Jane Pierce

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Jane Pierce
First Lady of the United States
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
Preceded by Abigail Fillmore
Succeeded by Harriet Lane
Personal details
Born Jane Means Appleton
March 12, 1806(1806-03-12)
Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, U.S.
Died December 2, 1863(1863-12-02) (aged 57)
Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s) Franklin Pierce
Children Franklin Pierce, Jr.
Franklin "Frank" Robert Pierce
Benjamin Pierce
Signature

Jane Means Appleton Pierce (March 12, 1806 – December 2, 1863), wife of U.S. President Franklin Pierce, was First Lady of the United States from 1853 to 1857.

Early life[change | change source]

Her father’s name was Jesse Appleton. When her father died, her mother moved with her to Amherst, New Hampshire.

Marriage[change | change source]

How she met Pierce, a young lawyer with political ambitions, is unknown, but her brother-in-law Alpheus S. Packard was one of Pierce's instructors at Bowdoin. Franklin, almost 30, married Jane, 28, on November 19, 1834, at the bride's maternal grandparents' home in Amherst, New Hampshire. The Reverend Silas Aiken, Jane's brother-in-law, conducted the small ceremony. The couple honeymooned six days at the boardinghouse of Sophia Southurt near Washington, D.C..

Franklin Pierce was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives by the time they married and became a U.S. Senator in 1837. Jane hated life in Washington, D.C., and encouraged her husband to resign his Senate seat and return to New Hampshire, which he did in 1842. Service in the Mexican-American War brought him the rank of Brigadier General and local fame as a hero. He returned home safely, and for four more years the Pierces lived quietly at Concord, New Hampshire, in the happiest period of their lives, where they watched their son Benjamin "Benny" grow up.

References[change | change source]