- (1784–1850), 12th president of the US. 1849–50. Long in the military 1808–49, he became a national hero after his victories in the war with Mexico 1846–48. He negotiated the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 with Great Britain that stated that any canal built in Central America would be under the joint control of Great Britain and the US. As the last Whig president, he came into conflict with Congress over his desire to admit California to the Union as a free state (without slavery) and died before the problem was resolved.
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