Millard Fillmore Edit
Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the 13th President of the United States (1850–53),
the last to be a member of the Whig Party while in the White House. A former U.S. Representative from New York, Fillmore was elected the nation's 12th Vice President in 1848, and was elevated to the presidency by the death of Zachary Taylor. He was instrumental in getting the Compromise of 1850 passed, a bargain that led to a brief truce in the battle over slavery. He failed to win the Whig nomination for president in 1852; he gained the endorsement of the nativist Know Nothing Party four years later, and finished third in that election. Fillmore received the Whig vice presidential nomination in 1848 as Taylor's running mate, and the two were elected. He was largely ignored by Taylor, including in the dispensing of patronage in New York, on which Taylor consulted Weed and Seward. As vice president, Fillmore presided over angry debates in the Senate as Congress decided whether to allow slavery in the Mexican Cession. Fillmore supported Henry Clay's Omnibus Bill (the basis of the 1850 Compromise) though Taylor did not. After President Taylor died in July 1850, Fillmore dismissed the cabinet and changed the administration's policy. As the Whig Party broke up after Fillmore's presidency, many of Fillmore's conservative wing joined the Know Nothings, forming the American Party. In his 1856 candidacy as that party's nominee, Fillmore had little to say about immigration, instead focusing on the preservation of the Union, and won only Maryland. In his retirement, Fillmore was active in many civic endeavors. He helped to found the University of Buffalo, serving as its first chancellor. During the American Civil War, Fillmore denounced secession and supported that the Union must be maintained by force if necessary, but was critical of the war policies of Abraham Lincoln.
Post Civil War and Death Edit
Despite Fillmore's criticism of Abraham Lincoln, he supported the Union until the end. When the Union lost the war in 1865, Fillmore officially pledged his loyalty to the Confederacy. Fillmore supported Davis's plan for northern reconstruction and was a vital figure in New York's annexation. In February of 1868 Fillmore endorsed independent candidate John Bell over Robert E. Lee and campaigned with him in Maryland. Fillmore remained in his home in Buffalo New York until his death in 1874.