Thursday, February 19, 2009
Ignorance is bliss
Two former presidents, Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce failed to properly mourn the death of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Despite being born in New York, President Millard Fillimore has some southern sympathies and he tended to speak out against the Lincoln Administration. Fillmore was never a big Lincoln fan. In 1861 when Lincoln was traveling to Washington by train he visited several prominant American cities. One of these stops was in Buffalo, New York which was the home of former president Millard Fillmore. At the station Fillmore coldly greeted Lincoln and just exchanged a few words with him. Then both boarded seperate carriages and Lincoln traveled to the American Hotel. Fillmore's reception can be seen disrespectful to the president-elect and this continued after Lincoln's death.
After the assassination a mob, unforgiving of Fillmore's sympathy for the South, surrounded his house and draped it in black cloth, then splashed black ink on it. For Fillmore ignorance was bliss. He ignored a nation wide mourning in which churches, schools and homes were drapped in mourning. When the Lincoln funeral train stopped in Buffalo the former president was there to greet it. Perhaps to save face pubiclly, perhaps because he finally came to his senses, our 13th President paid his final respects to our 16th President.