WHO S/HE WAS:
Millard Filimore was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853. Fillmore petitioned the Japanese to open trade with the West which led to Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.
WHAT S/HE SAID:
Nations, like individuals in a state of nature, are equal and independent, possessing certain rights and owing certain duties to each other.
WHY S/HE MATTERED:
In 1851, President Millard Fillmore authorized a formal naval expedition to Japan to return shipwrecked Japanese sailors and request that Americans stranded in Japan be returned to the United States. Additionally, the mission was intended to complete an agreement with the Japanese Government to open one or more ports for supplies and refueling. The following year, the Japanese grudgingly agreed to the U.S. demands.