Facts and Events
Jane grew up raised by her wealthy maternal grandparents in Amherst, New Hampshire. She married Franklin Pierce, a young lawyer, when she was 28. He was by then in the U.S. House, and soon moved to the Senate. She apparently hated Washington, and they lost their first child as an infant, then had a son in 1839. He retired from the Senate in 1842, and they returned to New Hampshire for several years with their one remaining child. After Franklin obtained fame through service in the Mexican-American War, he was nominated for President, and was elected, in 1852. On the way to Washington, their son was killed in a train accident. Jane retreated in mourning to the family rooms at the White House, and rarely appeared as hostess for several years.