Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce

Hillsboro, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 8 Oct 1869 (aged 64)
Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Plot Minot enclosure adjoining Old North Cemetery
Memorial ID 814 · View Source
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14th United States President, US Congressman, US Senator, Mexican American Brigadier General. Franklin Pierce was born on November 23rd, 1804 to Anna Kendrick and Benjamin Pierce. He attended a small town school in Hillsborough and with the distance from the school and his house being around 12 miles, he would often get homesick. One notable moment was when his father drove Franklin half of the way to the school, then kicked him out of the carriage and forced him to walk the rest of the way in a torrential downpour. Later he transferred to Philip Exeter Academy in preparation for college. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine, meeting Nathaniel Hawthorne (Later a famous author). Pierce had trouble with his educational pursuits often attending parties rather than studying. By the end of his time there however, he managed to apply himself enough to finish 5th in his class. At some point while he was either in law or teaching he met Jane Means Appleton, his future wife. Pierce always had an interest in politics as his father has heavily involved in state politics growing up. he was fully entered into politics when he won the election to be the town moderator, a position he held for six straight years. Pierce campaigned for Andrew Jackson against John Quincy Adams in his division. Even though Jackson lost New Hampshire, he still won the election and the following year, Pierce was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives for Hillsborough, his first legislative position. Pierce eventually (with the help of his father) was elected to speaker of the house (New Hampshire). Pierce was also in the State Militia and attained the rank of colonel, eventually becoming a brigadier general in the Mexican-American war. during Jacksons second term pierce was elected to congress. The hot topic during the time was slavery, abolitionist movements began to spread all around the country and now it seemed the question was unavoidable, should slavery be abolished? pierce was strongly against the abolitionist movement, he was far from a supporter of slavery saying many times he thought it was morally wrong, however he knew that the union was at stake and if slavery were to be abolished, the south would leave. after a career in the senate Pierce decided he would run for president in 1852. His main political opponent was General Winfield Scott, a fellow Mexican - American war General and hero. former president Martin Van Buren was however gaining some traction with anti slavery voters as he was running for president under the Free Soil Party, which was strongly against slavery. after being narrowly nominated to the Democratic ticket winning over future president James Buchanan and Lewis Cass, he had a large advantage over Scott, the advantage of being mostly unknown. Not many knew of Pierce outside New Hampshire giving him the edge over Scott. Franklin Pierce ended up winning the election by an electoral and popular landslide with Scott only winning Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, and Vermont. By this point he was married to Jane and they had lost two sons with only one left. This would soon change however as their last son Benjamin Pierce, died in a horrific train accident just weeks before pierce would be sworn in. Pierce gave his inaugural address from memory. as president he acquired land for New Mexico and Arizona and admitted the states Kansas and Nebraska into the union. he allowed those states to vote on slavery on their own which proved to be a huge mistake. This led to "Bleeding Kansas" a conflict fought between pro and anti slavery forces. After his one term he retired to concord New Hampshire with his wife Jane. He was a major critic of Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil war. Jane pierce died of Tuberculosis in 1963. After the assassination of Lincoln, he did not make any public statements expressing his sadness which led to an angry mob gathering outside his house. There he explained he was saddened by the presidents death but did not wish to make a spectacle of himself. He died in 1869 in his cottage of cirrhosis of the liver. Ulysses s Grant declared a day of mourning upon his death.

Bio by: Devin Conlan

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BORN NOV. 23, 1804
DIED OCT. 8, 1869



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 814
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Franklin Pierce (23 Nov 1804–8 Oct 1869), Find a Grave Memorial no. 814, citing Old North Cemetery, Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .