Abigail Powers was born on March 13, 1798 in Stillwater, New York.
Her father was a Baptist minister. He died soon after Abigail was born. He left little money for the family. However, he did leave a lot of books which her mother used to educate her children. Her mother used those books to educate Abigail and her brother.
She was the last of the First Ladies that was born in the 1700's.
Abigail took a job as a teacher when she was sixteen. She then went on to teach at an academy in New Hope. There she met Millard Fillmore. He was two years younger than she was. She was his teacher. The following year she and Millard became engaged. They were engaged for eight years while he finished his education and went to law school.
She married Millard Fillmore in February, 1826.
Abigail continued to work as a teacher un till her son was born.
She moved to Washington when her husband became a congressman.
Abigail was the first First Lady to hold a paying job before becoming First Lady.
Library of Congress
She didn't like to do the "official" entertaining they had to do, so she had her daughter Abby to fill in as hostess.
Fillmore was Vice President to Zachary Taylor and became President when Taylor died in office.
Abigail discovered there wasn't a library in the White House. She asked her husband to request money from the congress to establish a White House library. She got the money and selected the books for the library.
After attending Franklin Pierce's inauguration on a cold day on March 4, 1853, she came down with pneumonia. A few weeks later, Abigail died on March 30, 1853 in Washington, D.C. She was fifty-five. She is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York.