Tags: Pets | Presidential History | President Millard Fillmore | pets

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President Millard Fillmore

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 05:20 PM

Animal friends have provided joy and love to U.S. presidents throughout the years, and President Millard Fillmore was no exception.

While in office, Fillmore had two ponies, the Presidential Pet Museum reported. Showing the president's sense of humor given the political atmosphere in which he was entangled, the ponies' names were Mason and Dixon. This choice was clearly a reference to the slavery debate raging during Fillmore's presidency in that the Mason-Dixon Line was the symbolic division between the slave and nonslave states.

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Whether the ponies were named as a result of Fillmore's humor or simply the pervasive nature of the debate always at the forefront of his thoughts, it is sure that they enjoyed their time in the White House stables.

Born in 1800, Fillmore started off as a frontiersman. According to the White House Historical Association, he worked on his father's farm and attended modest schooling during his teenage years. In 1823, he became a lawyer. After meeting and befriending the Whig politician Thurlow Reed, Fillmore began his trek into national politics. He served in the House of Representatives for eight years and was elected as U.S. vice president in 1848 under President Zachary Taylor.

When President Taylor died in 1850, the nation's most powerful politicians were in the midst of a heated debate about the Compromise of 1850 and, more generally, about slavery. Where Taylor had been indecisive about the bill, Fillmore supported it, so when he took office, there was a great shift in political mindset. Working with Stephen A. Douglas, Fillmore saw the Compromise passed in five parts, two of which were favorable to abolitionists, one to slaveholders.

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Animal friends have provided joy and love to U.S. presidents throughout the years, and President Millard Fillmore was no exception.
President Millard Fillmore, pets
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2016-20-07
Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 05:20 PM
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