Miller Center

American President

Franklin Pierce (1804–1869)

Portrait of Franklin Pierce

Facts at a Glance

14th President of the United States (1853–1857)
November 23, 1804, Hillsborough (now Hillsboro), New Hampshire
"Young Hickory of the Granite Hills"
Bowdoin College (graduated 1824)
November 19, 1834, to Jane Means Appleton (1806–1863)
Franklin (1836); Frank Robert (1839–1843); Benjamin (1841–1853)
Lawyer, Public Official
Political Party
October 8, 1869, Concord, New Hampshire
Old North Cemetery, Concord, New Hampshire
A Life in Brief
Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, came to office during a period of growing tension between the North and South. A politician of limited ability, Pierce was behind one of the most crucial pieces of legislation in American history. More »
I believe that involuntary servitude, as it exists in different States of this Confederacy, is recognized by the Constitution.
March 4, 1853

Essays on Franklin Pierce and His Administration

Franklin Pierce
A Life in Brief
Life Before the Presidency
Campaigns and Elections
Domestic Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Life After the Presidency
Family Life
The American Franchise
Impact and Legacy
Key Events
First Lady
Jane Pierce
Vice President
William R. D. King (1853)
Secretary of State
William L. Marcy (1853–1857)
Secretary of War
Jefferson Davis (1853–1857)
Postmaster General
James Campbell (1853–1857)
Secretary of the Interior
Robert McClelland (1853–1857)
Secretary of the Treasury
James Guthrie (1853–1857)
Attorney General
Caleb Cushing (1853–1857)
Secretary of the Navy
James C. Dobbin (1853–1857)

Consulting Editor: Jean H. Baker

Professor Baker is a professor of history at Goucher College. Her writings include:

Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists (Hill and Wang, 2005)

James Buchanan (Times Life Books, 2004)

The Civil War and Reconstruction (Co-authored with Michael F. Holt and David Herbert Donald, W.W. Norton, 2001)