FRANKLIN PIERCE

14th U.S. President 1853-1857
LIFETIME: 1804-1869, of English ancestry


Franklin Pierce home

RETIREMENT HOME: 52 South Main, Concord NH - stately three-story home influenced by French architecture with a mansard roof and wrought iron fence. The house was destroyed by fire in 1981.
PHOTO CREDIT: unknown

EARLY ADULT RESIDENCE (bottom left): "Pierce Manse" in Concord NH - a two-story Federal style with multiple chimneys and 10 rooms
PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and Libraries of the Presidents by William G. Clotworthy


"Young Hickory of the Granite Hills" was born and raised in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, moved with his family to Concord, and followed his father into military and political careers. Franklin served in the Mexican War, was elected to the state legislature, and moved on to the U.S. Congress.

Meanwhile, his personal home life and that of his wife Jane were haunted by the deaths of their first two sons in early childhood. Then, only two months before his presidential inauguration, the couple witnessed a horrifying railway accident that killed their third son, Benjamin. Gloom and guilt affected the president's ability to lead the country during an era of rising turmoil between northern and southern states.

The Pierces retired to Concord to rebuild their lives, but within six years, Jane died. Franklin lived alone, suspected of hiding a drinking problem, until his death in 1869.

 

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