Millard Who?

Tuesday, September 13, AD 2016

(Reposting this from 2010 in light of Father Z’s comment, with which I agree, that he would prefer to vote for Millard Fillmore’s rotting corpse in preference to Clinton-Kaine.)

 

Time for my annual rant on Presidents’ Day.  I see no reason for a day to honor all presidents.  The great presidents, my personal list includes Washington, Jefferson, Polk, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman and Reagan, are deserving of  honor, and should not be lumped in with bad, mediocre and justly obscure presidents.  One of our worst presidents is also perhaps our most obscure president, Millard Fillmore.  Therefore, on a holiday I dislike, I will write about a President who deserves to have something toxic named after him.

Fillmore was born on January 7, 1800, in Moravia, New York,  the first of the American presidents to be born after the death of George Washington.  At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a cloth maker.  Not wanting to spend his life making cloth, Fillmore attended the New Hope Academy in New Hope, New York for six months in 1819, and began to study law, that never failing route of social advancement for people who are glib but have no other discernible talent.  Admitted to the bar in 1823, he hung out his shingle in East Aurora, New York.   In 1826 he married Abigail Powers who he had met at the New Hope Academy.  They had two children, Millard Powers Fillmore and Mary Abigail Fillmore.  Fillmore prospered as a lawyer and in 1834 he formed a law partnership, Fillmore and Hall, which eventually became one of the most prestigious law firms in western New York.

In 1828 Fillmore took his first step into politics by being elected to the New York state legislature as a member of the anti-Masonic party.  The anti-Masonic party came into being to oppose Freemasonry after the disappearance of a William Morgan in 1826 in Batavia, New York.  Morgan had left the Freemasons and had made it known that he intended to write a book exposing them.  After he disappeared, a public furor erupted, with many people suspecting that Freemasons had murdered Morgan.  The anti-Masonic party was the result, with members vowed to oppose the influence of freemasons in society.  The party grew in strength as it became a vehicle for protests against social and political ills, and waned in strength as anti-Masonry lost its saliency as a driving issue, with most of the members of the party becoming Whigs, opponents of the Democrat Party established by Andrew Jackson.

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2 Responses to Millard Who?

  • In all fairness, “forgettable” is far from the worst possible epitaph for a president. I can live with who guy who can answer the question, “What great events transpired during your term?” with, “Not very much.”

  • The words “any foreign prince, potentate or power” are obviously a précis of a similar expression found in the Act of Supremacy 1559, “And to the intent that all usurped and foreign power and authority, spiritual and temporal, may for ever be clearly extinguished, and never to be used nor obeyed within this realm or any other your Majesty’s dominions or countries; may it please your Highness that it may be further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, spiritual or temporal, shall at any time after the last day of this session of Parliament, use, enjoy or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, authority, preeminence or privilege, spiritual or ecclesiastical, within this realm.”
    The same formula recurs in the Oath imposed in the Bill of Rights 1689.

Millard Who?

Monday, February 15, AD 2010

Time for my annual rant on Presidents’ Day.  I see no reason for a day to honor all presidents.  The great presidents, my personal list includes Washington, Jefferson, Polk, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman and Reagan, are deserving of  honor, and should not be lumped in with bad, mediocre and justly obscure presidents.  One of our worst presidents is also perhaps our most obscure president, Millard Fillmore.  Therefore, on a holiday I dislike, I will write about a President who deserves to have something toxic named after him.

Fillmore was born on January 7, 1800, in Moravia, New York,  the first of the American presidents to be born after the death of George Washington.  At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a cloth maker.  Not wanting to spend his life making cloth, Fillmore attended the New Hope Academy in New Hope, New York for six months in 1819, and began to study law, that never failing route of social advancement for people who are glib but have no other discernible talent.  Admitted to the bar in 1823, he hung out his shingle in East Aurora, New York.   In 1826 he married Abigail Powers who he had met at the New Hope Academy.  They had two children, Millard Powers Fillmore and Mary Abigail Fillmore.  Fillmore prospered as a lawyer and in 1834 he formed a law partnership, Fillmore and Hall, which eventually became one of the most prestigious law firms in western New York.

In 1828 Fillmore took his first step into politics by being elected to the New York state legislature as a member of the anti-Masonic party.  The anti-Masonic party came into being to oppose Freemasonry after the disappearance of a William Morgan in 1826 in Batavia, New York.  Morgan had left the Freemasons and had made it known that he intended to write a book exposing them.  After he disappeared, a public furor erupted, with many people suspecting that Freemasons had murdered Morgan.  The anti-Masonic party was the result, with members vowed to oppose the influence of freemasons in society.  The party grew in strength as it became a vehicle for protests against social and political ills, and waned in strength as anti-Masonry lost its saliency as a driving issue, with most of the members of the party becoming Whigs, opponents of the Democrat Party established by Andrew Jackson.

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23 Responses to Millard Who?

  • Today isn’t Presidents Day but Washington’s Birthday (Observed).

  • I know BA, and the Civil War is officially designated The War of the Rebellion.

  • For a slighlty more favorable view of Millard Fillmore see these extensive posts

    http://elektratig.blogspot.com/search/label/millard%20fillmore

  • Fascinating jh. I guess all historical figures, no matter how inept and ill-intentioned, will find defenders.

  • “Fascinating jh. I guess all historical figures, no matter how inept and ill-intentioned, will find defenders.”

    LOL, well I think he has a point. I mean it is all how you look at it. Was the take over of the Know Nothings a cyncial move for personal power or a attempt to have a Pro Union non sectional to preserve the country?

    I mean even the authorization of the Expedition to Japan was no minor thing in its goals and its final result.

    I look far more kindly on Fillmore than om James Buchanan to say the least

  • My point jh is that Fillmore’s hastened the Civil War through his policies of appeasing the South and set the tone for the Fifties. Appeasement rarely works long term, as Bleeding Kansas demonstrated in our run up to the Civil War.

    James Buchanan gets my nod for the second worst president of the US, with his saving grace being some of the actions he took after the secession crisis began.

  • Yankees make me laugh, y’all are a hoot. Most Presidents prior to Lincoln restrained themselves within the limits of the Constitution. Thanks to Lincoln the flood-gates were opened for the worst tyrants imaginable: Roosevelt, Wilson (House), Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. These presidents have trampled the Constitution, flagrantly enacted tyrannical executive orders that are treasonous and have handed the uSA over to foreign powers.

    As much of a misguided man as Filmore appears to be he was much less harmful than the above list.

    What happened to great leaders like Washington (whose birthday we celebrate today, as well we should), Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Taft, Reagan? The problem we have here is that we elect ideological pragmatists instead of men of virtue.

    Who wants to celebrate treasonous ideologues? Celebrating men of virtue that have led the country to higher levels of integrity, prosperity and decency is a rightful federal holiday. Celebrating the virtuous with the rest of that gallery of rogues is a disaster. On that point we agree.

    Happy birthday President Washington, General, Farmer, Virginian (certainly not a Yankee). 🙂

  • Actually AK two Southern presidents of the US, Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor, took precisely the same view of preserving the Union through military force that Lincoln did.

    As for your view that Lincoln opened the era of big government, that is a popular view among neo-Confederates, but betrays a complete lack of knowledge about how quickly the government of the Union shrank back to its pre-war size after the Civil War. The excesses of the growth in government during the last century have nothing to do with Mr. Lincoln. Additionally, your calling any American president a tyrant is simply silly.

  • “Thanks to Lincoln the flood-gates were opened for the worst tyrants imaginable”

    Well I am not sure how Lincoln was responsible for all the alleged sins you mention 🙂

  • Thanks to Lincoln the flood-gates were opened for the worst tyrants imaginable: Roosevelt, Wilson (House), Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama.

    Yeah, because normally when you open the floodgates you have to wait a half century before anything happens.

  • It’s interesting to note that the Whigs won two presidential elections, and in both instances the elected President died and was replaced by a VP who essentially opposed the Whig platform, or at least were not exactly in lock step with their running mate. John Tyler regularly locked horns with the Whig Congress after Harrison died, and as Donald details Fillmore was much softer in his approach to the slave power than the southern, slave-holding Taylor. There were many causes of the death of the Whigs, but these unfortunate historical circumstances may have played the biggest part.

  • The fact that someone takes the same view as someone else doesn’t excuse anyone from setting the precedent. Perhaps Lincoln was a victim of circumstance; it really doesn’t matter. He struck the blow to destroy federalism.

    Precedents set do not necessarily bear fruit immediately. The enemies of America, I am referring to the barbarians that are already within the gates, employ a slow, gradual approach to tyranny. Most of the precepts of Communism have already been made into law in our lands. Calling the figure-head perpetrators of this evil conspiracy tyrants is doing them a kindness.

    In case you haven’t noticed we have been socially engineered into an immoral society of servitude to government at all levels. Graft, abuse of privilege, envy, greed, deceit, murder (not to mention child sacrifice) are all pervasive because they have become institutionalized in order to subjugate us. There are men responsible for this and there are powers and principalities behind those men. Ultimately, the fault is ours, each and every one of us when we sin. That does not let the institutional perpetrators off the hook.

    This is not how America is supposed to be unless you prefer the Masonic religion to the our Catholic faith.

    Presidents who are virtuous despite their sins, who have a servants heart irrespective of their personal wealth, who love the people of the united States and are wary of government are the people we should be celebrating today. Men like Washington who could have become king and chose to go back to his Virginia farm. Men like Jackson who destroyed the money power’s hold through the evil central bank. Men like Reagan who spoke in bold primary colors and restored hope in a dying nation. In some way Bush 43 was like that, but he was bulldozed by the trans-national banksters including Geithner, Bernanke, Paulson and his father’s legacy of a new world order.

    We need men like Washington, Jackson and Reagan to be President and we need men of virtue in our legislatures. The President has a few Constitutional functions and he needs to do them well. What we have now is an out of control office and men of low moral character hiding their true masters and ruining the states and commonwealths.

    Again with the neo-Confederate. I am not for disunion! I am for federalism. I am not a secessionist. I think we need a strong USA, we just don’t need a national government – I want one that is federal. Despite the myriad of issues that led up to the War for Southern Independence the sovereign right of the sates and the commonwealths is the overriding issue and losing that has cost all of us a great deal, in many ways Catholics especially.

    Additionally the rules are black and white, men are gray, even the best of the Saints. As much as I think Lincoln was a tyrant I can still consider him a man of decent moral character who failed in his duty to keep the union without war. He could have ended African-slavery without bloodshed and without deporting the Negros, which seem to be the only two options he considered. I do like that he strongly disliked the trans-national money power that rejoiced at the Americas going to war, in fact, may have been one of the largest contributors.

  • “This is not how America is supposed to be unless you prefer the Masonic religion to the our Catholic faith.”

    Actually AK, two of your presidents you admire, Washington and Jackson, were masons.

  • “He struck the blow to destroy federalism.”

    No Lincoln did not destroy Federalism. It should be recalled that the true breaking point was the Dem Convention in Chareleston. Where Douglas refuse to budge on SOuthern Dem demands for basically a Federal Slave Code which would have been one of the biggest expansion of Federal power ever

    “Independence the sovereign right of the sates and the commonwealths is the overriding issue and losing that has cost all of us a great deal, in many ways Catholics especially.”

    I actually think Slavery was. However I know how that battle will go. While we talk about Federal Power it should be recalled that State Govts themselves and local govts could be a oppressive lot even to Catholics.

    “He could have ended African-slavery without bloodshed and without deporting the Negros, which seem to be the only two options he considered”

    How would he had done that? I mean every compromise was on the table short of allowing slavery to expand into Federal Terrorties

  • jh, African-slave ownership in the South was detrimental and African-slave trading in the North was detrimental to all the Sates as well as to the African slaves. It is an offense against the dignity of man and the sovereign right of ownership that God has over every man. Nevertheless, losing state sovereignty is the most detrimental because it eliminates the power of the smallest minority, the individual human being. Catholics who are persecuted in New York can move to Maryland and find more freedom unless Washington institutionalizes New York’s persecution.

    Lincoln invaded a sovereign country because he determined that those States had no right to voluntarily remove themselves from the voluntary federal compact. After conquering those States the North enacted a military occupation of those State’s governments and people and impaired ‘rebellious’ legislators from Congress. Washington reigns supreme and that has led to the problems we are facing today. Every time we have a ‘crisis’ what is the solution? More National government. That is the antithesis of federalism. Washington is a National government deceitfully operating under a Federal charter. Sure the groundwork was laid in the Constitutional compromise, exacerbated in 1850 and it exploded in the 1860s. However, the loss we (Southerners) suffered in the 1860s led to the so-called Progressive era and all the damage since then. Was Lincoln solely responsible? No, but he was Commander in Chief of the Union when it invaded the Confederacy. What seemed like a victory for Union was actually a victory for Hamilton’s view of American – a Masonic view – hence, a terrible turn of events for Catholics.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking Lincoln cared about the African-slaves. He did not, he considered them inferior to the white man and would have preferred to ship them all off shore, short of the feasibility of that, killing them was just fine, unless they were useful in his war. He emancipated African-slaves in a country in which he had no jurisdiction and kept them enslaved in the USA. How is that helpful to the plight of the slaves?

    Would I prefer that we celebrate two presidential offices today, one in Richmond and one in Washington? No. I would prefer that we celebrate the office of the President and the honorable men who held that office with full knowledge that, other than in times of war, it is the office of the Executor of the laws of Congress restrained by the Constitution; rather than a despotic Administrator ruling for a hidden cabal of would-be global feudal lords. If you want a glimpse of the designs of these men, read E.M. House’s Philip Dru: Administrator, Cecil Rhodes, the Fabian Socialists, especially the Sodomite J.M Keynes.

    Washington, Jackson and Reagan are the kind of men we should honor today. Do we agree with all they did? No. But they served for the sake of the people of North America and not the pleasure of foreign powers.

  • Donald,

    Your encyclopedic knowledge never ceases to astound me. You must have a large cranium, you are carrying a massive library up there combined with an acute analytical mind. It truly is a pleasure to disagree with you – I always come out the better for it. Thank you. I mean that sincerely, I am not trying to earn debating points.

    I am aware that Washington and Jackson were Masons. I also believe that not all Freemasons are initiated into the higher degrees that probably date back to Lucifer, Joseph Weishaupt, the Illuminati, Jacobins, Fabians, and so on down the line. Secret societies tend to keep secrets from everyone including each other.

    Judging by the fruits of their actions, Washington and Jackson were not conspiratorial Masons and probably had a Protestant Christian world view and believed the Freemasons to be a benign fraternal organization. We know differently.

    Washington stepped down although he could have been Executive for life with the title, Your Majesty. Jackson stood form against the central bank. Neither of those actions bodes well for a society that desires to rule the world. Permanent, powerful dictators loyal to the conspiracy and central banks are integral parts of the plan for global domination. Incidentally someone informed Marx of this as those are two components of a Communist takeover of a nation.

  • The idea that Lincoln is somehow responsible for the New Deal or whatever is just silly. FDR didn’t rely on Lincoln as a justification for his actions; he cited the emergency of the Great Depression. TR and Wilson were confederate sympathizers. The Southern states weren’t particularly interested in states rights except when it was to their advantage (nothing special there) and the economic interventions by the government during the Civil War exceeded anything in the North. Talk about how Lincoln started the war is ahistorical and frankly tedious.

  • I am not suggesting that if we were being ruled by the Confederacy we would be better off. I am confident that as a non-Anglo Catholic I would not fair well in that country. I am stating that the loss of the Confederacy was practically a death blow to federalism. It is the federalism (subsidiarity) that I am defending. From a historical perspective it is the CSA that fought for federalism no matter how hypocritical that is on the parts of some. The North fought for a national structure.

    FDR did not rely on Lincoln, he relied on his old boss Wilson (House) and although Wilson was a Southerner he preferred the absolutism promoted by Lincoln. It is all of piece and the piece stinks of despotism.

    I am picking on Lincoln because it is President’s Day. I am not laying all the blame on him. In fact he, like most presidents since, was mostly a pawn.

  • “You must have a large cranium”

    Could be, I have had people call me a fat head on occasion.

  • I am stating that the loss of the Confederacy was practically a death blow to federalism. It is the federalism (subsidiarity) that I am defending.

    I disagree on two counts. First, I don’t think federalism was destroyed or even seriously damaged by the defeat of the Confederacy. The Civil War established that you couldn’t secede from the Union, not that the federal government had plenary power to legislate. That change came much later and was, I think, primarily a result of the 17th Amendment, which took away state representation in Congress.

    Second, I would dispute that the South or Confederacy somehow represented federalism. The South was quite eager to use federal power to its own advantage wherever the opportunity arose. I quote Henry Adams:

    Between the slave power and states’ rights there was no necessary connection. The slave power, when in control, was a centralizing influence, and all the most considerable encroachments on states’ rights were its acts. The acquisition and admission of Louisiana; the Embargo; the War of 1812; the annexation of Texas “by joint resolution” [rather than treaty]; the war with Mexico, declared by the mere announcement of President Polk; the Fugitive Slave Law; the Dred Scott decision — all triumphs of the slave power — did far more than either tariffs or internal improvements, which in their origin were also southern measures, to destroy the very memory of states’ rights as they existed in 1789. Whenever a question arose of extending or protecting slavery, the slaveholders became friends of centralized power, and used that dangerous weapon with a kind of frenzy. Slavery in fact required centralization in order to maintain and protect itself, but it required to control the centralized machine; it needed despotic principles of government, but it needed them exclusively for its own use. Thus, in truth, states’ rights were the protection of the free states, and as a matter of fact, during the domination of the slave power, Massachusetts appealed to this protecting principle as often and almost as loudly as South Carolina.

  • You can no more blame Lincoln for the abandonment of federalism than James Madison or Alexander Hamilton. What the Civil War did was to finally eradicate the last vestiges of anti-Federalist notions of dual sovereignty and the idea that the states were independent entities. The Civil War confirmed the fact that we are one Nation, but again this is simply what the Federalists assumed to be true already.

    The only tangential blame that can even be remotely laid at Lincoln’s feet is that because anti-Federalist beliefs about state independence were completely eradicated, this somehow weakened resistance to further incursions into federalism. But I cannot blame Lincoln for the perversions of Wilson, FDR, Johnson and others.

  • First, I am genuinely impressed with how popular Professor Tom Woods is.

    Second, I agree with Donald and Blackladder.

    And finally, what Paul said.

  • Paul,

    Madison shares some of the blame although I doubt that he intended it. Hamilton certainly shares in the blame, in fact, he shares in it more than Lincoln.

    The loss of federalism while retaining the veneer of it was probably inevitable due to the Constitutional compromise, but it actually did occur during the War for Southern Independence and Lincoln was the Commander in Chief of the invading force. If not for the military acumen of Gens. Lee and Jackson and the incompetnece of the Army of the Potomac – Manassas may have been the end of the war and the end of federalism. That was not the case and the CSA and her sons fought valiantly against the valiant sons of the North. As horrible as the loss of life was it is far worse to shackle countless generations since.

    And shackled we are. When State sovereignty is usurped by the National government and the foreign money power rules the Nation from the shadows and men vie to see who can best who with no sense of virtue in the acquisition of public largess we are all slaves.

    Lincoln recognized the interference of the money power and yet he invaded the Confederacy probably to keep the Union together. He was not the only one in favor of union. Gen. Robert E. Lee was a unionist but when push came to shove he turned down the command of the Army of the Potomac in order to serve his home country as general of the Army of Northern Virginia. Pres. Jefferson Davis ended up as Commander in Chief of a confederation invaded by a Department of War that he himself modernized. These men are not traitors, they are heroes, despite Davis’ views on slavery. Else why would they pledge their lives, their fortunes and their Sacred Honor for the independence of the South knowing that they served the Union so well?

    They knew that a National government unchecked by the vertical separation of powers would eventually lose the horizontal separation and the Republic would devolve into a democracy and then into tyranny. We are on our way to that. Eventually we will lose our National sovereignty for a regional union like Europe and then a hemispheric union and finally a one world government. If I am not mistaken that is exactly opposite of subsidiarity. That global government will most certainly be tyrannical, anti-Catholic and will eventually be the instrument of Satan. We cannot desire that end. We are to hasten the return of the Lord, but we are not to actively work to subjugate the world through the powers of men. See Eph 6:12.

    All this blame is not Lincoln’s. But some of it certainly is his. As for Wilson, FDR, Johnson and the rest of their ilk. I am confident as an honorable man Lincoln would not have liked any of them, yet he is partially responsible for the power that they gained. He acknowledged as much after assuming despotic powers. He may have been repentant after the war and God willing he died in God’s Grace.

    Nevertheless, as far as I am concerned yesterday was President Washington’s birthday.