"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Millard Fillmore: The Man, The Legend

Perhaps the most illustrious man to ever call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home, Millard Fillmore is undoubtedly our nation’s most notable and well-loved president. His story, near and dear to every red-blooded American heart, is one we have all grown up with, and one we cherish as an endearing and defining chapter of Americana. When sorting through his innumerable achievements and accomplishments and through his countless contributions to the America we know and love, it is difficult to differentiate between the myth, and the fact. When working with as popular, iconic, and prolific a man as Fillmore, the task becomes that much harder. Thanks to recent historical breakthroughs, strenuous archeological scrutiny, and the steadfast devotion of Fillmore scholars from around the globe, Lost and Founders has finally managed to compile all of Millard’s most significant achievements into one conclusive piece. For the first time ever, we present Millard Fillmore: The Man, The Legend.

On January 7th, 1800 Millard Fillmore was born to poverty in a log cabin deep in the wilds of upstate New York. A personification of the American Dream, he struggled to make ends meet while coping with hunger, cold, and the inescapable reality that he was uneducated mountain trash. While we often attribute log cabin upbringings to Lincoln, dating suggests that Abe, who was born nine years later, was simply a wannabe trying to fit into the big shoes left behind for him by Fillmore. At the age of 26 Millard would marry his schoolteacher, a fiery redhead by the name of Abbey Powers, who by early-nineteenth-century standards was considered a total babe (though modern criteria place her smugly in the so-so category).

In 1849, all of Millard’s many qualifications and past political experiences (mainly the fact that he was born in the North and could balance Zachary Taylor’s ballot geographically) finally paid off, landing him the Vice-Presidency and ushering in the period many scholars consider to be his prime. Overwhelming amounts of evidence have recently surfaced, suggesting to historians that this was a time of unprecedented popularity for Millard who was affectionately described as colorless, bland, and lacking a backbone by his closest friends and contemporaries.

For superstitious and unfounded reasons, the number thirteen carries the connotation of being considered “unlucky”. This clearly mattered very little to the pragmatic Millard Fillmore who became the 13th President of the United States not by election but by the very lucky death of Zachary Taylor who luckily contracted a severe case of bilious diarrhea after luckily binging on unwashed cherries. The rest is history.

Over the next three years, Fillmore would cement his place in the American Pantheon. His Compromise of 1850 brought lasting peace and domestic harmony to a divided nation, his blatant support for the institution of slavery garnered respect and admiration from all over the world, his racist and unfeasible attempt to recolonize African-Americans fostered a great sense of pride that has continued to define the very fabric of America. The valor and gallantry of his character is embodied in his actions, to illustrate one has only to look at the inauguration of his successor Franklin Pierce. During this grand occasion, Fillmore commanded his loving wife to wait outside in the cold January morning. That night she developed pneumonia and went on to die shortly after. He was a true gentleman, a die-hard patriot, and deserves every bit of recognition he gets in modern American society.

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