US Presidents
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U.S. Presidents
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George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William H. Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William H. Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama


Key Dates

 1880 Millard Fillmore was born in Cayuga County New York.

1826 He married Abigail Powers.

1828 Fillmore was elected to three one year terms in the New York Assembly.

1832 Millard Fillmore was elected to the House of Representatives.

1848 Zachary Taylor was elected President and Millard Fillmore Vice President.

1850 Fillmore became President after President Taylor dies unexpectedly.

1852 Fillmore lost the presidential election to Franklin Pierce.

1853 President Fillmore sent Commodore Perry to Japan to establish trade pacts.

1852 After three days of voting Millard lost the nomination for a second presidential term.

1853 His wife Abigail died.

1858 Millard marries a wealth widow, Caroline McIntosh.

1866 On a tour of Europe with his wife he met President Andrew Johnson.

1874 Millard Fillmore died on March 8.



 

Millard Fillmore
1850 - 1853
Thirteenth President

Millard Fillmore was born on January 7, 1800 in Cayaga County, New York. He was the last president born in the 18th century.

Millard was his mother's maiden name. He was the second of nine children.

He was one of four Presidents born in New York State (As of 2013). He was also one of six Presidents born in a log cabin. He was born in poverty and had little education. He was mostly self taught.

His father apprenticed him to a textile mile. He learned about wool carding and cloth dressing.

Fillmore married his teacher, Abigail Powers, who was 2 years older than her husband. Abigail arranged for the purchase of the first cooking stove in the White House. But the cook couldn't figure out how to work the stove, so the president went to the U.S. Patent Office, read the patent for the stove, and went back to the White House and taught the cook how to use it. Abigail also set up the first White House library and had the first bathtub installed.

Until he was 17, he had read little besides the Bible.

He was 6' tall.

He was in the military, but saw no action.

Millard Fillmore did not drink, gamble or smoke.

His was a fisherman. While he was working as a fisherman his ship was capture by pirates. After several months of forced labor he and the other fisherman recaptured their ship. The pirates were taken to Boston where they were hanged.

Millard Fillmore was a founding member of the Buffalo Chapter of he American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.



He belonged to the Whig Political Party.

Millard Fillmore was admitted to the bar (became a lawyer) at age 23.

In 1828, he won election to the New York State Assembly.

In 1832, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1836, 1838, and 1840.

Millard Fillmore ran for Vice President under Henry Clay. Clay and Fillmore were defeated in the election by Polk.

Millard Fillmore was Vice President under Zachary Taylor in 1848. Taylor and Fillmore had never met until Fillmore was nominated.

He supported colonization (sending blacks back to Africa) but no one knew that until later.

As vice president he had little power. He could handout very few favors. He failed to get a friends son into West Point and had only a few patronage positions to fill. Patronage is when a political person has the right to fill jobs with there friends or supporters.

When he was Vice President he lived at the Willard Hotel. His wife came to Washington but quickly returned to Buffalo leaving her husband alone with few friends.

President Fillmore never ran for President. He became President after the death of Zachary Taylor. When Taylor died Millard was very grief stricken. He set the swearing in for noon the next day. The United States went a day and a half without a president. He was sworn into office on July 10, 1850.

Millard Fillmore was the first President to have a stepmother.

Fillmore did not give an inaugural address.


Millard Fillmore.
Brady, Mathew B., 1823 (ca.)-1896, photographer.
Library of Congress

Fillmore was the only "accidental president to remove the entire cabinet from office. (Secretary of State, Treasure, War etc.) Other vice president who became president due to a death of a president kept all of some of the cabinet.

Fillmore appointed Daniel Webster Secretary of State. Webster was very passionate about enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act. It was one of the most repressive acts ever passed.

When the Library of Congress burned in 1851, Fillmore and his Cabinet helped fight the blaze.

Fillmore tried to avoid the slavery issue. He disliked the abolitionist and tried not to take a stand on slavery. He was anti Catholic and anti immigrant.

Fillmore was president when California (1850) became a state.

Millard Fillmore supported building Great Lake lighthouses and improving harbors and river systems.

In 1852, Fillmore lost the nomination for president to Winfield Scott on the 53 ballot of the whig Convention. His chance were hurt by his Secretary of State who also ran for president and took votes away from Fillmore.

Abigail died less than a month after he had left office. Abigail had caught a cold at Pierces inauguration. She was buried in Washington, D.C.

His daughter Mary died two years later.

He married again in 1858.

Fillmore served as chancellor of the University of Buffalo.

Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln spent a night at Fillmore's mansion in Buffalo. They were on there trip to Washington and Lincoln's inauguration.

When Great Britain's Oxford University offered him an honorary degree, he replied that he had done nothing to deserve the honor and would not accept the degree.

Millard Fillmore died in Buffalo, New York, on March 8, 1874. He was 74 years and 60 days old. He is buried in Forest Lawn, Buffalo, New York.

Quotes:

"The man who can look upon a crisis without being willing to offer himself upon the altar of his country is not fit for public trust." July 10, 1850

"It is better to wear out than rust out."

 

Topics


NEW Facts about the Inaugurations

Nicknames for the Presidents

First Ladies

Presidents who died in office

Assassinations and Assassination Attempts

Vice Presidents who became Presidents

Presidential Salaries

Oldest living Presidents

Presidents' Military Service

Preidential Timeline of Key Dates

Books about U.S. President

Pets of the Presidents

Chronlogical (by Year) Order
Of the Presidents.

 



Sources:

The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/

Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004

James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002

Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.

McCullough, Noah, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia. Random House, USA, 2006

Pine, Joslyn, Presidential Wit and Wisdom: Memorable Quotes from George Washington to Barack Obama . Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2009

Huffington Post web site.

Lang, Stephen, The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 2011

O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011

St. George, Judith In the Line of Fire: Presidents' Lives at Stake , Scholastic Inc. New York, 2001

In addition to these books, I have also read and have used information from those listed on my Books About President page.

 

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For comments or corrections email jim@anewadventure.org.