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commendation. Upon the sudden death of Gen. Taylor, he became President, and promptly selected a cabinet, distinguished for its ability, patriotism, and devotion to the Union, and possessing, in an eminent degree, the confidence of the country.
After serving out the constitutional term, Mr. Fillmore returned to Buffalo, and again resumed those pursuits which had prepared the way to the elevated position from which he had just retired. He was welcomed home by troops of friends, with whom he still continues to enjoy an unabated popularity.
It should be borne in mind by every aspiring young man, that Mr. Fillmore is entirely indebted to his own exertions for his success in life. From a very humble origin, he attained the highest office in the world, climbing the rugged steep of fame step by step, with indefatigable industry and untiring perseverance, until he at length gained the summit, where he is long likely to enjoy his well-earned position.
THE TWELFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
Was born at Hillsborough, N. H., November 23, 1804, and early received the advantage of a liberal education. After going through a regular collegiate course at Bowdoin College, which he entered at the age of sixteen, he became a law student in the office of Judge Woodbury, at Portsmouth, whence he was transferred to the law school at Northampton, where he remained two years, and then finished his studies with Judge Parker, at Amherst. Although his rise at the bar was not rapid, by degrees he attained the highest rank as a lawyer and advocate.
In 1829, he was elected to represent his native town in the State Legislature, where he served four years, during the two last of which he held the speakership, and discharged the duties of the office with universal satisfaction.
From 1833 to 1837, he represented his State in Congress, and was then elected to the United States Senate, having barely reached the requisite age to qualify him for a seat in that body.
In 1834, he married Miss Jane Means, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Appleton, formerly President of Bowdoin College, soon after which he removed to Concord, where he still holds a residence. He was reëlected at the expiration of his senatorial term, but resigned his seat the year following, for the purpose of devoting himself exclusively to his legal buisness, which had become so extensive as to require all his attention.
In 1846, he declined the office of Attorney-General, tendered him by President Polk; but when the war with Mexico broke out, he was active in raising the New England regiments of volunteers; and afterward accepted the commission of Brigadier-General, with which he at once repaired to the field of operations, where he distinguished himself in several hard-fought battles. At Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec he displayed an ardor in his country's cause which extorted praise from his most inveterate political opponents; and on his return home he was every
where received with gratifying evidences that his services were held in grateful remembrance by the people.
At the Democratic Convention, held in Baltimore in 1852, after trying in vain to concentrate their votes on a more prominent candidate, that body unexpectedly nominated General Pierce for the office of President of the United States, to which he was elected by an unprecedented majority over his rival, General Scott-receiving 254 votes out of 296. He was duly inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1853, and his administration was more remarkable for its futile attempts to reconcile conflicting interests, than for the achievement of any particular measure of great public utility. However, it will better become his future than his present biographer to "speak of him as he is; nor aught extenuate, nor aught set down in malice."
Election for the Seventeenth Term, commencing March 4, 1853, and terminating March 3, 1857.
Franklin Pierce took the oath of office, as President, and entered upon his duties March 4, 1853.
The oath of office was administered to William R. King by a commission while he was on a visit to Cuba for the benefit of his health; but he died soon after his return home, and Jesse D. Bright, of Indiana, then President of the Senate, acted as Vice President, ex officio, during the remainder of the term.
John P. Hale, of N. H., and George W. Julian, of Ind., were nominated by the "Free Democracy for President and Vice President, but they did not receive a single electoral vote
THIRTEENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
For the high position he so long maintained in the political affairs of this country, Mr. Buchanan is not alone indebted to his early and thorough education, but his entire devotion to whatever he undertook, and his perseverance in surmounting obstacles which would have intimidated less determined minds, had a large share in promoting his advancement. He is of Irish parentage, and was born at Stony Batter, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1791. At the age of seven years, he removed with his father's family to Mercersburg, and there received an education that fitted him for entering Dickinson College, in 1805, where he graduated two years afterward with the highest honors. He then studied law with James Hopkins, of Lancaster, and in 1812 was admitted to the bar, at which he attained a high rank and commanded an extensive practice.
In 1814, he commenced political life as a member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and in 1820 was sent as a Representative to Congress, where he remained for ten yearsat the expiration of which he declined a re-nomination.
In 1831, he was appointed minister to Russia by President Jackson, of whom he was always the consistent friend and supporter, and he negotiated a commercial treaty which proved of great advantage to American commerce.
In December, 1834, having been elected to the United States Senate, he took his seat in that body, and continued one of its most efficient members until 1845, when he accepted the office of Secretary of State, under Mr. Polk. He held this responsible place until the expiration of Mr. Polk's term of service, when he returned home to repose awhile. But he did not, by any means, become an idle spectator in passing events; his letters and speeches show that he was no less vigilant as a private citizen, than as a counselor in the Cabinet, or a Representative and Senator in Congress.
On the accession of Mr. Pierce to the Presidency, in 1853, Mr. Buchanan was appointed minister to England, with which country questions were then pending that required great prudeuce and discrimination for their satisfactory adjustment.