AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce
Personal data
Date of birthNovember 23, 1804
Place of birthHillsborough, New Hampshire, U.S.
Date of deathOctober 8, 1869(age 64)
Place of deathConcord, New Hampshire, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Party
SpouseJane Appleton
Frank Robert
Alma materBowdoin College
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
RankBrigadier general
Battles/warsMexican-American War
 Battle of Contreras
 Battle of Churubusco
 Battle of Molino del Rey
 Battle of Chapultepec
 Battle for Mexico City
14th President of the United States
In officeMarch 4, 1853 - March 4, 1857
PresidentWilliam King
Vice PresidentWilliam King
Succeeded byJames Buchanan
Preceded byMillard Fillmore
In officeMarch 4, 1837 - February 28, 1842
Succeeded byLeonard Wilcox
Preceded byJohn Page
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire's At-large district
In officeMarch 4, 1833 - March 4, 1837
Succeeded byJared Williams
Preceded byJoseph Hammons

Franklin Pierce

PresidentFranklin Pierce
President Start1853
President End1857
Vice PresidentWilliam R. King
Vice President Date1853
Vice President 2None
Vice President Start 21853
Vice President End 21857
StateWilliam L. Marcy
State Start1853
State End1857
WarJefferson Davis
War Start1853
War End1857
TreasuryJames Guthrie
Treasury Start1853
Treasury End1857
JusticeCaleb Cushing
Justice Start1853
Justice End1857
PostJames Campbell
Post Start1853
Post End1857
NavyJames C. Dobbin
Navy Start1853
Navy End1857
InteriorRobert McClelland
Interior Start1853
Interior End1857

     Home | Office Holder | Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 - October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States (1853-1857) and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern sympathies) who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general. His private law practice in his home state, New Hampshire, was so successful that he was offered several important positions, which he turned down. Later, he was nominated as the party's candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention. In the presidential election, Pierce and his running mate William R. King won by a landslide in the Electoral College. They defeated the Whig Party ticket of Winfield Scott and William A. Graham by a 50% to 44% margin in the popular vote and 254 to 42 in the electoral vote.

His amiable personality and handsome appearance caused him to make many friends, but he suffered tragedy in his personal life. As president, he made many divisive decisions which were widely criticized and earned him a reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Pierce's popularity in the North declined sharply after he came out in favor of the Kansas � Nebraska Act, repealing the Missouri Compromise and renewing the debate over expanding slavery in the West. Pierce's credibility was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto. Historian David Potter concludes that the Ostend Manifesto and the Kansas-Nebraska Act were "the two great calamities of the Franklin Pierce administration.... Both brought down an avalanche of public criticism." More importantly, says Potter, they permanently discredited Manifest Destiny and "popular sovereignty" as political doctrines.

Abandoned by his party, Pierce was not renominated to run in the 1856 presidential election and was replaced by James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate. After losing the Democratic nomination, Pierce continued his lifelong struggle with alcoholism as his marriage to Jane Means Appleton Pierce fell apart. His reputation was destroyed during the American Civil War when he declared support for the Confederacy, and personal correspondence between Pierce and Confederate President Jefferson Davis was leaked to the press. He died in 1869 from cirrhosis.

Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt reflected the views of many historians when they wrote in The American President that Pierce was "a good man who didn't understand his own shortcomings. He was genuinely religious, loved his wife and reshaped himself so that he could adapt to her ways and show her true affection. He was one of the most popular men in New Hampshire, polite and thoughtful, easy and good at the political game, charming and fine and handsome. However, he has been criticized as timid and unable to cope with a changing America."

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260