Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Cil. All soil is free ; but all men are not. It is the desire of the northern ci zens of the Union, that the new regio California, while they are the terri' the United States, shall be occr freemen only. When States ? there, the people of those Stat for themselves, whether t' slaves or not: States ar late upon those matte But, until that time who are opposed t very wish to have forbidden by a to accomplis! citizens, me possible wield a the v ago V

[graphic][merged small]

MILLARD FILLMORE.

[A portion of the subjoined biographical sketch pable of sustaining; and, though frequently was written four years ago, and has been exten-threatened with instant death unless he sívely circulated in newspapers and pamphlets. It has been revised by the author, with correc

would sign the piratical articles of the tions and additions, to accompany the portrait of vessel, he steadily refused until two others the Hon. Millard Fillmore, presented to our read- had been taken prisoners, who also refusing ers in this number of the Review.]

to join the crew, the three made an attack

upon the pirates, and after killing several It is the peculiar boast of our country took the vessel and brought it safe into that its highest honors and dignities are Boston harbor. The narrative of this adthe legitimate objects of ambition to the venture has been for many years in print, humblest in the land, as well as those and details one of the most daring and most favored by the gifts of birth and for successful exploits on record. The surviv

Ours is a government of the people, ing pirates were tried and executed, and the and from the people, emphatically, have heroic conduct of the captors was acknowlsprung those who in the army or navy, on edged by the British Government. John the bench of justice, or in the halls of le- Fillmore afterwards settled in a place called gislation, have shed the brightest lustre on Franklin, in Connecticut, where he died. the page of our country's history. So His son, Nathaniel Fillmore, settled at universally almost is this the case, that, an early day in Bennington, Vermont, then when we find an instance to the contrary, called the Hampshire Grants, where he of one born to a fortune and enjoying the lived till his death in 1814. He served in advantages of influential connections, rising the French war, and was a true Whig of to a high place in the councils of the nation, the Revolution, proving his devotion to his the exception deserves especial note for country's cause by gallantly fighting as a its rarity. No merit therefore is claimed Lieutenant under Stark, in the battle of for MILLARD FILLMORE, on account of the Bennington. fact that from comparatively humble pa- Nathaniel Fillmore, his son, and father rentage, he has attained his present eminent of Millard, was born at Bennington, in ’71, position. His history, however, affords a and early in life removed to what is now useful lesson as showing what may

called Summer Hill, Cayuga county, where complished in the face of the greatest Millard was born, Jan. 7th, 1800. obstacles, by intellect, aided and controlled was a farmer, and soon after lost all his by energy, perseverance, and strict integ- property by a bad title to one of the milirity, in a public and private capacity. tary lots he had purchased. About the

John Fillmore, the great-grandfather of year 1802, he removed to the town of Millard Fillmore, and the common ancestor Sempronius, now Niles, in the same county, af all of that name in the United States, and resided there until 1819, when he rewas born about the year 1700, in one of moved to Erie county, where he still lives, the New England States, and feeling a cultivating a small farm with his own hands. strong propensity for a sea-faring life, at He was a strong and uniform supporter of the age of about nineteen went on board Jefferson, Madison, and Tompkins, and is v fishing vessel, which sailed from Boston. now a true Whig. The vessel had been but a few days out The narrow means of his father deprived when it was captured by a noted pirate Millard of any advantages of education ship, commanded by Capt. Phillips, and beyond what were afforded by the imperyoung Fillmore was kept as a prisoner. fect and ill-taught common schools of the He remained on board the pirate ship nine county. Books were scarce and dear, and months, enduring every hardship which a at the age of fifteen when more favored strong constitution and firm spirit was ca- | youths are far advanced in their clasical

be ac

studies, or enjoying in colleges the benefit There he sustained himself by teaching of well-furnished libraries, young Fillmore and continued his legal studies until the had read but little except his common spring of 1823, when he was admitted to school books and the Bible. At that pe- the Common Pleas, and being too diffident riod he was sent into the then wilds of of his then untried powers to enter into Livingston county, to learn the clothier's competition with the older members of the trade. He remained there about four bar in Buffalo, he removed to Aurora in months, and was then placed with another that county, where he commenced the person to pursue the same business and practice of law. In 1826 he was marwool-carding in the town where his father ried to Abigail Powers, the youngest child lived. A small village library that was of the Rev. Lemuel Powers, deceased, by formed there soon after, gave him the first whom he has two children, a son and a means of acquiring general knowledge daughter. She is a lady of great worth, through books. He improved the oppor- modest and unobtrusive in her deportment, tunity thus offered ; the appetite grew by and highly esteemed for her many virtues. what it fed upon. The thirst for knowledge In 1827 Mr. Fillmore was admitted as soon became insatiate, and every leisure an attorney, and in 1829 as a counsellor moment was spent in reading. Four years of the Supreme Court. Previous to this were passed in this way, working at his time his practice had been very limited, trade, and storing his mind, during such but his application to judicial studies had hours as he could command, with the con- been constant and severe, and it is not to tents of books of history, biography, and be doubted that during these few years of travels. At the age of nineteen he fortu- comparative seclusion, he acquired that nately made an acquaintance with the late general knowledge of the fundamental Walter Wood, Esq., whom many will re-principles of the law which has mainly member as one of the most estimable citi- contributed in after-life to give him an ele zens of Cayuga county. Judge Wood vated rank among the members of that was a man of wealth, and great business liberal profession. His legal acquirements capacity; he had an excellent law library, and skill as an advocate, soon attracted but did little professional business. He the attention of his professional brethren soon saw that under the rude exterior of in Buffalo, and he was offered a highly the clothier's boy, were powors that only advantageous connection with an older required proper development to raise the member of the bar in that city, which he possessor to high distinction and useful accepted, and removed there in the spring ness, and advised him to quit his trade and of 1830, in which place he continued to study law. In reply to the objection of a reside until his election as Comptroller and lack of education, means and friends to removal to Albany last winter. aid him in a course of professional study, His first entrance into public life was in Judge W. kindly offered to give him a January, 1829, when he took his seat as place in his office, to advance money to de- a member of the Assembly from Erie fray his expenses, and wait until success in county, to which office he was re-elected business should furnish the means of repay- the two following years. The so-called ment. The offer was accepted. The ap- democratic party in those three sessions, prentice boy bought his time, entered the

as for many years before and after, beld Office of Judge Wood, and for more than triumphant sway in both houses of the two years applied himself closely to busi- legislature, and but little opportunity va ness and study. He read law and general afforded a young member of the opposiliterature, and studied and practised sur- tion to distinguish himself. But talent veying:

integrity, and assiduous devotion to pabi Fearing he should incur too large a debt business will make a man felt and respect to his benefactor, he taught school for ed, even amidst a body of opposing parü three months in the year, and acquired the sans; and Mr. Fillmore, although in a means of partially supporting himself. In hopeless minority, so far as any question the fall of 1821 he removed to the county of a political or party bearing was involved Erie, and the next spring entered a law on all questions of a general characte n Buffalo.

soon won the confidence of the House i

« AnteriorContinuar »