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President Millard Fillmore

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President Millard Fillmore
East Aurora, New York 14052

Our thirteenth president was born in Cayuga County, New York on February 7, 1800. Millard Fillmore spent his early years on a farm. He gained very little education. When Fillmore turned fourteen, he took an apprenticeship to a tailor. During this time he was treated with great injustice by his employer, after having been threatened with bodily harm several times.

Millard Fillmore had no books to study but an English dictionary, which he spent countless hours reading. It was during this time that he developed a desire to become a lawyer. After making several arrangements, Fillmore worked out a deal with a county lawyer to study under him. In 1823, he was admitted as an attorney by the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County.

After being an attorney for several years, in 1829 he became part of the Supreme Court, and resigned in 1831. In 1832, Fillmore was elected to congress and retired a year later. In 1837, he was re-elected to congress and served until 1843. By 1848, he was elected Vice President of the United States under Zachary Taylor as a Whig party member.

After the sudden death of Taylor, Millard Fillmore became president. Taylor had been working on the debates over the Compromise of 1850, which Fillmore was left to finish. Due to his work on the compromise, he stopped the Civil War from happening for another ten years. Alsoduring his presidency, Millard Fillmore provided Samuel Morse with $30,000 to aid the completion of the telegraph. He gave federal aid for the construction of railroads, the first president to do so.

He was not able to win a second term, so Millard Fillmore retired after leaving the office. He supported the Union during the Civil War, and became highly involved with the Buffalo, New York community, in which he lived. He died there at the age of 74 on March 8, 1874.




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