Jane Means Appleton Pierce
Born: March 12, 1806 at Hampton, New Hampshire
Died: December 2, 1863 (aged 57) at Andover, Massachusetts
Spouse: Franklin Pierce (m. 1834 – 1863)
Children: She had 3 children, all of whom died young
First Lady of the United States (1853 – 1857)
Facts about Jane Means Appleton Pierce
The Pierces spent a year abroad after Franklin left the White House, and then returned to Concord, New Hampshire. She blamed politics for all the troubles in her life including the death of her child and Franklin’s excessive alcohol consumption. Having more of an abolitionist background than her husband, it was Jane Pierce who persuaded him to release Dr. Charles Robinson, an ardent abolitionist and republican, from a Kansas prison where he had been detained.
She distanced herself during her husband’s presidency, wrapped in melancholia after losing every one of her young children. The Pierces apparently had genuine affection for each other, but they quarreled often preferring private life, she opposed his decision to run for president and gradually they drifted apart.
She attended Congressional debates, which is surprising considering her dislike of politics.
Jane Means Appleton Pierce Childhood
Born Jane Means Appleton in Hampton, New Hampshire, on March 12, 1806, Jane Pierce was the third of six children. She showed an early interest in literature (though her precise educational background is unclear) and spent some time at a boarding school in Keene, New Hampshire.
Her father served as a congregational minister and president of Bowdoin College in Maine, and her sister, Frances, married one of Franklin Pierce’s tutors at the college. It is assumed that Jane and Franklin met through this Bowdoin association, soon after Franklin graduated and began his law practice.
Jane and Franklin Pierce were immediately devoted to one another, but her family objected to the union because of Pierce’s unabashed political ambitions. In 1834, however, when Jane was 28, the couple married.
Where is Jane Means Appleton Pierce buried?
Jane Pierce was buried at Old North Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire; her husband was interred there beside her in 1869.
How did Jane Means Appleton Pierce die?
She died of tuberculosis at Andover, Massachusetts, on December 2, 1863.