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Mr. President

Franklin Pierce
Fourteenth President, 1853–1857

“It is a relief to feel that no heart but my own can know the personal regret and bitter sorrow over which I have been borne to a position so suitable for others rather than desirable for myself.”
—Inaugural Address, 1853, delivered without notes.

Compromise Candidate:
Franklin Pierce entered the White House mourning his son’s death in a railroad accident. He was a “dark horse” candidate, who was nominated by the democratic party after all the well-known candidates were eliminated. They hoped this Northerner with Southern sympathies would hold the country together. However, by backing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed new western territories to determine for themselves the issue of slavery, he drove the North and South further apart. In 1856, fighting broke out in Kansas over the issue of slavery. Pierce was not nominated for a second term..

Portrait by George P.A. Healy , 1853, after 1852 original . NPG.65.49 , Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery .

Fast Facts
Party: Democrat
Date of Birth: Friday, November 23, 1804
Date of Death: Friday, October 8, 1869
Vice President: William R.D. King
First Lady: Jane Means Appleton Pierce

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