Franklin Pierce. Franklin Pierce was the fourteenth President of the United States of America. Despite being labeled as the worst or one of the worst Presidents by historians, his accomplishments and place in history are inspirational. Franklin Pierce was only 48 years old when he became President. His path was influenced by family members that were involved in politics and/or served in the military.
Franklin Pierce’s father wanted education to be a priority for his sons. He was fifth of eight children from both of his parents and had a half sister. Franklin didn’t care for school at first, but went on to Bowdoin College and graduated in 1824. There he met and formed a life-long friendship with the author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
About this time he worked as a teacher and then went on to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1827. In addition to being a lawyer, he went on to become involved in New Hampshire state politics. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. He also became U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire. He was a brigadier general in the Army during the Mexican-American War.
In 1834 Franklin Pierce married Jane Means Appleton. They had three sons. All three boys died in childhood, the last one died in a train accident just before Franklin Pierce’s inauguration. Both Franklin and his wife went into mourning. Jane avoided First Lady functions for the first two years of their service.
Franklin Pierce’s entire cabinet left office on the same day the Pierce did, March 4, 1857. This was a record making cabinet length of service. Franklin Pierce’s Vice President, William R. King, died shortly after their term began. He did not have a Vice President after King’s death, which then became the majority of the length of Franklin Pierce’s presidency.
Franklin Pierce died October 8, 1869 at the age of 64. Having been a heavy drinker during much of his life, he suffered from severe cirrhosis of the liver for a time before his death. His wife had died a few years before he did. Franklin Pierce’s presidency is seen as a presidency that led to civil war. Despite being hard-working and having a good personality, Pierce did not seem equipped to led the country during this turbulent time in United States’ history.
Franklin Pierce served in the military and as a politician. Schools, other institutions, and places have been named to honor Franklin Pierce. The path he began and traveled in his life was one of service. Be inspired! Have a bright day!