Millard Fillmore, friend of Grover Cleveland

One little known fact of American history is that Millard Fillmore -- Whig-turned-Know-Nothing, signatory of the Fugitive Slave Law, and self-declared competitor with the Allman Brothers -- was very good friends with Grover Cleveland, Democrat, mugwump, and mustachioed sex beast.

As the White House official biography points out, President Cleveland would often complain, "I must go to dinner." At one such occasion in 1881, Cleveland happened upon the befuddled Fillmore wandering aimlessly around the West Wing (Rutherford B. Hayes, preparing to yield his term of office to James "Odie" Garfield, was himself befuddled to discover Cleveland in the White House...but that's a story for another time). Fillmore's befuddlement might have been caused by his death eleven years prior, but most historians agree that it was due simply to his uninspiring personality and his lactose intolerance. Either way, Cleveland lost no time tucking a kerchief into his waistcoat and preparing to dine on Fillmore's back fat. Luckily, the day was saved when the Boer War ran into the room demanding to know where all the Zulus had gone. Thanks to the resultant laughter and jokes about B.W.'s inseparable buddies, Plessy and Ferguson, the three quickly became close friends, a situation that continues to confound historians to this day.


Blogger Tristan said...

Really, President Fillmore was rather average in girth, and since he's the one who was dead at the White House in 1881, isn't it more proper that Zombie-Millard was prepared to dine on the back fat of the far more corpulent President Cleveland?

Also worthy of note: perhaps the Allmans' greatest work was the double-live album Live at the Fillmore East. The Fillmore East was a concert venue in New York, named after the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, so named because of its location at Fillmore and Geary Streets there. And Fillmore Street was named after... Millard Fillmore. Hmmm. Were the Allmans co-opting their rival Fillmore? Or paying him tribute?

Monday, May 23, 2005  

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