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Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore
Order:13th President
Term of Office:July 9, 1850 - March 4, 1853
Followed:Zachary Taylor
Succeeded by:Franklin Pierce
Date of BirthJanuary 7, 1800
Place of Birth:Summerhill, New York
Date of Death:March 8, 1874
Place of Death:Buffalo, New York
Wife:Abigail Powers
First Ladies:Abigail Powers
Mary Abigail Fillmore (daughter)
Political Party:Whig
Vice President:none

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 - March 8, 1874) was the 13th (1850-1853) President of the United States.

Born in extreme poverty, he worked his way up through the Whig party, eventually being selected as Zachary 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. Nevertheless, the two men came to a head 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 in order to appease 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." When the vote in the Senate was tied, Fillmore, as vice president, voted against Taylor.

As president, he advocated the Compromise of 1850, which earned him the animosity of North and South alike. Because of this, his party's presidential nomination in 1852 went to General Winfield Scott instead of Fillmore.

Another important legacy of Fillmore's administration was the opening of Japan to American trade under Commodore Matthew Perry.

Upon completing his presidency, Fillmore returned to Buffalo, where he served as rector of the local university. Fillmore's last words, upon being fed some soup on his deathbed, were "The nourishment is palatable."

The myth that Millard Fillmore installed the White House's first bathtub was started by H. L. Mencken in a joke column published on December 28, 1917 in the New York Evening Mail. [1] (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_107)

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Preceded by:
Zachary Taylor
Presidents of the United States Succeeded by:
Franklin Pierce

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