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comprehensive views and zealous devotion to democracy soon secured him a widely-extended popularity, which resulted in his election to the legislature of Tennessse in 1823. In 1825, while yet in his thirtieth year, he was chosen a member of Congress, in which body he remained fourteen years being honored with the Speakership for several sessions. So well satisfied were his constituents with his congressional course, that he was elected Governor by a large majority, but some questions of local policy subsequently defeated his re-election.

In 1844 he was unexpectedly nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic Convention at Baltimore; and, having received sixty-five electoral votes more than his rival candidate, Mr. Clay, he was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1845.

Soon after Mr. Polk assumed the reins of government, the country became involved in a war with Mexico, which was little more than a series of victories wherever the American banner was displayed, and which resulted in important territorial acquisitions. The ostensible ground for this war, on the part of Mexico, was the admission of Texas into the Union, which was one of the first acts of Mr. Polk's administration. The Mexicans, however, paid dearly for asserting their frivolous claims to Texas as a revolted province, and the prompt and energetic course pursued by Mr. Polk was sanctioned and sustained by a large majority of the people.

But notwithstanding the advantageous issue of the war, the acquisition of Texas, and the satisfactory settlement of several vexed questions of long standing, Mr. Polk was not nominated for a second term-various extraneous matters leading to the selection of another candidate. Perhaps it was fortunate for the country and for himself that he was permitted to retire to the more congenial enjoyment of private life; for his health had become very much impaired, and he did not long survive after reaching his home in Nashville. He died June 15, 1849.




OF THE UNITED STATES, Was born in Orange county, Va., November 24, 1790, and, after receiving an indifferent education, passed a considerable portion of his boyhood amid the stirring scenes which were being enacted at that 'me on our western border. In 1808 he was appointed a lieutenant

in the United States infantry, and subsequently was promoted to a captaincy for his efficient services against the Indians. Soon after the declaration of war in 1812 he was placed in command of Fort Harrison, which he so gallantly defended with a handful of men against the attack of a large body of savages, as to win the brevet rank of major. So familiar did he become with the Indian character, and with the mode of warfare of that wily foe, that his services at the West and South were deemed indispensable in the subjugation and removal of several hostile tribes. While effecting these desirable objects, he was occasionally rewarded for his toils and sacrifices by gradual promotion, and in 1840 attained the rank of brigadier-general. At the commencement of the troubles with Mexico, in 1845, he was ordered to occupy a position on the American side of the Rio Grande, but not to cross that river unless attacked by the Mexicans. He was not, however, allowed to remain long in repose: the enemy, by attacking Fort Brown, which he had built on the Rio Grande, opposite Matamoras, soon afforded him an opportunity to display his skill and valor, and gloriously did he improve it. The brilliant battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, where he contended successfully against fearful odds, were precursors to a series of victories which have few parallels in military annals. The attack on Matamoras, the storming of Monterey, the sanguinary contest at Buena Vista, and the numerous skirmishes in which he was engaged, excited universal admiration and on his return home, after so signally aiding to " conquer a peace" with Mexico, he was everywhere received with the most gratifying demonstrations of respect and affection. In 1848 General Taylor received the nomination of the whig party for the office of President of the United States, and, being elected, was inaugurated the year following. But the cares and responsibilities of this position were greater than his constitution could endure, hardened as it had been both in Indian and civilized warfare. After the lapse of little more than a year from the time he entered upon his new career, he sunk under its complicated trials, and his noble spirit sought refuge in a more congenial sphere, July 9, 1850.




THE SUCCESSOR OF GEN. TAYLOR, AS PRESIDENT, WAS born at Summer Hill, Cayuga county, N. Y., January 7, 1800, and did not enjoy the advantages of any other education than what he derived from the then inefficient common schools of the county. At an early age he was sent into the wilds of Livingston county to learn a trade, and here he soon attracted the attention of a friend, who placed him in a lawyer's office-thus opening a new, and what was destined to be a most honorable and distinguished career. In 1827 he was admitted as an attorney, and two years afterwards as counsellor in the Supreme Court. Soon attracting attention, he

established himself at Buffalo, where his talents and business habits secured him an extended practice.

His first entrance into public life was in January, 1829, when he took his seat as a member of the Assembly from Erie county. At this time he distinguished himself for his untiring opposition to imprisonment for debt, and to this are the people indebted in a great degree for the expunging of this relic of barbarism from the statute book. Having gained a high reputation for legislative capacity, in 1833 he was elected a member of the national House of Representatives; and on the assembling of the Twenty-seventh Congress, to which he was re-elected by a larger majority than was ever given to any person in his district, he was placed in the arduous position of Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. The measures he brought forward and sustained with matchless ability, speedily relieved the government from its existing pecuniary embarrassments. In 1847 he was elected Comptroller of the state of New York by a larger majority than had been given to any state office for many years. In 1848 he was selected as candidate for Vice President, General Taylor heading the ticket. On his election to that high office, he resigned his position as Comptroller, and entered upon his duties as President of the United States Senate. The courtesy, ability, and dignity exhibited by him, while presiding over the deliberations of that body, received general commendation. Upon the sudden death of General 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.

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