Millard Fillmore: Still dead, still misquoted, 133 years later


Millard Fillmore wax head A wax likeness of Millard Fillmore’s head, appearing to be for sale for $950.00.

March 8, 2007, is the 133rd anniversary of Millard Fillmore’s death.

Manus reprints the text from the New York Times story a few days later:

Buffalo, N.Y., March 8 — 12 o’clock, midnight. — Ex-President Millard Fillmore died at his residence in this city at 11:10 to-night. He was conscious up to the time. At 8 o’clock, in reply to a question by his physician, he said the nourishment was palatable; these were his last words. His death was painless.

First, I wonder how the devil the writer could possibly know whether Fillmore’s death was painless?

And second, accuracy obsessed as I am, I wonder whether this is the source of the often-attributed to Fillmore quote, “The nourishment is palatable.” Several sources that one might hope would be more careful attribute the quote to Fillmore as accurate — none with any citation that I can find. Thinkexist and Brainyquote charge ahead full speed. Wikipedia lists it. Snopes.com says the quote is “alleged,” in a discussion thread.

I’ll wager no one can offer a citation for the quote. I’ll wager Fillmore didn’t say it.

Millard Fillmore: We’d protect his legacy, if only anyone could figure out what it is.

One Response to Millard Fillmore: Still dead, still misquoted, 133 years later

  1. […] ** No, it’s not really from Futurama (but wouldn’t that be cool — Filllmore and Nixon together?)  I linked to the photo at Presidents “R” Us.com — but they were kind enough to link to that same photo at the Bathtub, earlier. […]

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