A Commemorative Speech for President Millard Fillmore
I hereby present my commemorative speech for the late President Millard Fillmore who was the thirteenth president of the United States of America, and was born on January 7, 1800 at Summerhill, New York. He was sworn in as the president of the USA on July 9, 1850 and served for a term of about three years. His ascension to power came about as a result of the death of the sitting President Taylor, and since he was his vice-president, he was able to become the next president (Elston 4). He was born at a time when the USA needed a person of his character to overcome the challenges of slavery. In this regard, President Millard played a crucial role in unifying USAand also preventing secession for the time he served as the president. He was the second born in a family of nine children and grew up to become an exemplary child in his family, and later on an exemplary president for the USA (Gottfried 7).
President Millard came from a poor family and in spite ofthis challengehe overcame all the obstacles during his political career and managed to become the president of the USA. He also overcame many other obstacles in his life and managed to achieve his goals. He was a hardworking man who studied law on his own, with the direction of a local judge and grew to become a recognized lawyer in his state (Elston 9). He used his good background in law,to fight for the rights of his electorates while serving in the state legislature. During this period, the law provided that people who could not settle their debts be imprisoned. However, with his commitment to protecting the rights of his people, he pushed for the state legislature to change this and pass a law that forbade such an act and his electorates loved him for this reason(Behnke 39). To date, the politicians who fight for the rights of their electorates are still held in high regard and therefore President Millard is viewed as a hero today for fighting for the rights of his people.
In his lifetime, President Millard accomplished many things. First, he joined politics in 1828, and was elected to the state legislature of the New York in the same year. Four years later, he won yet another election and became a member of the U.S House of Representatives (Elston 4). When President Taylor was inaugurated as the twelfth president of USA, Millard Fillmore was chosen the vice-president and sixteen months later, he became the thirteenth president of America after President Taylor died in office.Second, you are probably aware that President Millard never entered the re-election bid as a president after his first term and that he even passed a compromise of 1850 while serving as the president. President Millard passed this compromise because, unlike other politicians of his time who pursued their ill-led political ambitions, he considered his decision to be the right one for his country. He was a peaceable man who sought to indemnify the USA from the civil war that was brewing and therefore, by passing up the compromise of 1850, he tried to resolve the slavery challenges that faced the USA (Elston 4). Even though he became so unpopular for his decision that he never made it for the second term, President Millard remained a political icon and hero for many politicians. In most cases, he made the right decision for the country and served his people diligently.
Today, we remember President Millard for the contribution he made in co-founding the University at Buffalo where he served as the university’s chancellor after he retired from politics. He was a man who valued and respected education and in fact, he at one time rejected an honorary degree from the University of Oxford because he termed the honor as a jeopardy against education. He also worked hard to get his degree in law and even grow into a recognized lawyer in his state. On the other hand, people also remember him for his strong opposition against slavery (Elston 9) and because he stood for what he considered right as opposed to what his political affiliation and party regarded as right. For this reason, President Millard sought to end slavery even though he did not succeed in doing it during his short tenure in office. He even went as far as opposing the members of his former political party, the Whig party, to make sure that USA remained one and cohesive.Essentially, he remained steadfast and consistent in serving his people and the nation and during his term as the president, the USA avoided hostility with other nations. Definitely, as a peace-loving president, he negotiated with different nations to resolve the conflicts and is even on record for resolving conflicts with Spain, France and England (Gottfried 7). In addition, he also saw the release of the American captives in Spain without engaging in war with Spain. As a matter of fact, the list for President Millard Fillmore accomplishment is endless.
Today as we commemorate him,he is a hero to us who should have lived longer and served USA for two terms to allow him to bring change and stop the civil war. American citizens are proud of his contributions in building the nation and in particularly unifying Americans from the South and North. Maybe, if he had never served as the president, many states would have seceded way before they did and for this reasons when I remember him, I consider him a fallen hero who should have lived longer than he did.
Behnke, Alison. Millard Fillmore. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co, 2006. Print.
Elston, Heidi M. D. Millard Fillmore. Edina, Minnesota: ABDO Pub. Co, 2009. Internet resource.
Gottfried, Ted. Millard Fillmore. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007. Print.