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Abigail Fillmore was an American first lady from 1850 to 1853. She was the wife of Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the United States.
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The library became a place for small musical gatherings and vigorous political discussions. Abigail was also instrumental in convincing President Fillmore to ban flogging in the U.S. Navy and tried, without success,
to convince him to veto the Fugitive Slave Law. President Fillmore fell out of favor among Whig political operatives for signing the law and was not re-nominated for president by the party in 1852.
After Democrat Franklin Pierce won the election, Abigail and Millard Fillmore planned an extensive trip through the South. At the outdoor inauguration of the new president, Abigail contracted pneumonia. After weeks of struggle, she died on March 30, 1853, in Washington, D.C. Her death was widely reported, along with praise for her contributions to the White House. Both Congress and the president's Cabinet adjourned in mourning.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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