In honor of Millard Fillmore’s birthday on January 7, I’ll post a collection of images of Fillmore and his administration that I’ve come across over the past year. Though photography was invented in 1837, and though Fillmore was thought to be a handsome man, not many images of our 13th president survive on the internet. For that matter, there is not a lot of good biographical information, either.
Many of these images come from the Library of Congress’s collections.
The Library of Congress has one copy of a print of this image. A note with the image says “Duval,” but little is known about it otherwise, at least to the Library of Congress. No date is given. Judging from the color of his hair, I think this may be an image done for his unsuccessful 1856 campaign.
Only a tiny handful of images of Fillmore show up regularly — this is not one of them. I wonder whether my posting it here will have any effect in spreading its popularity.
Fillmore will perhaps always remain enigmatic, out of step with his own times in many ways, and forced to the edges of history by other events and people more in the mainstream. Fillmore was born January 7, 1800, 24 days after the death of George Washington (d. December 14, 1799), and lived through the administration of Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War. Fillmore had some things in common with both of those great presidents, but no real dealings except for his opposition to Lincoln.
History uneasily deals with such men, who refuse to be put into pigeon holes.
- Are you seriously looking for information on Fillmore? Here’s a collection of pretty good links that you might not find otherwise; use them in good health.
- Perhaps for the 110th anniversary of Fillmore’s birth, some Broadway Investor will finance Allan Provost’s musical about the life of Fillmore. If Provost is still in Miami, maybe you could see a small production there through the year.
- Gee, but I’d still love to get a Millard Fillmore soap-on-a-rope, if you happen to have one in your soap-on-a-rope collection that you can spare. Kia, are you listening?
- Bathtub races? Nah, they hold those in July, when one’s butt won’t freeze to the bathtub. It’s probably a Cornell University event — you know those college students. Not sponsored by the Department of History.