-Fillmore, Millard (1800-1874), the second vice president of the United States to inherit the nation's highest office, became president when Zachary Taylor died.
-Millard Fillmore was born in Locke, New York, on Jan. 7, 1800. He was the second child in a family of three girls and six boys.
-Education. Millard attended school for only short periods, but he learned reading, spelling, arithmetic, and geography. His father owned two books, the Bible and a hymnbook.
-Fillmore's family. Millard Fillmore met Abigail Powers (March 13, 1798–March 30, 1853) in 1819, when they attended the same school. He was then 19 years old, and she was 21. They fell in love and were married in 1826.
-Political and public career. Fillmore won election to the New York House of Representatives in 1828 with the help of Thurlow Weed, an Albany publisher who helped form the Whig Party. Fillmore was twice reelected.
-Congressman. In 1832, Fillmore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served from 1833 to 1835 and from 1837 to 1843.
-Vice president. The Whigs nominated Fillmore for vice president in 1848 on a ticket headed by General Zachary Taylor, the hero of the Mexican War. The Democrats nominated Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan for president and former Congressman William O. Butler of Kentucky for vice president. During the campaign, the Democrats split over the slavery issue, and many voted for the Free Soil ticket. Taylor and Fillmore won the election by a margin of 36 electoral votes.
-President. President Taylor died on July 9, 1850. Fillmore was sworn in as the new president the next day.
-Accomplishments. After becoming president, Fillmore came forth strongly in favor of compromise on slavery. As his first act, he replaced Taylor's Cabinet with men who had led the fight for compromise. In September, Congress passed the series of laws that made up the Compromise of 1850. Fillmore promptly signed them. The compromise admitted California as a free state and organized territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico. These territories could decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. The compromise also settled a Texas boundary dispute, abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and established a stricter fugitive slave law.
-Life in the White House. Abigail Fillmore found her responsibilities as First Lady a heavy burden on her health. Her 18-year-old daughter, Mary, took over many official tasks. Mrs. Fillmore arranged for the purchase of the first cooking stove in the White House. She also set up the first White House library. When the Library of Congress burned in 1851, Fillmore and his Cabinet helped fight the blaze.
-Election of 1852. When the Whigs met to nominate a presidential candidate in 1852, they were divided between friends and foes of the Compromise of 1850. Southerners supported Fillmore. But most Northerners rejected him, and a small group of pro-Compromise delegates from New England supported Secretary of State Daniel Webster. General Winfield Scott, an antislavery candidate, was finally nominated. He lost the election.
-Later years. During the Civil War, he opposed many of Abraham Lincoln's policies. After the war, he favored the Reconstruction program of President Andrew Johnson. Fillmore died on March 8, 1874, and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.
Holt, Michael F."Fillmore, Millard." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013.