Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
Franklin Pierce was a northerner born in Hillsborough in New Hampshire, though he shared the beliefs of the South, known as a ‘doughface.’ He ‘forged his career in Jackson’s mold” Pierce was a successful lawyer in New Hampshire, and he also was a heavy drinker. He married Jane Applebee. She hated Washington, politics, and especially Pierce’s drinking.
His first child died at birth. Then his second son also died at birth. He finally renounced alcohol in 1840. After this, his last and only child, Benny, was born. Pierce was in the military, but his commanding officer labeled him a coward and sent him home. Pierce now hated war.
In 1852 during a Democratic convention, Pierce was nominated for presidential candidate on the 49th ballot. Pierce was so obscure and difficult to understand that he had no enemies. This helped him win the election in November of 1852.
Pierce was for Popular Sovereignty. He signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which caused riots and mobs of protesters and civilians to travel to these states, each group trying to outweigh the other.
A senator named Charles Sumner beat Pierce on the Senate floor after making a speech. After this, a peaceful resolution to slavery was out of the question.
After Pierce retired, he reaffirmed allegiance with the southerners and slaveholders. One devastating day, there was an awful train wreck while Pierce, his wife, and his son was on board. Benny was crushed right in front of his parents. Twenty-three years after he had ceased drinking, his wife died. He then started drinking again. On October 8th, 1869 Pierce died of consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages in Concord, New Hampshire.
Many people believe Franklin Pierce led one of the nation’s worst administrations. Although I do not know very much about Pierce, I think, in order to fairly judge him, you need to consider all the current issues. He had a huge national problem on his hands with the whole slavery ordeal. He probably could have worked harder to please the north and the south, but I think he put up a pretty good fight against war. He may not have been the best president, but he did make a difference.
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