Franklin Pierce Essay

1202 Words Dec 19th, 2003 5 Pages
Franklin Pierce, one of eight children of Benjamin and Anna Kendrick Pierce, was born in Hillsborough, N. H., on Nov. 23, 1804. His father had served in the American Revolution and later became governor of New Hampshire. Pierce was educated at Hillsborough Center, Hancock Academy, and Bowdoin College, from which he graduated in 1824 after advancing from last place to fifth from the top of his class. In 1829, he was elected to the state legislature, two years after his father won election to the governorship. Pierce was then chosen Speaker of the House in 1831. Franklin Pierce was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he voted the Democratic party line on nearly all issues. Life in Washington took its toll on …show more content…
At age 48, Pierce, now nicknamed "Young Hickory of the Granite Hills," became president. Jane Pierce was a deeply religious woman, and her beliefs penetrated almost every aspect of the family's lives. No meal took place without grace being said first. Before his tragic death, her son, Benjamin Pierce, was sent to church every single morning. Pierce and his wife had already lost two of their children from typhus -- an infant in 1836 and a four-year-old in 1843. The losses had left Jane Pierce a gloomy woman. Both she and her husband were deeply devoted to Benjamin, their only surviving child. On January 6, 1853, Pierce and his family were traveling home to Concord on a train. The United States was still a nation of bad roads in the 1850s, and the railroads were the most reliable transport. The railroad building boom of the era had outstripped the industry's ability to manage the busy traffic, and much of America's railroad system was poorly constructed. Approaching Boston, the train broke an axle and derailed, and the car in which they were riding plunged down an embankment. While both adults escaped injury, their thirteen-year-old son was crushed to death before their eyes. After the catastrophe, religion seemed to be the only comfort for his parents. Jane

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