The Third Act of Millard Fillmore

Presidential History Blog

The First Act being his youth and political rise, the Second Act being his Presidency…

Millard Fillmore: Lame Duck

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President Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (1800-74) had been elected Vice President on the Whig Ticket led by General Zachary Taylor in 1848. He did not actively seek the election, but when it was offered, he was honored. Then Zachary Taylor died a year and a half later.

Fillmore was a strapping fellow, boy-to-man, and worked very hard for his education and his admission to the New York Bar. But once an attorney, he preferred elected (or appointed) office to the actual practice of law.

But as President, he made efforts to walk the fine line between “leadership” and gravitating to “popular” politics. Unfortunately for the 1850s, popular politics were so badly divided that actual leadership was perceived as a drawback. Millard Fillmore, being a child of his time and upbringing, was…

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