Quilt featuring embroidered portraits of presidents,
a popular late-20th-centuruy idea.
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)
Brady Studios Photograph, 1949
Yale's Beinecke Library owns this photo of Millard Fillmore,
President of the United States from 1850 to 1853.
If one measures by surviving political textiles Millard Fillmore
is possibly our most un-inspiring President.
The main problem may be that he was a vice-president who took over the job after President Zachary Taylor died in office.
General Zachary Taylor cut from a print celebrating victories in the Mexican War
of the mid 1840s, quilt shown at the Virginia Quilt Museum in 2016
Taylor had inspired many political and patriotic quilts and Fillmore just had none of that war-hero panache.
But Susan Price Miller recently called our attention to this quilt
recalling the Lord's Prayer, General Winfield Scott and Fillmore
entered by a Mrs. Smith in a Kentucky State Fair in 1852.
The only quilt right now in the Fillmore files is this Tumbling Blocks
quilt in the collections of the Fillmore House in East Aurora, New York.
It is attributed to the first Mrs. Fillmore, Abigail Powers Fillmore.
Abigail Powers Fillmore (1798-1853)
Perhaps this quilt.
1913 Buffalo social life
After Abigail Fillmore died of pneumonia caught during
the inauguration of her husband's successor Franklin Pierce in 1853
Millard married again five years later.
Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore (1813-1881)
His second wife was a wealthy widow from Albany, New York.
They moved to Buffalo and lived in this Victorian concoction for 16 years.
It may be that Caroline had something to do with the silk quilt.
It's such a classic style of mosaic silk patchwork it might have
been made before Abigail died in 1853.
But then again....