Abigail Powers Fillmore

U.S. First Lady

Born: 13 March 1798
Died: 30 March 1853
Birthplace: Stillwater, New York
Best known as:

President Millard Fillmore's wife

Abigail Powers married Millard Fillmore in New York in 1826 and went on to become First Lady when her husband succeeded Zachary Taylor as president in 1849. Abigail was a teacher when she met Millard -- he was one of her students, though she was about two years older. After seven years of courtship they married in 1826. While Millard found his career in politics, Abigail raised kids and kept up her lifelong habit of self-education. He served as a congressman (from 1833) while she kept house in Buffalo, New York and advised him on political matters. When her husband went to Washington, D.C. as Taylor's vice president in 1849, Abigail stayed in Buffalo and didn't join him until the following year. Then Zachary Taylor died in office just sixteen months into his term and the Fillmores moved into the White House (1853). An unenthusiastic socialite and not in the best of health, Abigail left most of the formal duties to her daughter, Mary Abigail Fillmore, and concentrated on building a collection of books for the White House library. President Fillmore lost his bid for re-election to Franklin Pierce in 1856 and Abigail contracted pneumonia after attending Pierce's inauguration. She died a few weeks later.

Extra credit:

Millard Fillmore remarried in 1858 and lived another 21 years.

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