a message to Congress recommending that Texas be paid to abandon its claims to part of New Mexico. This, combined with his mobilization of 750 Federal troops to New Mexico, helped shift a critical number of northern Whigs in Congress away from their insistence upon the Wilmot Proviso—the stipulation that all land gained by the Mexican War must be closed to slavery.

Douglas's effective strategy in Congress combined with Fillmore's pressure gave impetus to the Compromise movement. Breaking up Clay's single legislative package, Douglas presented five separate bills to the Senate:

Admit California as a free state. Settle the Texas boundary and compensate the state for lost lands. Grant territorial status to New Mexico. Place federal officers at the disposal of slaveholders seeking escapees—the Fugitive Slave Act. Abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia.


Each measure obtained a majority, and, by September 20, President Fillmore had signed them into law. Webster wrote, "I can now sleep of nights." Whigs on both sides refused to accept the finality of Fillmore's law (which led to more party division, and a loss of numerous elections), which forced Northern Whigs to say "God Save us from Whig Vice Presidents."

Fillmore's greatest difficulty with the fugitive slave law was how to enforce it without seeming to show favor towards Southern Whigs. His solution was to appease both northern and southern Whigs by calling for the enforcement of the fugitive slave law in the North, and enforcing in the South a law forbidding involvement in Cuba (for the sole purpose of adding it as a slave state).

Another issue that presented itself during Fillmore's presidency was the arrival of Lajos Kossuth (exiled leader of a failed Hungarian revolution). Kossuth wanted the United States to abandon its non-intervention policies when it came to European affairs and recognize Hungary's independence. The problem came with the enormous support Kossuth received from German-American immigrants to the United States (who were essential in the re-election of both Whigs and Democrats). Fillmore refused to change American policy, and decided to remain neutral despite the political implications that neutrality would produce.

Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as the first governor of the Utah Territory in 1850. Utah now contains a city and county named after Millard Fillmore.

Another important legacy of Fillmore's administration was the sending of Commodore Matthew C. Perry to open Japan to Western trade, though Perry did not reach Japan until Franklin Pierce had replaced Fillmore as president. A less dramatic legacy is that Fillmore, a bookworm, found the White House devoid of books and initiated the White House library.

President Millard Fillmore 1850–1853 Vice President None 1850–1853


Secretary of State Daniel Webster 1850–1852 Edward Everett 1852–1853


Secretary of Treasury Thomas Corwin 1850–1853


Secretary of War Charles M. Conrad 1850–1853


Attorney General John J. Crittenden 1850–1853


Postmaster General Nathan K. Hall 1850–1852 Samuel D. Hubbard 1852–1853


Secretary of the Navy William A. Graham 1850–1852 John P. Kennedy 1852–1853


Secretary of the Interior Thomas M. T. McKennan 1850 Alexander H. H. Stuart 1850–1853

Supreme Court appointments Fillmore appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Benjamin Robbins Curtis - 1851 (Associate Justice)

States admitted to the Union California – September 9, 1850

Fillmore was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo. The school was chartered by an act of the New York State Legislature on May 11, 1846, and at first was only a medical school. Fillmore was the first Chancellor, a position he maintained while both Vice President and President. Upon completing his presidency, Fillmore returned to Buffalo, where he continued to serve as chancellor.

After the death of his daughter Mary, Fillmore went abroad. While touring Europe in 1855, Fillmore was offered an honorary Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) degree by the University of Oxford. Fillmore turned down the honor, explaining that he had neither the "literary nor scientific attainment" to justify the degree. He is also quoted as having explained that he "lacked the benefit of a classical education" and could not, therefore, understand the Latin text of the diploma, adding that he believed "no man should accept a degree he cannot read."

By 1856, Fillmore's Whig Party had ceased to exist, having fallen apart due to dissension over the slavery issue, and especially the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Fillmore refused to join the new Republican Party, where many former Whigs, including Abraham Lincoln, had found refuge. Instead, Fillmore joined the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Party, the political organ of the Know-Nothing movement.

He ran in the election of 1856 as the party's presidential candidate, attempting to win a non-consecutive second term as President (a feat accomplished only once in American politics, by Grover Cleveland). His running mate was Andrew Jackson Donelson, nephew of former president Andrew Jackson. Fillmore and Donelson finished third, carrying only the state of Maryland and its eight electoral votes; but he won 21.6% of the popular vote, one of the best showings ever by a Presidential third-party candidate.

On February 10, 1858, after the death of his first wife, Fillmore married Caroline McIntosh, a wealthy widow. Their combined wealth allowed them to purchase a big house in Buffalo, New York. The house became the center of hospitality for visitors, until her health began to decline in the 1860s.

Throughout the Civil War, Fillmore opposed President Lincoln and during Reconstruction supported President Johnson. He commanded the Union Continentals, a corps of home guards of males over the age of 45 from the Upstate New York area, during the Civil War.

He died at 11:10 p.m. on March 8, 1874, of the after-effects of a stroke. His last words were alleged to be, upon being fed some soup, "the nourishment is palatable." On January 7 each year, a ceremony is held at his grave site in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.


Some northern Whigs remained irreconcilable, refusing to forgive Fillmore for having signed the Fugitive Slave Act. They helped deprive him of the Presidential nomination in 1852. Within a few years it was apparent that although the Compromise had been intended to settle the slavery controversy, it served rather as an uneasy sectional truce. Robert J. Rayback argues that the appearance of a truce, at first, seemed very real as the country entered a period of prosperity that included the South. Although Fillmore, in retirement, continued to feel that conciliation with the South was necessary and considered that the Republican Party was at least partly responsible for the subsequent disunion, he was an outspoken critic of secession and was also critical of President Buchanan for not immediately taking military action when South Carolina seceded.

Benson Lee Grayson suggests that the skillful avoidance of potential problems by the Fillmore administration is too often overlooked. Fillmore's constant attention to Mexico avoided a resumption of the hostilities that had only broken off in 1848 and laid the groundwork for the Gadsen Treaty during Pierce's administration. Meanwhile, the Fillmore administration ironed out a serious dispute with Portugal left over from the Taylor administration, smoothed over a disagreement with Peru, and then peacefully resolved other disputes with England, France, and Spain over Cuba. At the height of this crisis, the Royal Navy had fired on an American ship while at the same time 160 Americans were being held captive in Spain. Fillmore and his State Department were able to resolve these crises without the United States going to war or losing face.

Because the Whig party was so deeply divided, and the two leading national figures in the Whig party (Fillmore and his own Secretary of State, Daniel Webster) refused to combine to secure the nomination, Winfield Scott received it. Because both the north and the south refused to unite behind Scott, he won only 4 of 31 states, and lost the election to Franklin Pierce.

After Fillmore's defeat the Whig party continued its downward spiral with further party division coming at the hands of the Kansas Nebraska Act, and the emergence of the Know Nothing party. -------------------- FILLMORE, Millard, a Representative from New York, Vice President and 13th President of the United States; born in Locke Township (now Summerhill), Cayuga County, N.Y., January 7, 1800; reared on a farm; largely self-taught; apprenticed to a clothier; taught school in Buffalo while studying law; admitted to the bar in 1823 and commenced practice in East Aurora, N.Y.; moved to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1830; member, State assembly 1829-1831; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-third Congress (March 4, 1833-March 3, 1835); elected to the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, and Twenty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1837-March 3, 1843); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1842; unsuccessful Whig candidate for Governor in 1844; State comptroller 1847-1849; elected Vice President of the United States on the Whig ticket headed by Zachary Taylor in 1848, and was inaugurated March 4, 1849; became President upon the death of President Taylor and served from July 10, 1850, to March 3, 1853; unsuccessful candidate for the Whig nomination for president in 1852; unsuccessful candidate for president on the National American ticket in 1856; commanded a corps of home guards during the Civil War; traveled extensively; died in Buffalo, N.Y., March 8, 1874; interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery. -------------------- Public Service: • Dates of Presidency: 7/10/1850 - 3/3/1853 • Presidency Number: 13 • Number of Terms: 1 • Why Presidency Ended: Not nominated • Party: Whig • His Vice President(s): None • Vice President For: Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) • House of Representatives: New York (1833-1835), New York (1837-1843) • State Legislative Service: NY (1829-1831) • Other Offices: Comptroller of New York

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He was born in a log cabin. founded the University of Buffalo.

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Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the USA's Timeline

1800
January 7, 1800
(now Summerhill), Cayga County, New York, United States
1826
February 5, 1826
Age 26
Mornvia, New York, United States
1828
April 25, 1828
Age 28
East Aurora, Cayuga, New York, USA
1832
March 27, 1832
Age 32
Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States
1849
March 4, 1849
Age 49
Washington D.C.
March 4, 1849
- July 9, 1850
Age 49
United States
1850
July 9, 1850
- March 4, 1853
Age 50
United States
July 9, 1850
Age 50
Washington D.C.
July 9, 1850
- March 4, 1853
Age 50
13th President of the United States
July 1850
- 1853
Age 50
United States of America