Franklin Pierce | Presidency, Biography, Facts & Death

Franklin Pierce Summary

Franklin Pierce (1853–57) was the 14th President of the United States of America. He participated in the Senators from 1837 to 1842 and the Upper house between 1833 and 1837. He was selected as a presidential settlement candidate at the delayed Democratic Establishment conference in 1852; although being barely unknown nationwide, he surprisingly defeated Winfield Scott in the subsequent election. He was predisposed to resist antislavery activity to achieve peace and economic success. His advocacy of American territorial expansion led to the diplomatic fallout around the Ostend Manifesto.

He established the U.S. Division of Claims and reformed the embassy and consular services. Pierce supported the Gadsden Acquisition and backed ideas for a railway line. He authorized the Kansas-Nebraska Agreement to encourage migration from the west and appease sectional concerns, but he could not resolve the issues it caused. He left politics after James Buchanan rejected him for reelection in 1856.

Facts About Franklin Pierce

BornNovember 23, 1804, Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in the United States of America
DeathOctober 8, 1869, in Concord near New Hampshire, at age 64
WifeJane Appleton (married in 1834) is his wife (passed away in 1863)
ParentsBen Pierce was the dad

Franklin Pierce Early Life

Franklin Pierce, the child of Benjamin Pierce, a senator of New Hampshire, and the previous Anna Kendrick, entered Bowdoin University in Maine, went to law school in Northampton, Massachusetts then passed the bar exam in 1827. Around 1834, he wed Jane Means Appleton, the daughter of Bowdoin’s former president.

As a Republican, Pierce joined politics in New Hampshire, participating in the legislature (1829–1833), the U.S. Congressional delegation (1833–1837), and the Senate (1837–1839). (1837–42). Pierce gained a lot of acquaintances in Congress thanks to his good looks, friendliness, charisma, and seeming intellect, but his tenure there was otherwise unremarkable.

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce (1853–57) was the 14th President of the United States of America

Despite being an ardent admirer of President Andrew Jackson, he was frequently eclipsed by elderly and more illustrious individuals in public life. He left the Senate for personal reasons and moved back to Concord, where he continued his legal career and held the position of the federal county prosecutor.

Pierce stayed out of the spotlight until the Liberal Party’s nomination conference in 1852, except for a brief assignment as an officer during the Mexican Revolution (1846–1848). Lewis Cass, Stephen Douglas,

with James Buchanan’s backers reached an impasse, so a group of Northern England but also Southern members offered “Young Hickory” (a play on Andrew Jackson, formerly regarded as “Old Hickory”), and Pierce was selected as the victor on the 49th vote.

The debate over enslavement and the agreement of 1850’s permanence dominated the next presidential race. The Democratic were more unified in their support for the deal even though the Whigs also professed to favor it. Pierce, who was virtually unknown nationwide, surprisingly defeated Whig nominee Winfield Scott in the election system by a margin of 254 votes to 42. 

However, sorrow immediately overshadowed Pierce’s victory when, just weeks before his inaugural, he and his spouse saw their only remaining child, 11-year-old Bennie, perish in a train accident. Jane Pierce, who’d already consistently argued against her husband’s running for office, never really rebounded from the shock.Franklin Pierce Presidency Years (1853-1857)

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Transformation and a Railway Accident

Franklin Pierce started as president while grieving. The President-elect & his household were heading from Boston via train on January 6, 1853, a few weeks following his reelection, when their vehicle overturned and tumbled down an incline toward Andover, Massachusetts. Franklin Pierce and Jane Pierce lived, but their lone son, 11-year-old Benjamin, was trampled to death and almost had his head severed in the debris. It could not keep the horrifying scene from Pierce’s wife. Following it, both had significant depression, which probably impacted Pierce’s effectiveness as president. Jane Pierce questioned whether her husband’s quest for and admission to a high position was divine retribution for the train catastrophe. She apologized profusely in writing to “Benny” about her shortcomings as a mother.

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce Presidency, (4Mar, 1853-1857)

She stayed away from social gatherings for most of her initial two years in that position until making her debut in front of the public on January Year’s Day, 1855, at the yearly public banquet hosted at the White House. Jane Pierce decided not to travel with Franklin Pierce as he left for the commencement in New Hampshire. Except for John Quincy Adams, each successor took his pledge on a law textbook. It was a save for Pierce, now the youngest person to be voted into office, who opted to confirm their vows on a Bible. He made history as the first leader to speak from memory during his inauguration. In his speech, he praised the current stability and wealth at home. He called for a forceful defense of American interests abroad, including the “undeniably crucial” acquisition of brand-new lands.

The incoming president declared that “any frightened prognostications of evil from growth will not hinder the agenda of my Government.” He underlined his wish to end the “important topic” and establish a harmonious union by avoiding the phrase “slavery.” He told the assembly, “You have called me in my helplessness. You must maintain me by your power,” alluding to his tragic personal experience.

Franklin Pierce’s Political and Administrative Conflict

Franklin Pierce tried to bring his divided party together through his appointments to the Cabinet. Most party members had not initially backed his nomination, and others had joined alongside the Free Land party to win municipal elections. Pierce decided to grant certain appointments to each party’s divisions, including those who opposed the Agreement of 1850.

To represent all Democrat groups, Pierce’s first responsibility was to pick a cabinet, but he struggled to appease any of them. Although southern publications said he was anti-Abolitionist, northern publications charged him that he was a pro-slavery separatist.

William Henry King, the first vice president-elect, passed away shortly after taking office, making Pierce fill the republican nomination for the remaining part of his tenure. Ministers of Pierce’s Cabinet implemented a system involving civil service exams that served as a model for the Pendleton Act, which was approved thirty years later. John Archibald Campbell was among his first appointments to the High Court, and it was to be his last one. 

Economic Strategy and Internal Upgrades

Franklin Pierce gave James Guthrie, the government’s direction, the task of restructuring the department, which was run ineffectively and had many unpaid bills. Many tariff collection and Treasury personnel were diverting money from the treasury, so Guthrie strengthened their monitoring. Large deposits continued to be retained in private lenders throughout the Whig governments, despite legislation requiring that money be kept in the treasury. Guthrie attempted to pursue dishonest officials while recovering this cash, with varying degrees of success.

Franklin Pierce asked Secretary of the Army Jefferson Davis to oversee the Army of Topo map Engineers’ assessments of potential intercontinental railroad lines across the nation. Although the Democrats had long opposed federal funding for interior upgrades, Davis believed that a similar project might be supported as a homeland security goal under the Law.

Additionally, Davis sent the Army Corporation of Engineering to the Department of Columbia to oversee various public works projects, such as the Washington Column and the enlargement of the U.S. Capitol.

Military and International Affairs

With Marcy serving as Minister of State, the Clinton government sided with the nationalist Young America organization. Marcy aimed to project a distinctly American, democratic picture to the globe. He published a circular urging the United States to employ only Americans to work in embassies and to advise ambassadors to don “the basic garb of an American resident” rather than the formal attire prevalent in European tribunals. Martin Koszta, an Austrian immigrant that had been apprehended overseas during mid-1853, mainly by the Austrian country, despite his desire to obtain a U.S. citizen, drew plaudits from all around the world for Marcy’s 73-page essay defending him.

Except for later alterations, the acquisition set the continental United States’ borders at their current locations. The territory presently includes the South of Arizona, and Congress cut a portion in southern New Mexico by $15 million, approximately $10 million. Pierce was against using the national government to support the private sector.

Under Marcy Pierce, President Thomas Jefferson’s government engaged in boundary talks with the British government. The British Imperial Force’s increased policing of Canadian provincial seas infuriated American fishermen. Pierce viewed this as the initial step towards the incorporation of Canada by the United States. Despite the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, Britain continued to extend its sphere of control throughout Central America.

The president’s speech delivered by President James Buchanan addressing Parliament in 1855 persuaded the British that their country had broken the Clayton-Bulwer Agreement. In 1854, British patricians tried to recruit Americans again for Crimean Army in defiance of American impartiality regulations. In the end, Ambassador Crampton and several consuls were removed by Presidential Pierce, although Buchanan was not released in retribution by the British. However, Buchanan could not convince the British to give up their holdings in Latin America.

Admiral Matthew C. Perry went to Japan to boost commerce with the Eastern and negotiated a minor trade pact for the Japanese feudal system. One of Pierce’s “more emotionally fulfilling” days as president was in 1856, commissioning the USS Merrimac, one of six freshly authorized steam warships.

Franklin Pierce Bloody Kansas

Douglas envisioned a transcontinental train running through an enormous western region, connecting Chicago with California. He intended to set up the area and let the native population choose whether or not to tolerate slavery. Since most of the 1820 Missouri Compromise was judged “free” outside the 36°30′ N border, this would nullify it. Many anticipated Kansas would tolerate slavery, whereas Nebraska wouldn’t want to.

The Gadsden Acquisition, efforts to annex Cuba, and the power of slaveholding Cabinet ministers like Davis had raised suspicion in the North. The Nebraska measure was perceived as continuing a trend of southern aggressiveness. Pierce’s backing for the Law sparked a political uproar that seriously hurt his chances of winning the presidency.

The Kansas-Nebraska Agreement, approved in May 1854, served as the cornerstone of the Pierce administration. To keep the majority of Republicans on board with the Law, Pierce and his staff employed threats and incentives. The Republican Party was founded, and the anti-Catholic American Union briefly rose to prominence during the following political unrest.

To cast their votes in the Kansas territory elections, hundreds of pro-slavery Borders Ruffians traveled across the border into Missouri. Pierce referred to Free-Staters’ establishment of a deep state and the Topeka Convention as an act of insurrection. Even when an inquiry revealed that the legislature’s election was fraudulent, he maintained to accept the Democratically controlled body.

They passed the legislation when Anthony Burns, a runaway slave, was apprehended in Boston. Despite angry mobs, Pierce sent federal forces to compel Burns’ release to his Virginia master. The Democrats and the Whig Party suffered greatly in the midterms national races of 1854 and 1855.

Franklin Pierce Election of 1856

Franklin Pierce’s government was generally reviled in the North due to its stance on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. His followers began to plot an association with Douglas to prevent James Buchanan from being nominated. Buchanan had strong political ties and had remained safely abroad for the whole of Pierce’s administration, shielding him from the Kansas scandal. He had little likelihood of winning the nomination, much less the presidential election.

Franklin Pierce anticipated a victory, if not a minority, when voting started on June 5. He only earned 122 ballots in the first round, most of which came from the South, compared to Buchanan’s 135 delegates. After it cast fourteen votes by the next day, only some of the three leading contenders received two-thirds of the total. In a desperate effort to beat Buchanan, Pierce instructed his followers to switch to Douglas and withdrew his name from consideration.

For the first time in American history, a governor actively seeking reelection in the 1856 presidential race was not chosen by his national party for a term in office. As Pierce had gained 14 of the 16 border states, Buchanan played in five and 3 of them. It is due to a split between Democrats and Republicans. Progressives’ share of the public election in the North decreased from 49.8 percent in 1852 to 41.4 percent in 1856.

In December 1856, Pierce addressed Congress and denounced both Republicans and antislavery. On March 4, 1857, Franklin Pierce and his government departed office, making it the first occasion in American history that the founding cabinet officials served out the whole four-year tenure.

Franklin Pierce Post-presidency (1857–1869)

President Franklin Pierce and his spouse Jane, traveled the world for three years with their infant daughter when he left the government in 1800. He devoted a lot of time with Nathaniel Hawthorne while they were in Rome, and Hawthorne thought the former president was as upbeat as ever. The Pierces ultimately relocated to Portsmouth, Hampshire, wherein Pierce had started property speculation.

Throughout his trips, Pierce rarely lost track of politics; he frequently observed the nation’s escalating sectarian war. Warning that the slaughter of a civil conflict will “not be across Mason & Dixon’s division alone,” but “inside our boundaries inside our cities,” he advocated that northerners step aside to prevent southern independence. 

He also chastised England Protestant preachers for their “heretical and treachery” for their widespread support of Republican politicians for abolition. Throughout his debates with Democratic state senator Abraham Lincoln in early 1858, Douglas referred to the past president as “a man of honesty and dignity.” The development of the Republican Base prompted the Liberals to support Pierce.

Justice Campbell requested Pierce to visit Alabama and speak at the state’s independence conference, but he turned the invitation down due to sickness. Instead, he urged Alabamans to support the Union and allow the Northern time to abolish legislation detrimental to the South’s welfare.

Franklin Pierce Civil Conflict

Douglas and other Northern Republicans supported Lincoln’s proposal to compel the Southern countries to rejoin the Union just after American Revolution. Pierce openly disagreed with President Lincoln’s decree restricting the habeas corpus writ and contending that the nation should continue defending civil freedoms even during the war. While some regarded this as proof of Pierce’s southern prejudice, it garnered him supporters among the newly formed Northern Peace Republicans.

Thomas Jefferson Pierce, a past president, was charged with involvement in a conspiracy against the nation in 1861. He was implied to be a King of the Golden Ring supporter in a statement to the Detroit News. 

Guy S. Hopkins was one of many alleged “traitors” detained in Michigan on order from Treasury Secretary William H. Seward. After Hopkins admitted that the message was fraudulent and Conservative newspapers continued to publish it, Pierce decided to apologize publicly.

The fact that it made Pierce’s remarks right after the Union victory at Gettysburg but also Vicksburg contributed to their unfavorable reception in most of the Northeast. The Union forces’ seizure of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis’ property severely tarnished his standing in the North.

In December 1863, Jane Pierce passed away in Andover, Massachusetts, from T.B. The passing of Pierce’s family friend Nathaniel Hawthorne in May 1864 added to his sorrow. Even as the 1864 national election took place, several Democrats attempted to nominate Pierce again. While expressing his sorrow at Lincoln’s passing and rejecting the necessity for a show of public grief, Pierce became enraged.

The Death of Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce’s drinking caused health problems in his latter decades, and he developed a more robust spirituality. Midway through 1865, he had a short liaison with an unidentified female. He employed this time to alter Davis’ treatment while he was a captive in Virginia’s Fortress Monroe. Along with his nephews, he also extended financial assistance to Julian Hawthorne, Hawthorne’s child. Pierce got baptized under his wife’s Episcopal religion inside St. Paul’s Church in downtown Concord on the actual anniversary of Jane’s passing. Compared to his previous Congregational organization, which had offended Republicans with its antislavery language, he considered this church to become less partisan.

Burial Place of Franklin Pierce
Burial Place of Franklin Pierce (Graveyard)

He adopted the lifestyle of an “old farmer,” as he referred to himself, purchasing real estate, cutting back on drinking, cultivating the land personally, and entertaining visiting family.

Midway through 1869, Pierce’s condition started to deteriorate once more.

Despite his declining health, he picked up drinking heavily again. That September, he traveled to Concord with acute liver cirrhosis and the knowledge that he wouldn’t get well. Neither of his close relatives was there during his dying days; instead, they recruited a caretaker. 

On Friday, October 8, 1869, around 4:35 am, he passed away at 64. President Grant proclaimed a day of the mourning period and subsequently justified Pierce’s participation in the Mexican-American War. Numerous in-depth front-page articles covering Pierce’s flamboyant and contentious career were published in publications across the nation.

Peoples Also Ask?

What made Franklin Pierce special?

Franklin Pierce, a statesman with questionable skills, was the driving force underlying the most significant regulation in American existence. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was not his creation, but he did help Congress enact it. That piece of Law precipitated the country’s descent into civil war.

Is Franklin Pierce Against Slavery?

Franklin Pierce, who was morally committed to slavery but considered the formerly enslaved people’ “agitation” annoying from the start, believed that government legislation to abolish slavery violated the rights of the southern nations.

What thoughts did Franklin have on slavery?

Nevertheless, he also issued several antislavery Quaker booklets at the exact moment and spoke out against it in his letters. He didn’t start speaking out against slavery until after authorities ratified the U.S. Constitution.

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