Notes on Fillmore

He opened up trade with Japan.

He encouraged the establishment of a home for veterans.

He encouraged Congress to appropriate funds to improve living conditions in DC.

He contributed to the design of the Capitol building.

After he left office, his wife and daughter died within a year. About a year later, he planned a long trip to Europe. “In London, he shared a visitors’ box overlooking the British House of Commons with former President Martin Van Buren.

When he met Queen Victoria, she commented that he was the most handsome man she had ever seen.

Oxford tried to give him an honorary degree, but he turned it down as he was not educated enough. The degree was written in Latin and he felt he could not accept an honor that he could not read.


Compromise of 1850

Fillmore hated slavery, but he believed the constitution allowed it.  So, he felt like it needed to be protected so as not to break up the union. Backing this law, though, ultimately ended his political career. Northerners thought he supported slavery and southerners thought he wanted slavery abolished.

Shortly after the Compromise of 1850 passed, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published.  The novel was about a group of slaves at that time. The first year of publication, the book sold 300,000 copies. Reading about life as a slave helped to strengthen the move against slavery and this law.

Determined to Learn

Millard Fillmore was an apprentice at a cloth mill. He was determined to learn to read better, though, so he saved his money and bought a dictionary. He brought it to the mill and leaned it on a desk so every time he passed by, he could learn a new word.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m So Popular

During this time in our history, it was common that mail was sent without stamps, so the recipient had to pay the postage due. Taylor had so many “admirers” around the country that he was bombarded with mail postage due. He actually told the post office he would not accept any letters with postage due. The Whigs wrote and told him he was their Presidential candidate, but he did not get the letter because it was postage due. Finally, they sent him another letter and put a stamp on it and he received it.

Presidents who Tweet

Mashable has a slide show of 25 dead Presidents to follow on Twitter.  I’ve looked at each account and some of them are really funny. For example, John Quincy Adams is a diehard Harry Potter fan.  A grade school student tweeted that she finished her report on Millard Fillmore and he replied to her that he would be happy to check it for accuracy. Herbert Hoover wonders where Nate Silver was when he needed him.

Some of them are not funny at all and some of them do not tweet very often. But, if you are on Twitter, they are definitely worth checking out.



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