MILLARD FILLMORE, the thirteenth president of the United States, was born of New England parentage in Summer
Hill, Cayuga county, New York, January 7, 1800. His school education was very limited, but he occupied his leisure
hours in study. He worked in youth upon his father's farm in his native county, and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed
to a wool carder and cloth dresser, Four years later he was induced by Judge Wood to enter his office at Montviile,
New York, and take up the study of law. This warm friend, finding young Fillmore destitute of means, loaned him
money, but the latter, not wishing to incur a heavy debt, taught school during part of the time and in this and
other ways helped maintain himself. In 1822 he removed to Buffalo, New York, and the year following, being admitted
to the bar, he commenced the practice of his profession at East Aurora, in the same state. Here he remained until
1830, having, in the meantime, been admitted to practice in the supreme court, when he returned to Buffalo, where
he became the partner of S. G. Haven and N. K. Hall. He entered politics and served in the state legislature from
1829 to 1832. He was in congress in 1833 to 35 and in 1837 to 41, where he proved an active and useful member,
favoring the views of John Quincy Adams, then battling almost alone the slave holding party in national politics,
and in most of public questions acted with the Whig party. While chairman of the committee of ways and means he
took a leading part in draughting the tariff bill of 1842. In 1844 Mr. Fillmore was the Whig candidate for governor
of New York, In 1847 he was chosen comptroller of the state, and abandoning his practice and profession removed
to Albany. In 1848 he was elected vice president on the ticket with General Zachary Taylor, and they were inaugurated
the following March. On the death of the president, July 9, 1850, Mr. Fillmore was indncted into that office. The
great events of his administration were the passage of the famous compromise acts of 1850, and the sending out
of the Japan expedition of 1852.
March 4, 1853, having served one term, President Fillmore retired from office, and in 1855 went to Europe, where
he received marked attention. On returning home, in 1856, he was nominated for the presidency by the Native American
or "Know Nothing" party, but was defeated, James Buchanan being the successful candidate.
Mr. Fillmore ever afterward lived in retirement. During the conflict of Civil war he was mostly silent. It was
generally supposed, however, that his sympathy was with the southern confederacy. He kept aloof from the conflict
without any words of cheer to the one party or the other. For this reason he was forgotten by both. He died of
paralysis, in Buffalo, New York, March 8, 1874.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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