Franklin Pierce Facts | 14th US PRESIDENT
US President: 1853-1857
US Vice President: William King
Political Party: Democrat
Birth: November 23, 1804 Hillsborough, New Hampshire
Death: October 8, 1869 in Concord, New Hampshire
Education: Bowdoin College, Northampton Law School
14th President of the United States (1853 – 1857)
United States Senator from New Hampshire (1837 – 1842)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire’s at-large district (1833 – 1837)
First Ladies: Jane Appleton (m. 1834 – 1863)
Children: Franklin, Frank Robert, Benjamin
Pictures of Jane Pierce from the Library of Congress
Facts about Franklin Pierce
- Pierce only practiced law for two years before he became a New Hampshire legislator.
- Pierce appealed to President James K. Polk to allow him to be an officer during the Mexican American War. Franklin was given the rank of Brigadier General even though he had never served in the military before.
- He led a group of volunteers at the Battle of Contreras, sustaining was injuries when he fell from his horse. He later helped capture Mexico City.
- Pierce was criticized during the campaign and his presidency for his alcoholism. During the used election of 1852, the Whigs mocked Pierce as the “”Hero of Many a Well-Fought Bottle.””
- In 1854, the Ostend Manifesto, an internal presidential memo, was leaked and printed in the New York Herald. It argued that the US should take aggressive action against Spain if it was unwilling to sell Cuba.
- Pierce was pro-slavery and supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act which provided for popular sovereignty to determine the fate of slavery in the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The Kansas territory became a hotbed of violence and became known as “”Bleeding Kansas.””
- In 1856, Pierce had become quite unpopular and was not nominated to run for reelection. Instead, he traveled to Europe and the Bahamas and helped take care of his grieving wife.
- In his last will, which he signed January 22, 1868, Pierce left a large number of specific bequests such as paintings, swords, horses, and other items to friends, family, and neighbors.
Franklin Pierce Childhood
Franklin Pierce was born on November 23, 1804, in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. His father, Benjamin, was an American Revolutionary War hero who held some political prowess in the family’s rural town. His mother, Anna Kendrick Pierce, had eight children, whose education she made her top priority.
In fall 1820, Pierce entered Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, one of nineteen freshmen. He joined the Athenian Society, a progressive literary society, alongside Jonathan Cilley (later elected to Congress) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (the author), with whom he formed lasting friendships. Last in his class after two years, he worked hard to improve his grades and in 1824 graduated in fifth place in a graduating class of fourteen.
In Pierce’s junior year, John P. Hale, a later political ally and then rival of Pierce’s, also enrolled at Bowdoin. That year, Pierce organized and led an unofficial militia company, the Bowdoin Cadets, which included Cilley and Hawthorne. The unit performed drill on campus near the president’s house until the noise caused him to demand it halt. TDuring his final year at Bowdoin, he spent several months teaching at a school in rural Hebron, Maine, where his students included future Congressman John J. Perry, and he earned his first salary.
Where is Franklin Pierce buried?
Pierce was interred next to his wife and two of his sons in the Minot enclosure at Concord’s Old North Cemetery.
How did Franklin Pierce die?
Pierce’s health began to decline in mid-1869; he resumed heavy drinking despite his deteriorating physical condition. He suffered from severe cirrhosis of the liver and died at 4:35 am on October 8.”