Person:Franklin Pierce (3)

m. 1 Feb 1790
  1. President Franklin Pierce1804 - 1869
  1. Benjamin Pierce1841 - 1853
Facts and Events
Name President Franklin Pierce
Gender Male
Birth[1] 23 Nov 1804 Hillsborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States
Marriage to Jane Means Appleton
Death[1] 8 Oct 1869 Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire, United States
Reference Number? Q12312?

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804October 8, 1869) was the 14th president of the United States serving from 1853 to 1857. He was a northern Democrat who believed that the abolitionist movement was a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation. He alienated anti-slavery groups by signing the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, and conflict between North and South persisted until southern states seceded and the American Civil War began in 1861.

Pierce was born in New Hampshire. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833, before being elected to the Senate where he served from March 1837 until his resignation in 1842. His private law practice was a success, and he was appointed New Hampshire's U.S. Attorney in 1845. He took part in the Mexican–American War as a brigadier general in the Army. He was seen by Democrats as a compromise candidate uniting Northern and Southern interests and was nominated as the party's candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention. He and running mate William R. King easily defeated the Whig Party ticket of Winfield Scott and William A. Graham in the 1852 presidential election.

As president, Pierce simultaneously attempted to enforce neutral standards for civil service while also satisfying the diverse elements of the Democratic Party with patronage, an effort that largely failed and turned many in his party against him. He was a Young America expansionist who signed the Gadsden Purchase of land from Mexico and led a failed attempt to acquire Cuba from Spain. He signed trade treaties with Britain and Japan, while his Cabinet reformed their departments and improved accountability, but these successes were overshadowed by political strife during his presidency. His popularity declined sharply in the Northern states after he supported the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which nullified the Missouri Compromise, while many whites in the South continued to support him. Passage of the act led to violent conflict over the expansion of slavery in the American West. Pierce's administration was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto calling for the annexation of Cuba, a document that was roundly criticized. He fully expected to be renominated by the Democrats in the 1856 presidential election, but was abandoned by his party and his bid failed. His reputation in the North suffered further during the American Civil War as he became a vocal critic of President Abraham Lincoln.

Pierce was popular and outgoing, but his family life was difficult; his three children died young and his wife Jane suffered from illness and depression for much of her life. Their last surviving son was killed in a train accident while the family was traveling, shortly before Pierce's inauguration. A heavy drinker for much of his life, Pierce died in 1869 of cirrhosis of the liver. Historians and scholars generally rank Pierce as one of the worst and least memorable U.S. presidents.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Franklin Pierce, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

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