1850 - 1853
"Millard Fillmore" our thirteenth President was born in a log cabin in Cayuga County, New York. President Millard Fillmore's father was a farmer. President Millard Fillmore had almost no education until he was eighteen years old. When President Millard Fillmore was fourteen, he was apprenticed to a clothmaker, but found the work not to his liking, bought his time for thirty dollars and returned home.
President Millard Fillmore went to school for six months, then studied law while he supported himself by teaching. President Millard Fillmore was admitted to the bar in 1823. Three years later he married "Abigail Powers", a teacher who had helped him study law. Millard and Abigail Fillmore had two children.
President Millard Fillmore served three terms in the state assembly, then was elected to Congress, where he supported the "Whig Party" and "Senator Henry Clay's" ideas of government.
In 1844 President Millard Fillmore lost the Whig Party nomination for Vice President and the election for Governor of New York, but in 1848, Senator Henry Clay supported him as "Zachary Taylor's Vice President. This time he won, and when Zachary Taylor died in 1850, Millard Fillmore became President.
Zachary Taylor had opposed Senator Henry Clay's compromise bill, which was designed to solve the slavery problems that was splitting the Union, because he was willing to take a chance on a split to eliminate slavery. President Millard Fillmore reversed this position, signing a bill that would allow slavery to spread over the new western states.
Part of this bill was the "Fugitive Slave Law", which would allow any Southern slave owner to claim any Negro in the North as a runaway, whether he was a free man or not, and take him back to the South as a slave. Inspired by the horror in the North at the signing of this bill, "Harriet Beecher Stowe" wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin", a book about a runaway slave that was an immediate sensation and did much to split the North and South even more widely.
In 1852, President Millard Fillmore sent a fleet under "Commodore Matthew Perry" to Japan with a request for a trade treaty. The treaty was signed in 1854, opening the East for trade with the United States. Millard Fillmore had become so unpopular because of the Fugitive Slave Law that his party would not re-nominate him in 1852.
Millard Fillmore's wife Abigail Fillmore died the day after inauguration day in 1853, as Millard Fillmore left the Presidency. Millard Fillmore had one more try at politics in 1856, when he won the Presidential nomination of the "American (Know-Nothing) Party", but such was his unpopularity that he carried only the state of Maryland.
Now Millard Fillmore retired from politics for good. He took up his law practice in Buffalo, New York and became Chancellor of the "University of Buffalo". Millard Fillmore married "Caroline Carmichael McIntosh" in 1858, and died sixteen years later of a stroke.
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