Millard Fillmore Peace At Any Price

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Text on Button MILLARD FILLMORE Peace at any price
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Off-white background with dark brown text around the rim, separated in the middle on each side by small brown stars. A brown-toned portrait of Millard Fillmore is in the center of the button.

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[sticker: 185]

Curl Text N.G. SLATER CORP., N.Y.C. 11 [union bug]
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Millard Fillmore became the 13th president of the United States serving from 1850-1853, after succeeding to presidency due to the death of his predecessor, Zachery Taylor. As a member of the Whig party, he was the last president to not be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. As president, Fillmore inherited the controversial task of addressing the future of slavery. Regardless of opposing slavery, he supported and was instrumental in the passing of the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise also included the Fugitive Slave Act which Fillmore vigorously enforced. This gave power to federal officials to seize runaway slaves; those assisting any runaway slaves also faced severe consequences. 

Fillmore became an unpopular president as both the North and South took issue with his politics. He believed he could create a truce between the two sides with the passing of the Compromise and delay the inevitable Civil war. Fillmore wanted to bring peace even at an unconscionable price as he took slavery as a political issue and not a moral one. He is quoted saying: 

God knows I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil, for which we are not responsible, and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the constitution, till we get rid of it without destroying the last hope of free government in the world

In 1856, Fillmore ran for president for a second term under the American party—more popularly know as the “Know Nothings” party. As his campaign progressed, his supporters adopted the slogan, “Peace at any Price” aimed at those willing to pay the price of slavery to avoid civil war. He did not get reelected. 

In 1968, the “Peace at any Price” slogan was co-opted by some anti-war student groups who issued buttons bearing Fillmore’s image. 


Dkramer3 []. (2018, March 4). Millard who? Talker of the Town.

NCC Staff. (2020, January 7). Millard Fillmore’s brief time in the national spotlight. National Constitutional Center.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (2024, March 13). Millard Fillmore. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Tolsen, J. (2007, February 16). Worst Presidents: Millard Filmore (1850-1853). U.S. News & World Report.…

Catalog ID PO1259