Millard Fillmore: Underappreciated

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

Millard Fillmore - 13th President of the United StatesThis will probably surprise you, but … no one cares much about President Millard Fillmore. At least, not according to this article.

Since we’re just a week past President’s Day, I figure it’s still appropriate to honor one of the men who served in that capacity for this great nation of ours.

Did you know that Millard Fillmore is somewhat revered in Buffalo, one of his and my “hometowns”. President Fillmore was born in Moravia, NY—and I in Springfield, OH—but we both spent many years of our lives near the home of the Buffalo Bills. (Hmm… not sure if they were around when he lived there, though…)

His name can be frequently found around Buffalo. My wife was born at Millard Fillmore hospital! He helped to found the University at Buffalo! (One of the universities to which I matriculated!) There’s even a statue at City Hall! (Along with fellow former President—and Mayor of Buffalo!—Grover Cleveland.)

Millard Fillmore died at his home in Buffalo, NY on March 8, 1874. (I haven’t done that yet, either… the similarities keep dwindling…)

And the hits keep coming… He was the last President from the Whig party, though not elected to that position. (He assumed office upon the death of Zachary Taylor, with whom he served as Vice President.)

He was the only president to have the same double letters in both his first, and last name. (Fellow Whig party member, and 9th president of the US, William Harrison, is the only other to have double letters in both names, but as you can see, they don’t match.)


Actually, I did enjoy reading about this president. He had some very interesting accomplishments in foreign affairs, and sounds like a pretty decent fellow. He is least-remembered and often ranked as one of the worst presidents in US history, partly (or mostly) as a function of the time in which he served. He was president during the decade prior to the Civil War. Things in our Union were at a boiling point, and thus, I don’t think many of his accomplishments are remembered. (Well, I know they are not.)

History is so fascinating in this way. Fillmore fell out of favor with the public, and his party (and his party also fell out of favor to the point of dissolution shortly thereafter) and so he was unsuccessful in his bid for election following his first and only term as president. And with all of the massive changes in our Union that followed his presidency, much about him is forgotten.

History is written by the victors.

Thankfully, there are still records, and there is still history to be read and learned.

He may not have been the greatest, but he was lucky number 13!

Next time you’re in Buffalo, look him up, and you might be surprised by what you find.

Read more about Millard Fillmore at this Wikipedia page. It’s the shortest article written about any US President. Figures, right?

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