About Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce, son of Revolutionary War veteran and New Hampshire Governor Benjamin Pierce, was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire in 1804. Before becoming the 14th President of the United States in 1852, he was elected to the New Hampshire State Legislature, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Pierce was the youngest Speaker of the New Hampshire Legislature and served as a Brigadier General in the Mexican War.
While President, Pierce reduced the national debt by 60% from $75 million to $35 million, established the office of the United States Attorney General, modernized the Army and Navy, improved relations with Canada, established trade with Japan and expanded our national borders. He kept the nation from war and was probably the most
honest and ethical president up to that time.
Franklin Pierce married Jane Appleton in 1834 and had three sons. All three of the Pierce sons died as children, a tragedy from which the President and Mrs. Pierce never fully recovered.
About The Pierce Manse
The Pierce family lived in what is now known as the Pierce Manse
from 1842-1848. Originally located on Montgomery Street in downtown Concord, the house was moved to its current location in 1971 after it was slated for demolition as part of urban renewal. Community volunteers, known as the Pierce Brigade
, secured a land grant and raised the money necessary to relocate the house and restore the Manse to its original condition.
Needing a name that would differentiate Franklin and Jane's Concord home from his birthplace in Hillsborough, The Pierce Homestead, and the Pierce Mansion where he died, the home was named the "Manse" in 1969. The name means "a house lived in by its owner." The Salem, Massachusetts home of Pierce's long-time friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, named the Old Manse, served as the inspiration for the Pierce Manse moniker.
The Pierce Brigade opened the house to the public in 1974 and continues to this day.