Millard Fillmore Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1800 - 1874 *** Full Name: Millard Fillmore *** Occupation: Lawyer and 13th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: Millard Fillmore was born on January 7th 1800 *** Place of Birth: Millard Fillmore was born in Summerhill, New York State, U.S. *** Family background: His father was Nathaniel Fillmore and his mother was Phoebe Millard. His family on his father’s side were of Scottish Presbyterians and English dissenters on his mother’s side. He himself would become a Unitarian *** Early life and childhood: He grew up as the eldest son and second eldest of nine siblings *** Education: Millard Fillmore would not have received much of an education growing up on the frontier as he did. He was able to attend the New Hope Academy for six months ***
Millard Fillmore Fact 1: Millard Fillmore was born on January 7th 1800 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with slave revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
Millard Fillmore Fact 2: As a teenager of fourteen years old his father arranged to him to serve an apprenticeship with Benjamin Hungerford who lived in Sparta, New York. He was in the cloth making trade.
Millard Fillmore Fact 3: After four months he decided to move on and took another apprenticeship in New Hope, New York in the same business and was there fore six months.
Millard Fillmore Fact 4: He then switched jobs and began to study law and clerk for Judge Walter Wood of Montville.
Millard Fillmore Fact 5: He again decided to move on and this time he headed for Buffalo and he continued to study law in the firm of Joseph Clary and Asa Rice and by 1823 he was admitted to the bar and started his own law practice out of East Aurora in New York.
Millard Fillmore Fact 6: Once settled in Aurora he set about building a house for his family and married Abigail Powers in February of 1826. Together they had two children, Millard Powers and Mary Abigail.
Millard Fillmore Fact 7: By 1834 he had started a law firm in partnership with Nathan K. Hall, Fillmore and Hall, later it would become Fillmore, Hall and Haven and in the 21st century it is Hodgson Russ LLP.
Millard Fillmore Fact 8: During the 1820’s and 1830’s he was part of the New York Militia and held the rank of Major as an Inspector the New York 47th Brigade.
Millard Fillmore Fact 9: He was also a founding member who assisted in setting up the private University of Buffalo which became the University at Buffalo today it is the largest school in the state of New York’s University system.
Millard Fillmore Fact 10: By 1828 he would be elected to the New York State Assembly on an Anit-Masonic ticket and would serve three yearly terms.
Millard Fillmore Fact 11: He would be responsible for creating a special legislative committee that would eliminate debtor’s prisons by the creation of a new bankruptcy law.
Millard Fillmore Fact 12: Fillmore was able to bring this about without putting himself in the limelight and by way of the Democratic party being able to take the credit for the bill.
Millard Fillmore Fact 13: Thurlow Weed, an Anit-Mason was hugely respected by Fillmore, when he left the Anit-Masons, Fillmore did so also and when he joined the Whigs, Fillmore did too.
Millard Fillmore Fact 14: By 1832 Fillmore would be elected U.S. Representative from New York’s 32nd congressional district and served in the 23rd Congress.
Millard Fillmore Fact 15: In 1848 at the Whig National Convention Zachary Taylor was nominated for President and in an effort to balance his pro-slavery views Millard Fillmore, as an anti-slavery representative was nominated for his running mate. They would be successful.
Millard Fillmore Fact 16: The Crisis of 1850 would be extremely challenging. Those Southerners in favor of slavery wanted all new states open to slavery where those anti-slavery Northerners were demanding total exclusion.
Millard Fillmore Fact 17: Although Fillmore was complete anti-slavery he was aware of the fact that he could not eradicate it and so his next best option was to protect the slaves as best he could by the Constitution.
Millard Fillmore Fact 18: When it looked like the vote on Clay’s bill was going to be equal on both sides with one vote, Fillmore’s being the deciding vote, he told Taylor he would vote in favor.
Millard Fillmore Fact 19: On July 9th 1850 President Zachary Taylor suddenly died making Fillmore President. This would set off a chain of events that would see the whole cabinet offer their resignations and Fillmore accepting them, filling the vacant offices with men who would vote in his favor.
Millard Fillmore Fact 20: Fillmore’s term as President was not a full one and when he had to finally decided whether to run for a full term as President, his popularity within his own party had waned because of the Fugitive Slave Act. He did not win the election.
Millard Fillmore Fact 21: Although he attempted another run at the presidential election in 1856 he would not be successful.
Millard Fillmore Fact 22: Less than a month after his term in office his wife Abigail died and a little over a year later his daughter Mary died of cholera.
Millard Fillmore Fact 23: With no responsibilities he travelled to Europe in 1855. Several years later in 1858 he met and married Caroline McIntosh.
Millard Fillmore Fact 24: Millard Fillmore died on March 8th 1874 aged seventy four years. His body laid to rest in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.
Influence and Legacy: Although he did what he felt was the right course to take, certain party members would not forgive his having signed the Fugitive Slave Act. Although he was too old to actively take part in the Civil War he did however command a Union Continental corp of home guards of men over forty five years of age.
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