14th President Franklin PIERCE
- Born: 23 Nov 1804, Hillsboro, New Hampshire
- Marriage: Jane Means Appleton
- Died: 8 Oct 1869, Concord, New Hampshire at age 64
- Buried: North Cemetary, Concord, New Hampshire
Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, came to office during a period of growing tension between the North and South. A politician of limited ability, Pierce was behind one of the most crucial pieces of legislation in American history. Although he did not author the Kansas-Nebraska Act, he did encourage its passage by Congress. And that piece of legislation set the nation on its path to civil war.
Like many American politicians, Franklin Pierce's career was aided by his father, a two-term governor of New Hampshire. Before he was thirty, Franklin Pierce had served in the New Hampshire legislature and had been elected to the U.S. Congress where he served as both a congressman and senator. Bored and lonely in Washington, the young congressman developed a drinking problem and a reputation as a gossipy Washington insider. In an attempt to settle down, the handsome, socially gregarious Pierce married Jane Means Appleton. Jane Pierce was her husband's opposite; she was painfully shy, deeply religious, often in bad health, and a strong advocate of the temperance movement. She detested Washington and refused to live there, even after Pierce became a U.S. senator in 1837. Indeed, Jane's disgust with the political life in Washington must have been behind Pierce's decision to resign from the Senate in 1841. Subsequently, Franklin Pierce served in the Mexican-American War, and in something of a surprise was elected President in 1852. After his presidency he retired to Concord, New Hampshire, where he died in 1869.
Pierce was arrested while in office for running over an old woman with his horse, but his case was dropped due to insufficient evidence in 1853.
He defeated his old commanding officer from the Mexican War, Winfield Scott, when he was elected president.
Pierce was wounded during the Mexican War.
One of the Democratic party's slogans during Pierce's campaign for president was: "We Polked you in 1844; we shall Pierce you in 1852."
Benjamin, Pierce's third and only surviving child, died in a railroad accident two months before his father's inauguration.
Because of religious considerations Pierce affirmed rather than swore the Presidential oath of office.
Pierce gave his 3,319-word inaugural address from memory, without the aid of notes.
Pierce was the only President to have no turnover in his cabinet.
Pierce was the only elected President who sought but did not win his party's nomination for a second term.
During his second year at Bowdoin College in Maine, Pierce had the lowest grades out of anyone in his class. He changed his study habits, and graduated third in his class. Among his class mates were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Franklin Pierce was the first President to have a Christmas tree in the White House.
He installed the first central-heating system and the first bathroom with hot and cold water in the White House.
Pierce was an avid fisherman.
Pierce died of cirrhosis of the liver as a result of years of heavy drinking
14th married Jane Means Appleton. (Jane Means Appleton was born on 12 Mar 1806 in Hampton, New Hampshire, died on 2 Dec 1863 in Andover, Massachusetts and was buried in North Cemetary, Concord, New Hampshire.)