Franklin Pierce

Re-Examining the Franklin Pierce Legacy

Dec 7, 2016

Ninety autographed Franklin Pierce letters recently came up for auction, garnering attention for the New Hampshire-born politician. We look at his legacy and the context in which he governed, as well as his dubious honor of being known as one of America's worst presidents, for his mishandling of the issue of slavery leading to the civil war. We also discover items from the New Hampshire Historical Society which gives us some insight into Pierce.

The New Hampshire Historical Society is bidding on papers from Franklin Pierce, the only president to have come from the Granite State. The papers, including 90 letters between Pierce and his secretary Sidney Webster, are being auctioned by Auction at Doyle on Tuesday in New York. The letters are estimated to be worth between $15,000 and $30,000. The society's president Bill Dunlap says the papers would bolster what is already considered the best collection of Pierce-related items. Pierce was...

We started the week with a presidential inauguration, and on All Things Considered we looked at Franklin Pierce, the only president to hail from New Hampshire and one who added some unique touches to his inaugural ceremonies . Well, we’re ending the week with another bit of Pierce lore – the 14 th president has now made candy history by earning his own PEZ dispenser . Darren Garnick wrote about this accomplishment in a piece for New Hampshire Magazine . (Full...

Library of Congress

Every American president has taken the same oath of office that President Barack Obama took earlier today - every president except one. Franklin Pierce, the only president to hail from New Hampshire, took a slightly different oath at his inauguration on March 4th, 1853 (in those days, presidents began their terms in March instead of January).

Dr. Peter Wallner wrote a two volume biography of Franklin Pierce. He told NHPR's Brady Carlson that Pierce began his four...