Jessica: Franklin Pierce

The Expatriation of Franklin Pierce: The Story of a President and the Civil War, by Garry Baulard

I can’t believe that living in NH, how insanely hard it was to find biographies on Franklin Pierce! Grrrr.

I ended up ordering this one from Amazon. Unfortunately it is about Franklin Pierce’s life after leaving office and not about his presidency.

The book itself was short and an easy read. I did find many interesting tidbits while reading. I enjoyed reading about the unlikely friendship between Jefferson Davis and Franklin Pierce (weird, right??) Who would think that Davis (who became the president of the Confederacy) and Pierce (who was a stanch Unionist) would be fast friends. Even through the civil war they maintained their friendship.

Franklin Pierce seemed to be a “Love him” or “hate him” type of guy. There didn’t seem to be very much gray area where he was involved. A lot of people thought he was a drunk and one politician even compared Pierce to excrement (now that is hatred!). But even with all the hatred for the man, he was the only president whose cabinet remained intact throughout a presidential term in office. Go figure.

Apparently Franklin Pierce and Abraham Lincoln did not have many good things to say about each other, but Pierce did go out of his way when Lincoln lost his son to write him condolences (as Pierce’s son died right before he took office).

I will most likely pick up another Pierce biography to learn more about his early life and term in office, but this book seemed to be a good indication of what Franklin Pierce was like in his later life.

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