Millard Fillmore
Served 1850-1853 (became President upon the death of Taylor)

Millard Fillmore was born January 7, 1800, near Locke Township, Cayuga Country, New York, in a log cabin.

He married Abigail Powers on February 5, 1826. They had two children. She taught him to read, and he pursued his studies and became a lawyer.

Next PageAs Zachary Taylor‘s Whig Party Vice-President, in 1850, Fillmore was the second man to become President after the death of the preceding President. For his elegant tastes and love for reading and books, Fillmore became known as “The American Louis Philippe” (a King of France). His wife encouraged him to make many improvements to the White House and he built the first library there. Marking America’s westward expansion, California was admitted to the Union during Fillmore’s term as President.

The biggest issue of his term in office was slavery, which, as others before him, he tried to solve by making deals. One of these was the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the Union as a free state but included a law that all runaway slaves had to be returned to their owners.

Fillmore’s bid for the Whig Party nomination in 1852 fell to General Winfield Scott, but the Whigs were disorganized, and Scott’s opponent Franklin Pierce won the election.

In 1856, Fillmore ran for President as the candidate of the Know Nothing Party, but the only state he carried was Maryland.

His wife died shortly after they left the White House, and Fillmore spent his remaining years practicing law in Buffalo and then went into obscurity after marring a wealthy widow 13 years younger. He died March 8, 1874.

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1 Comment

  1. Claire Mclean
    November 19, 2013

    Claire Mclean
    November 17, 2013
    The Presidential Museums website is launched today, November 18th, and we are notifying as many people as we can to come on board and join the celebration. It is an important part of this web site to institute the CALENDAR feature and to keep it up to date with the direct input and co-operation of each Presidential Museum and Library starting with our dear “friend” and number 31 President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. We will be in touch with the Museums, asking for their help, this week so be on the look out for our call.
    This feature along with the monthly Calendar will also, we anticipate, act as a round robin and a chatter box about not just the Obama presidency, while we admit there is a lot to chat about there, but also involve all the presidencies. Joining in on the trivia, gossip, chatter and “twitter” will help make us all learned historians, so come on aboard and be our guest.
    Claire McLean,
    Founder and CEO


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