14. Franklin Pierce

The Periodic Table of the Presidents - Franklin Pierce  Franklin Pierce Official Portrait - The Periodic Table of the Presidents

“Handsome Frank”

Presidential Basics

  • Full name: Franklin Pierce
  • Years in office: 1853–1857
  • Political party: Democratic
  • Vice president: William Rufus King
  • Age at inauguration: 48
  • Nicknames: “Handsome Frank,” “Young Hickory of the Granite Hills”

Random Trivia

  • Tragedy on the way to the White House: Pierce’s son was killed en route to D.C.

Birth & Death

  • Birthday: November 23, 1804
  • Birthplace: Hillsboro, New Hampshire
  • Death date: October 8, 1869
  • Place of death: Concord, New Hampshire
  • Place of burial: Old North Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire
  • Last words: None recorded


  • Father: Benjamin Pierce (1757–1839); Soldier, farmer, governor of New Hampshire
  • Mother: Anna Kendrick Pierce (1768–1838)
  • Wife: Jane Means Appleton (1806 – 1863)
  • Marriage: November 19, 1834 in New Hampshire
  • Kids: Three
    • Franklin (1836)
    • Frank Robert (1839–1843)
    • Benjamin (1841–1853)
  • Home: Pierce Homestead in Hillsboro Upper Village, New Hampshire

Other Facts

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Eye color: Gray
  • Ancestry: English
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Born in a log cabin: Yes
  • Owned enslaved people: No
  • Freemason: No


  • Early education: Public Schools, Hancock Academy
  • College degree: Yes
  • College: Bowdoin College (graduated with B.A. in 1824)


  • Military Service: Yes
  • Lawyer: Yes
  • Lawyer (1827–)
  • Member of New Hampshire Legislature (1829–1833)
  • Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1833–1837)
  • Member of the U.S. Senate (1837–1842)
  • Brigadier General in Mexican War (1847–1848)
  • President (1853–1857)


  • Papers of Franklin Pierce


In the election of 1852, the Whig party chose to not nominate the incumbent president, Millard Fillmore.  Instead, they went with General Winfield Scott.  He went up against a lesser know Democratic candidate, Franklin Pierce.  Pierce won by a large margin, thus beginning the decline of the Whigs.

Spotlight Event

Campaign Poster

Franklin Pierce, Gen. Franklin Pierce - Democratic Candidate for the Presidency, print published by Wagner _ McGuigan's c. 1840s
Genl. Franklin Pierce: Democratic Candidate for the Presidency, print published by Wagner & McGuigan’s, c. 1840s (Library of Congress)



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