Tags: Presidential History | Jane Pierce | first lady | Franklin Pierce

Jane Pierce: The Causes That Defined President Franklin Pierce's First Lady

By    |   Monday, 29 Jun 2015 03:59 PM

First Lady Jane Pierce was not fond of life in Washington and barely tolerated her husband, Franklin Pierce’s, political career. The wife of this 14th president is remembered as very devout in her faith and well educated. However, she did not like the public life and was marked by personal tragedy, according to the White House Historical Association.

Jane Means Appleton was 28 when she married Franklin Pierce in 1834. The two seemed to have little in common, according to the Miller Center. The Congressman was known for partying, and Jane Pierce discouraged his political aspirations.

The National First Ladies' Library
describes Jane Pierce
as a shy, petite person with a dower personality. She often wore black and suffered from bouts of depression. This may have been understandable considering she lost all three of her sons and was left with no descendants. Her first died at three days old. Her second died at age four. The third died at age 12.

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Her third son’s death came on the eve of the inauguration in 1853. As a consequence of her mourning, Jane Pierce did not attend the ceremony. It was two years before she entertained at the White House as hostess. Other women performed the task for her until that time.

Her personal causes included abolition. The National First Ladies Library credits her with convincing President Pierce to release the abolitionist Dr. Charles Robinson from a Kansas prison during that state’s tumultuous journey toward statehood. During the Civil War, after the Pierce administration was over, she had become steadfastly against slavery. It was an issue that divided the couple. Franklin Pierce placed the importance of maintaining the union over the end to slavery. One of the reasons he was selected for the presidential ticket was that he was a Northerner with pro-slavery sentiments

According to the Miller Center Jane Pierce was also involved in the temperance movement. Her husband Franklin also stopped drinking and led the effort to make liquor illegal in their hometown of Concord, New Hampshire.

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First Lady Jane Pierce was not fond of life in Washington and barely tolerated her husband, Franklin Pierce's, political career. The wife of this 14th president is remembered as very devout in her faith and well educated.
Jane Pierce, first lady, Franklin Pierce
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2015-59-29
Monday, 29 Jun 2015 03:59 PM
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