Pierce, Franklin

Life Span
Full name
Franklin Pierce
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Benjamin Pierce (father), Anna Kendrick (mother), Jane Means Appleton (wife, 1834), Franklin Pierce, Jr. (son), Frank "Frankie" Robert Pierce (son), Benjamin "Bennie" Pierce (son)
Other Education
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
Attorney or Judge
Political Parties
Pierce Administration (1853-57)
US Senate
US House of Representatives
State legislature
Local government
US military (Pre-Civil War)

Franklin Pierce (American National Biography)

Personal and public tragedy plagued Pierce's presidency and undoubtedly contributed to his serious drinking problem. He was president at a time that called for almost superhuman skills, yet he lacked such skills and never grew into the job to which he had been elected. His view of the Constitution and the Union was from the Jacksonian past. He never fully understood the nature or depth of Free Soil sentiment in the North. He was able to negotiate a reciprocal trade treaty with Canada, to begin the opening of Japan to western trade, to add land to the Southwest, and to sign legislation for the creation of an overseas empire. His Cuba and Kansas policies led only to deeper sectional strife. His support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act and his determination to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act helped polarize the sections. Pierce was hard-working and his administration largely untainted by graft, yet the legacy from those four turbulent years contributed to the tragedy of secession and civil war.
Larry Gara, "Pierce, Franklin," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00788.html.

Franklin Pierce (Congressional Biographical Directory)

PIERCE, Franklin, a Representative and a Senator from New Hampshire and 14th President of the United States; born in Hillsborough, N.H., November 23, 1804; attended the academies of Hancock and Francestown, N.H.; prepared for college at Exeter and graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1824; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Hillsborough in 1827; member, State general court 1829-1833, and served as speaker 1832-1833; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1833-March 3, 1837); elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1837, to February 28, 1842, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Pensions (Twenty-sixth Congress); resumed the practice of law in Concord; district attorney for New Hampshire; declined the appointment as Attorney General of the United States tendered by President James Polk; served in the Mexican War as a colonel and brigadier general; member of the New Hampshire State constitutional convention in 1850 and served as its president; elected President of the United States on the Democratic ticket and served from March 4, 1853, to March 3, 1857; resumed the practice of law; died in Concord, N.H., October 8, 1869; interment in Minat Inclosure, Old North Cemetery.
“Pierce, Franklin,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000333.
Date Title
New York Herald, "The Boston Fugitive Case," June 3, 1854
John Henry Hill to William Still, September 14, 1854
New York Herald, “The Kansas Question and the Anti-Slavery Disorganizers,” May 15, 1855
Charleston (SC) Mercury, "Affairs in Kansas," December 15, 1855
New York Times, “The Buchanan Cabinet,” February 28, 1857
New York Times, "From Washington," March 9, 1857
New York Times, “Farewell Address of Governor Geary,” March 21, 1857
New York Times, “Opening of the Presidential Campaign of 1860,” December 23, 1857
Milwaukie (WI) Sentinel, "Douglas in the South," July 20, 1858
New York Times, "Hot Work in Illinois," August 19, 1858
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "The Jonesboro Debate," September 17, 1858
Philadelphia (PA) Press, “The Latest But Not The Last Lesson,” November 4, 1858
Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "A House Divided, &c.," November 17, 1858
New York Herald, “Forney on a Short Allowance,” January 23, 1859
New York Times, “The Political Future,” February 26, 1859
New York Herald, “The Late Scattering Elections,” April 6, 1859
(Concord) New Hampshire Statesman, “Expenses of the White House,” May 28, 1859
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Caught,” June 27, 1859
Charleston (SC) Courier, “The Probable Southern Candidate,” January 26, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Lincoln as He Is,” May 23, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Union at the South," October 29, 1860
John Sherman to William Tecumseh Sherman, November 26, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Prime Cause," December 8, 1860
(Montpelier) Vermont Patriot, “A Presidential Election Without A Parallel,” December 22, 1860
New York Herald, “Should Mr. Chase Go Into the Cabinet?,” February 27, 1861
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, "Neutrality," May 2, 1861
Boston (MA) Advertiser, “Not Quite a Unit,” May 9, 1861
"The Mask Removed," Chicago Tribune, February 21, 1866
Chicago Style Entry Link
Birkner, Michael J. "Looking up from the Basement: New Biographies of Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan." Pennsylvania History 72, no. 4 (2005): 535-543. view record
Donovan, Theresa A. “President Pierce’s Ministers at the Court of St. James.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 91 (1967): 457-471. view record
Gara, Larry. The Presidency of Franklin Pierce. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991. view record
Steins, Richard. Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Corp., 1997.  view record
Stoddard, William Osborn. The Lives of the Presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. New York: F. A. Stokes & Brother, 1888. view record
Wallner, Peter A. Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire's Favorite Son. Concord, NH: Plaidswede Pub., 2004. view record
Wise, W. Harvey, and John W. Cronin. A Bibliography of Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. Washington, DC: Riverford Pub. Co, 1935. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Pierce, Franklin," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/6407.