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  Pierce, Franklin
<-  1857-01-10  
NameFranklin Pierce
Address301 2nd NH Turnpike
Hillsborough, New Hampshire , United States
Born November 23, 1804
DiedOctober 08, 1869 (64 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Dec 24, 2014 01:17am
Tags English - Alcoholic - Episcopalian -
Info14th President (March 4th, 1853 - March 4th, 1857)
b. Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Height: 5'10"
grad. Bowdoin College, 1824

Admitted to the bar in 1827, he entered politics as a Jacksonian Democrat, like his father, Benjamin Pierce, who was twice elected governor of New Hampshire (1827, 1829). He served in the New Hampshire general court (1829�33), being speaker in 1831 and 1832, and had an undistinguished career in the U.S. House of Representatives (1833�37) and in the U.S. Senate (1837�42). On resigning from the Senate, he achieved success as a lawyer in Concord, N.H., and continued to be important in state politics. A strong nationalist, he vigorously supported and then served in the Mexican War, becoming a brigadier general of volunteers.

In 1852 the Democratic party was split into hostile factions led by William L. Marcy, Stephen A. Douglas, James Buchanan, and Lewis Cass, none of whom could muster sufficient strength to secure the presidential nomination. Pierce, personally charming and politically unobjectionable to Southerners since he favored the Compromise of 1850, was made the "dark horse" candidate by his friends. He won the nomination (on the 49th ballot) and went on to defeat the Whig candidate, Gen. Winfield Scott, his commander in the Mexican War.

Pierce's desire to smooth over the slavery quarrel and unite all factions of the Democratic party was reflected in the composition of his cabinet, for which he chose such outstanding sectional representatives as Marcy, Jefferson Davis, and Caleb Cushing. A vigorous expansionist foreign policy was adopted, but it failed in most of its objectives. After the Black Warrior affair (1854), which brought the United States to the brink of war with Spain, Pierce authorized his European ministers, Pierre Soul�, John Y. Mason, and Buchanan, to confer on the means by which the United States might acquire Cuba. Their report, the so-called Ostend Manifesto, was leaked to the press and caused such an uproar that the administration was forced to disavow it. Troubled relations with Great Britain were not improved by the U.S. naval bombardment (1854) of San Juan del Norte, British protectorate in Nicaragua; the filibustering activities of William Walker further aggravated Central American affairs. Moves to annex Hawaii, acquire a naval base in Santo Domingo, and purchase Alaska ended fruitlessly. One achievement, the successful Japanese expedition of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, had been initiated in Millard Fillmore's administration.

On the domestic scene Pierce stood for development of the West (the Gadsden Purchase was made during his administration), but plans for a transcontinental railroad fell through. The Kansas-Nebraska Act enraged many Northerners and precipitated virtual civil war between the pro- and antislavery forces in Kansas. Pierce, by that time very unpopular, was passed over by the Democrats for renomination, and Buchanan succeeded him. Pierce's opposition to the Civil War made him more than ever disliked in the North, where he died in obscurity.

Source of 1852 image: official campaign image of Pierce, from D.W. Bartlett, The Life of Gen. Frank. Pierce, of New-Hampshire, the Democratic Candidate for President of the United States (Auburn ME: Derby & Miller, 1852.

DateFirmApproveDisapproveDon't Know
06/13/2007-06/24/2007 Rasmussen Reports 17.00% ( 0.0) 25.00% ( 0.0) 59.00% ( 0.0)

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Importance? 10.00000 Average

Wife Jane Means Appleton Pierce 00, 1834-Dec 02, 1863
Son Franklin Pierce (Jr.) 1836-1836
Son Frank Robert Pierce 1839-1843
Son Benjamin Pierce 1841-1853
Father Benjamin Pierce 1757-1839

Franklin Pierce - First Annual Message (December 5, 1853)  Discuss
Franklin Pierce - Fourth Annual Message (December 2, 1856)  Discuss
Franklin Pierce - Proclamation (January 18, 1854)  Discuss
Franklin Pierce - Second Annual Message (December 4, 1854)  Discuss
Franklin Pierce - Third Annual Message (December 31, 1855)  Discuss
President Franklin Pierce Inaugural Address March 4, 1853  Discuss
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US President - Dec 05, 1860 D John Cabell Breckinridge