- Tyler Anbinder
Fillmore, Millard (07 January 1800–08 March 1874), thirteenth president of the United States, was born in Cayuga County, New York, the son of Nathaniel Fillmore and Phoebe Millard, farmers. Like many tenant farmers on New York’s western frontier, Fillmore’s parents had difficulty earning a decent living, and his childhood was one of hard work, frequent privation, and virtually no formal schooling. When he was apprenticed to a textile mill in his teens, Millard began to educate himself, reading voraciously and attending classes when the mill periodically shut down. A local judge encouraged Fillmore to study law, and by clerking for him and teaching school as well, Fillmore managed to buy out his obligation to the mill. Following his family west, Fillmore continued to read law and teach in Buffalo, and he was admitted to the bar at age twenty-three or twenty-four. He opened a law office in the nearby village of East Aurora, and two years later he married Abigail Powers. The couple had two children....