His Accidency

Millard Fillmore, who became president only because Zachary Taylor had died in office, was the subject of many derisive jokes and stories. (Among his nicknames were "His Accidency" and "the Wool Carder President.") Shortly after his installation in the Oval Office, one particularly malicious tale began to circulate in the capital:

When Fillmore announced his need for a new carriage, a White House attendant, Edward Moran, was enlisted to find one. Moran, having hunted far and wide, finally found a handsome vehicle which was being sold at a reduced rate because its owner was moving.

Fillmore was troubled: "How would it do, Edward, for the president of the United States to ride around in a second-hand carriage?" he asked. "But surely," Moran allegedly replied, "Your Excellency is only a second-hand president!"

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