Saturday, March 07, 2009

"But sure, your Ixellency is only a sicond-hand Prisident!"

I've told you before that John C. Waugh's On the Brink of Civil War is a marvelous book. It's a good introduction to the Compromise of 1850, and it's just chock full of the most wonderful anecdotes. Forgive me, but I've got to relate one more, a humorous tale about none other than Millard Fillmore.

Shortly after Fillmore was elevated to the presidency in July 1850, a story circulated around Washington that Fillmore was looking for a new carriage.
A veteran White House attendant, "Old Edward" Moran, took him to see a bargain being offered by its owner leaving town. "This is all very well, Edward," Fillmore said, "but how would it do for the President of the United States to ride around in a second-hand carriage?" "But sure," Old Edward said, "your Ixellency is only a sicond-hand Prisident!"

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