Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 77 of 1,110
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cation his friends met in convention and
renominated him by acclamation. Though
gratified by this proof of their appreciation
of his labors he adhered to his resolve and
returned to his home.
In 1847 Mr. Fillmore was elected to the
important office of comptroller of the State.
In entering upon the very responsible duties
which this situation demanded, it was necessary
for him to abandon his profession,
and he removed to the city of Albany. In
this year, also, the Whigs were looking
around to find suitable candidates for the
President and Vice-President at the approaching
election, and the names of Zachary
Taylor and Millard Fillmore became
the rallying cry of the Whigs. On the 4th
of March, I849, General Taylor was inaugurated
President and Millard Fillmore
Vice-President of the United States.
The great question of slavery had assumed
enormous proportions, and permeated
every subject that was brought before
Congress. It was evident that the strength
of our institutions was to be severely tried.
July 9, 1850, President Taylor died, and, by
the Constitution, Vice-President Fillmore
became President of the United States.
The agitated condition of the country
brought questions of great delicacy before
him. He was bound by his oath of office
to execute the laws of the United States.
One of these laws was understood to be,
that if a slave, escaping from bondage,
should reach a free State, the United States
was bound to do its utmost to capture him
and return him to his master. Most Christian
men loathed this law. President Fillmore
felt bound by his oath rigidly to see
it enforced. Slavery was organizing armies
to invade Cuba as it had invaded Texas,
and annex it to the United States. President
Fillmore gave all the influence of his
exalted station against the atrocious enterprise.
Mr. Fillmore had serious difficulties to
contend with, since the opposition had a
majority in both Houses. He did everything
in his power to conciliate the South,
but the pro-slavery party in that section
felt the inadequency of all measures of transient
conciliation. The population, of the
free States was so rapidly increasing over
that of the slave States, that it was inevitable
that the power of the Government
should soon pass into the hands of the free
States. The famous compromise measures
were adopted under Mr. Fillmore's administration,
and the Japan expedition was
March 4, 1853, having served one term,
President Fillmore retired from office. He
then took a long tour through the South,
where he met with quite an enthusiastic
reception. In a speech at Vicksburg, alluding
to the rapid growth of the country,
"Canada is knocking for admission, and
Mexico would be glad to come in, and
without saying whether it would be right
or wrong, we stand with open arms to receive
them; for it is the manifest destiny of
this Government to embrace the whole
North American Continent."
In I855 Mr. Fillmore went to Europe
where he was received with those marked
attentions which his position and character
merited. Returning to this country in
I856 he was nominated for the Presidency
by the "Know-Nothing" party. Mr. Buchanan,
the Democratic candidate was
the successful competitor. Mr. Fillmore
ever afterward lived in retirement. During
the conflict of civil war he was mostly
silent. It was generally supposed, however,
that his sympathy was with the Southern
Confederacy. He kept aloof from the
conflict without any words of cheer to the
one party or the other. For this reason
he was forgotten by both. He died of
paralysis, in Buffalo, New York, March 8,
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/77/?rotate=270: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.