13th U.S. President: Millard Fillmore

About the thirteenth President of the United States Millard Fillmore, his birth, death, biography, description, facts and quotes.


Born: January 7, 1800, in a log cabin at Locke (today Summerhill), N.Y.

Died: March 8, 1874, in his home in Buffalo, N.Y. His last words, as he accepted a spoonful of soup from the doctor at his bedside: "The nourishment is palatable."

Career: Apprenticed to a wool-carder at 14, began his formal education at 19, clerk in a law office, practicing attorney, elected to State assembly, U.S. House of Representatives (chairman of Ways and Means Committee). Defeated candidate for governor of New York, elected State comptroller, Vice-President of U.S.

Personal Life: As a young man, Fillmore fell in love with his schoolmistress, Abigail Powers, an accomplished scholar and musician. Their courtship lasted 7 years, with the marriage postponed until Fillmore had established a prosperous law practice. Abigail died the year Fillmore left the White House, ending an unusually happy marriage. Five years later, at age 58, Fillmore married a wealthy widow.

His Person: About 5'9" tall, well-developed chest, deep voice, blue eyes. Noted for his handsome features and dignified bearing.

Election: In 1848, the Whigs nominated

Fillmore for the Vice-Presidency in an effort to balance the ticket. After winning a close election, and the sudden death of President Taylor, Fillmore found himself in the White House.

Term of Office: July 9, 1850-March 4, 1853 (2 years, 238 days).

Little-Known Facts: One of the heated controversies during Fillmore's term concerned the guano reserves off the coast of Peru. This seafowl excrement, which could be converted into valuable fertilizer, was a bone of contention between American businessmen and the Peruvian Government. Fillmore intervened in the dispute and negotiated a special treaty.

Quote from Fillmore:

"Where is the true-hearted American whose cheek does not tingle with shame to see our highest and most courted foreign missions filled by men of foreign birth to the exclusion of the native-born?"-During his unsuccessful "Know Nothing" campaign for the Presidency, 1856

Quote about Him:

"Whether to the nation or to the State, no service can or ever will be rendered by a more able or a more faithful public servant."-John Quincy Adams

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