Franklin Pierce Is Born

Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States, was born on November 23, 1804 in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.

Like his predecessor James K. Polk, Pierce was a little-known candidate retired from national politics when the Democratic Party summoned him to run for president.

Pierce, whose father had been governor of New Hampshire, was elected to the New Hampshire legislature at the tender age of 25. He went on to represent New Hampshire in Congress (1829-1833) and in the U.S. Senate (1837-1842). With the exception of a brief stint as an officer in the Mexican War, Pierce spent the next decade practicing law and serving as federal district attorney in Concord, New Hampshire.

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States, serving from 1853 to 1857, an American politician and lawyer. To date, he is the only President from New Hampshire.

Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern sympathies) who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Later, Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general. His private law practice in his home state, New Hampshire, was so successful that he was offered several important positions, which he turned down. Later, he was nominated for president as a dark horse candidate on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention. In the presidential election, Pierce and his running mate William R. King won by a landslide in the Electoral College, defeating the Whig Party ticket of Winfield Scott and William A. Graham by a 50% to 44% margin in the popular vote and 254 to 42 in the electoral vote. According to historian David Potter, Pierce was sometimes referred to as "Baby" Pierce, apparently in reference to both his youthful appearance and his being the youngest president to take office to that point (although he was only a year younger than James K. Polk when he took office).

The great objects of our pursuit as a people are best to be attained by peace, and are entirely consistent with the tranquility and interests of the rest of mankind.”

— Franklin Pierce, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1853.