Fillmore, Millard (1800–1874)

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A Buffalo, New York, lawyer and whig politician, Millard Fillmore was elected vice-president in 1848 and became President when zachary taylor died in 1850. Unlike Taylor, Fillmore enthusiastically supported passage of the compromise of 1850 which he believed necessary to preserve the Union. His administration was particularly vigorous in enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law through the Christiana Treason Trials, and prosecutions of those involved in the Shadrach Rescue, the Jerry Rescue, and the abortive Sims Rescue. Fillmore was not renominated by the Whigs in 1852 and ran unsuccessfully as a Know-Nothing in 1856.

Paul Finkelman


Rayback, Robert J. 1959 Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President. Buffalo, N.Y.: Buffalo Historical Society.