Pierce was born November 23, 1804, in a log cabin on the
Contoocook River at Hillsborough, New Hampshire. His father was Benjamin Pierce
(1757-1839) and his mother was Anna Kendrick Pierce (1768-1838).
By his father first marriage, Pierce had one half sister,
Mrs. Elizabeth “Betsey” McNeil of Boston. By his father second marriage,
Pierce had four brothers and two sisters-Benjamin Kendrick Pierce, Mrs. Nancy
McNeil, John Sullivan Pierce, Mrs. Harriet Jameson of Boston, Charles Pierce and
He married Jane Means Appleton when he was 29 and she was
28 years of age, on November 19, 1834, at the home of the bride’s maternal
grandparents in Amherst, New Hampshire. They had 3 sons but only one survived
pass the age of 12 years of age. The first son was Franklin Pierce died at
infancy and their second, Frank Robert Pierce, died at four. Benjamin Pierce
(1841-1853) was the third son and died in a train accident on January 6, 1853.
Pierced learned how to read and write at a brick school in
Hillsborough. In 1818 he enrolled at the Hancock (New Hampshire) Academy and in
the spring of 1820 transferred to Francestown Academy. He studied Law under John
Burnham in Hillsborough. Pierce was admitted to the bar in September 1827.
Franklin Pierced served in the Military during the Mexican
War (1846-1848). He enlisted as a private in the volunteers at concord, New
Hampshire. He was commissioned a colonel in the regular Army in February 1847
and promoted to brigadier general the next month. Pierced also served as
civilian in public positions-Member of the New Hampshire Legislature
(1829-1833), US Representative (1833-1837), US Senator (1837-1842).
Pierce was nominated to the presidency in 1852 by the
Democrats who convened in Baltimore in June 1852. His vice president became
William Rufus (served March-April 1853).
Franklin Pierce died on October 8, 1869, 4:40 am in Concord, New Hampshire. Since the summer of 1869 pierce’s health steadily deteriorated from dropsy and inflammation of the stomach.
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