Franklin Pierce (Franklin Pierce)

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce
Pierce’s drinking worsened his health in his last years, and he grew increasingly spiritual. He had a brief relationship with an unknown woman in mid-1865. During this time, he used his influence to improve the treatment of Davis, now a prisoner at Fortress Monroe in Virginia. He also offered financial help to Hawthorne’s son Julian, as well as to his own nephews. On the second anniversary of Jane’s death, Pierce was baptized into his wife’s Episcopal faith at St. Paul’s Church in Concord. He found this church to be less political than his former Congregational denomination, which had alienated Democrats with anti-slavery rhetoric. He took up the life of an “old farmer”, as he called himself, buying up property and farming it himself, while entertaining visiting relatives.[130] He spent most of his time in Concord and his cottage at Little Boar’s Head on the coast, sometimes visiting Jane’s relatives in Massachusetts. Still interested in politics, he expressed support for Andrew Johnson‘s Reconstruction policy and supported the president’s acquittal in his impeachment trial; he later expressed optimism for Johnson’s successor, Ulysses S. Grant.[131]

Pierce’s health declined further through mid-1869, although he continued to drink. He returned to Concord that September, suffering from severe cirrhosis of the liver, knowing he would not recover. A caretaker was hired for him; none of his family members were present in his final days. He died at 4:35¬†am on October 8. President Grant, who later defended Pierce’s service in the Mexican War, declared a day of national mourning. Newspapers across the country carried lengthy front-page stories examining Pierce’s colorful and controversial career. Pierce was interred next to his wife and two of his sons in the Minot enclosure at Concord’s Old North Cemetery.




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  • November, 23, 1804
  • Hillsborough, New Hampshire


  • October, 08, 1869
  • Concord, New Hampshire

Cause of Death

  • cirrhosis of the liver


  • Old North Cemetery
  • Concord, New Hampshire

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