PIERCE, Franklin



PIERCE, Franklin, a Representative and a Senator from New Hampshire and 14th President of the United States; born in Hillsborough, N.H., November 23, 1804; attended the academies of Hancock and Francestown, N.H.; prepared for college at Exeter and graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1824; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Hillsborough in 1827; member, State general court 1829-1833, and served as speaker 1832-1833; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1833-March 3, 1837); elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1837, to February 28, 1842, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Pensions (Twenty-sixth Congress); resumed the practice of law in Concord; district attorney for New Hampshire; declined the appointment as Attorney General of the United States tendered by President James Polk; served in the Mexican War as a colonel and brigadier general; member of the New Hampshire State constitutional convention in 1850 and served as its president; elected President of the United States on the Democratic ticket and served from March 4, 1853, to March 3, 1857; resumed the practice of law; died in Concord, N.H., October 8, 1869; interment in Minat Inclosure, Old North Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 15 letters to Pierce in Robert Maskell Patterson papers, 1775-1853.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 17 items.

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME
Papers: 1837-1869. 11 letters.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Belmont family papers, 1799-1930.

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Papers: 1842-1867. 25 letters and a portrait.
Additional Papers: Letters from John Parker Hale in Hale-Chandler papers, 1777-1873.

Duke University
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: In U.S. President's papers, 1753-1935. Finding aid.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: 1 letter (1835); and miscellaneous documents and references in various collections.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In James Buchanan papers, 1775-1868, available on microfilm; and autograph letters of Presidents of United States collection, 1788-1864.

Knox College
Seymour Library

Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (September 29, 1852) in Sang autograph collection, 1751-1954; and 1 land patent (February 1, 1855) and 1 letter (September 28, 1860) in Bookfellow Foundation autograph collection, 1793-1945.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1820-1869. 27 containers. Correspondence (1820-1869), includes photostats of originals in New Hampshire Historical Society; diary (1847), photostat of original in Henry E. Huntington Library; and drafts of messages to Congress (1854-1856) reflecting Pierce's participation in the war with Mexico, public affairs, and politics. Available on 7 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 50 letters in Edmund Burke papers, 1821-1881; 7 letters to Mary Aiken or her husband John and 36 letters of Jane Pierce to Mary Aiken in the Pierce-Aiken family papers; letters to Webster, his secretary, in Sidney Webster papers, 1854-1869; John Kilham Porter collection, 1600-1882; and in Commissioners of the City of Washington records, 1791-1869 (bulk 1791-1808). Most of papers are available on microfilm.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 38 items (1838-1867) in various collections.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: Correspondence in William Foster papers, 1734-1879.

New Hampshire Historical Society

Concord, NH
Papers: 1820-1968. 1,650 items. Personal and family correspondence, diary (1847), speeches, deeds, newspaper clippings, and scrapbook. In part photocopies of originals in Henry E. Huntington Library and John Longyear Library, Marquette, MI; and 7 microfilm reels of originals in the Library of Congress. Finding aid.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1836-1862. 26 items.

New York Public Library

New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Albert Tracy papers, 1843-1893; and George William Gordon papers, 1825-1852 (bulk 1840-1852).

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 2 items (1857 and 1859); and 34 items (1838-1869) chiefly on political and military topics in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Princeton University
Seeley G. Mudd Libraries

Princeton, NJ
Papers: In the Andre deCoppet collection, 1566-1942.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1853-1857. 6 items. Official correspondence.

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 21 letters (1830-1852) in the Appleton-Aiken papers. Chiefly letters written by his wife, Jane Means Appleton Pierce, concerning personal and business matters. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence and references in various collections. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items. Finding aid.

Virginia State Library and Archives

Richmond, VA
Papers: 2 letters from Rust ((March 9, 1853 and March 7, 1856) in George Rust, Jr. papers, 1788-1858 (bulk 1815-1858).

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: 7 microfilm reels of originals (1820-1869) at Library of Congress.
Additional Papers: In Pierce-Dahlgren-Vinton family papers, 1792-1936; and Alfred White Van Sinderen collection, 1782-1969.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Brown University, Providence, RI; Emory University, Special Collections, Atlanta, GA; Johns Hopkins University, Special Collections, Baltimore, MD; Maine Historical Society Library, Portland, ME; Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD; State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; New York State Library, Albany, NY; Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA; Syracuse University, George Arents Research Library, Syracuse, NY; and University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, IA.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bisson, Wilfred J. comp., with assistance of Gerry Hayden. Franklin Pierce: A Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Brown, Thomas J. "Franklin Pierce's Land Grant Veto and the Kansas-Nebraska Session of Congress." Civil War History 42 (June 1996).

Nichols, Roy F. Franklin Pierce: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills. 1931. Rev. ed. Norwalk, CT: Easton Press, 1988.

Sloan, Irving J., ed. Franklin Pierce, 1804-1869: Chronology, Documents, Bibliographical Aids. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1968.

Upton, Richard F. "Franklin Pierce and the Shakers: A Subchapter in the Struggle for Religious Liberty." Historical New Hampshire 23 (Summer 1968): 3-18.

Wallner, Peter A. Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire's Favorite Son. Concord, N.H.: Plaidswede Publishing, 2004.

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