Millard Fillmore
Cause of Death Age Burial Location Vice President Grave #
Stroke 74 Buffalo, New York 9th visited

A pink granite obelisk in stands
at the burial site of Millard
Fillmore, frequently regarded as
one of the most forgotten presidents.

In 1853, outgoing First Lady
Abigail Fillmore became ill after
attending Franklin Pierce's inaugural
festivities. Her cold developed into
and she died twenty-six
days after her husband left office.

Buffalo is home to many president-
related sites other than Fillmore's
grave, including the home where
Theodore Roosevelt was sworn
into office, which we toured later
in the day.

Millard Fillmore remarried several years after
his wife, Abigail, passed away. Both she and
his second wife are interred in the Fillmore
plot in Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery. Here,
I crouch beside the president's headstone.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* On January 7, 1800, Nathaniel and Phoebe Fillmore of Locke, New York welcomed the arrival of a baby boy that would one day become the president of the United States. That child was Millard Fillmore, a member of the Whig Party and America's 13th commander-in-chief. When Millard was very young, his family relocated to New Hope, where the future president spent his childhood. He did not receive a great education, having had to help his family members care for their farm. However, while in his late teens, Fillmore did enroll at the New Hope Academy. There he became the favorite student of Abigail Powers. The bright young teacher greatly admired her pupil's eagerness to learn, and quickly fell for him. The two were married in 1826.

* After serving for sixteen months as vice president, Fillmore ascended to the presidency on July 9, 1850 following the passing of President Zachary Taylor. For Taylor's supporters, his death could not have happened at a worse time, mainly because of what was going on in Congress. Some members of that body were trying to pass what we know as the Compromise of 1850, which was a series of bills that dealt mainly with slavery in the United States. While one of the bills would allow California to be admitted to the Union as a free state, and another abolished the slave trade in the capital, some felt that the bill was too pro-slavery. This was because of the Fugitive Slave Act, which, if the Compromise were passed, would allow slave owners to search for and recapture their runaway slaves in free states. Zachary Taylor, although he was a slave holder himself, did not support the Compromise, and wished to veto it. Instead, Millard Fillmore was left to decide whether or not it would receive the presidential seal of approval. Wanting to keep the peace, Fillmore indeed threw his support to the Compromise of 1850, angering many men in his own party.

* The fact that Fillmore had passed such a controversial act did not sit well with many of his fellow Whigs. So, at the 1852 Whig National Convention, it was decided that General Winfield Scott would be on the Whig ticket, not Millard Fillmore. It did not matter. That year, American's decided to keep away from the Whigs entirely and vote for Franklin Pierce, a youthful former congressman from New Hampshire. On March 4, 1853, the last Whig president stepped down from power. Fillmore did try to regain the presidency in 1856, though with a different party. It did not work, and another Democrat, James Buchanan, was on his way to the White House. He did serve as the chancellor of the University of Buffalo after his retirement, and was also the founder and president of what is now called the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. He spent much of his time during the Civil War bashing President Abraham Lincoln, whose policies he disagreed with. He also supported Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policy after the conflict, earning him even more enemies. Fillmore's popularity continued to sink until his death in 1874.

Second Lady: Abigail Powers Fillmore

      - Spouse: Abigail Powers Fillmore (m. 1826-1853)

                     Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore (m. 1858-1874)

Political Party: Anti-Masonic Party

                       Whig Party

                       American Party

Served Under: Zachary Taylor

Last Words: "The nourishment is palatable."

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