Lot #11
Millard Fillmore

Fillmore faces an uphill battle before the 1844 Whig National Convention
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Estimate: $800+


Fillmore faces an uphill battle before the 1844 Whig National Convention

ALS, one page, both sides, 8 x 10, February 23, 1844. Letter to New York Congressman William A. Moseley, in part: "I had not noticed the article in the Courier of the 16th instant but on the receipt of yours went and read it. It does not give me the least anxiety or disturb the equanimity of my feelings. Simply because I attach no great importance to the result. You are no doubt correct in attributing this movement to the same interest that brought out Mr. Webster's name; and I am satisfied from what I saw and heard at Batavia yesterday, that a great effort is making, originating with Mr. W's friends in N. Y. and countinanced by Weed, Seward, and Co. to some extent to prevent my nomination for the V. Pr. under the pretense that they want to use my name for governor. Some of these gentlemen know well that I do not desire the latter office…I freely admit that I have no claims on the V. Pr. I desire it to be directly understood here and at Washington that I can not under existing circumstances consent to be a candidate for governor. Between you and me I do not for a moment believe that those who are most active in giving public opinion this direction, desire that I should be governor. It is only done to prevent my nomination for the V. Pr. and I wish all my true friends to understand that. I attended the Congressional Convention of the counties of Genesee & Wyoming at Batavia yesterday, and was gratified to see the court house filled to overflowing. The traveling was bad yet it was evident that the right spirit was abroad…The prospect now is that we shall have a spirited election and if we do not succeed shall reduce our majority." In fine condition.

After deciding to launch a behind-the-scenes campaign for the Whig party's 1844 vice-presidential nomination, Fillmore gleaned that state party strategist Thurlow Weed coveted that spot for his close ally, former New York governor William Seward. To derail this scheme, Fillmore made a bargain with John Collier of Binghamton, a New York City-supported antagonist of the party's Weed-Seward Albany faction. Fillmore would support Collier for governor and Collier would put his influence behind Fillmore's vice-presidential quest. The plan fell apart when Seward declared he had no interest in the position, news which prompted Weed to sabotage any chances of his party awarding Fillmore with the vice-presidential nomination. Weed's tactics ultimately proved fruitful, as Theodore Frelinghuysen won a third-ballot nomination.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #576 - Ended February 05, 2020

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