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First Pets: Four-legged or Feathered Friends of President Franklin Pierce

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 01:43 PM

All the presidents but one have had pets while in office, perhaps to help provide a sense of calm and relaxation amid the tumult of the job. President Franklin Pierce was no exception to this rule.

The Presidential Pet Museum reported that Pierce and his family had seven small dogs while living in the White House. They also had two birds, both originally from Japan.

Born in 1804, Pierce quickly scaled the political ladder. According to the White House Historical Association, at just 24 years old he was elected to the state legislature of his native New Hampshire and became its speaker at 26. Throughout the next decade, Pierce made himself known in Washington, serving as both a member of the House of Representatives and of the Senate.

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When the election of 1852 rolled around, the Democrats knew that they wanted their platform to be unyielding support of the Compromise of 1850, but they were unsure who they wanted as a figurehead. They ended up balloting 48 times to figure out who would be their presidential nominee, discarding all of the well-known candidates in the process and finally deciding on Pierce. Thanks in large part to the Democratic Party's platform, Pierce became the president in 1853.

Pierce became a rather controversial figure during his presidency. He upset northerners as early as at his inauguration because he suggested he was interested in expanding the nation, meaning to them that he was possibly interested in expanding slavery. The most provocative event during his presidency was the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which reopened the question of slavery in the West. According to the law, the status of Kansas regarding slavery would be decided by a vote of its inhabitants, so northerners and southerners flocked to the area in an attempt to control the vote. Violence broke out that became a precursor to the Civil War.

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All the presidents but one have had pets while in office, perhaps to help provide a sense of calm and relaxation amid the tumult of the job. President Franklin Pierce was no exception to this rule.
President, Franklin Pierce, pets
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2016-43-27
Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 01:43 PM
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