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President Franklin Pierce: President Franklin Pierce's Life

The DiPietro Library's collection of President Franklin Pierce material. This includes books, realia, and original newspaper articles.

Franklin Pierce Homestead


Franklin Pierce was born in a cabin on what is now Franklin Pierce Lake, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. His father, Benjamin, then built an elegant mansion nearby, where Pierce lived from infancy until he married in 1834.   Benjamin Pierce operated a tavern in the house, which became the social center of Hillsborough.  


Franklin Pierce Homestead

Franklin Pierce's Law Offices

Franklin Pierce's first law office

Later office in Concord

The Pierce Manse (Concord, N.H.)


The Pierce family lived in the Pierce Manse from 1842-1848. The house was originally located on Montgomery Street in downtown Concord, but was moved to 14 Horseshoe Pond Lane in 1971 after it was slated for demolition as part of urban renewal. Thanks to the Pierce Brigade, a group of community volunteers, money was raised to relocate the house and restore the Manse to its original condition. It is now open for tours.


The Pierce Manse (Concord, N.H.)


The White House Years


 An ox roast was held in this oven                         Departure from Concord to

in Hillsborough and was an important                       Washington  

part of the presidential election.                                                                  



Franklin Pierce was the first President to have a Christmas tree in the White House. He erected a tree in 1856 for a group of Sunday school children, and perhaps to cheer his grief-stricken wife. This White House Christmas ornament was created in 1997 to honor Franklin Pierce. It  features the White House grounds as they would have appeared during his time

Pierce  installed the first central-heating system and the first bathroom with hot and cold water in the White House.

In 1854, he took some time from running the country to order coal for the White House.


Pierce's official White House china was rather simple and elegant in design. The white, blue, and gold table centerpiece used by President Pierce is over two feet tall and has three figures representing Love, Peace, and Abundance that lock hands to support a large bowl.

A Japanese chigai-dana, given to President Franklin Pierce by Commodore Perry when he returned from his important voyage in 1855. The grandfather clock on the far right was owned by Franklin Pierce.


A White House reception during            Stereoscope of the White House

the Pierce administration                          dining room in the 1850s


In 1853, the Gadsden Purchase secured land from Mexico to allow a route for a transcontinential railroad.

The first officially perforated postage stamps in the U.S. were sold during Pierce's administration, Feb.24, 1857

Hillsborough Homestead


As a child, Franklin attended Hillsborough Center school.

Hancock Academy building

At the age of 11, he attended Hancock Academy  and then 5 years later,  Francestown Academy


Francestown Academy

Pierce attended Bowdoin College with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadswoth Longfellow, and John Parker Hale. He graduated in 1824 with a law degree

Bowdoin College in 1823 (oil painting by John G. Brown)

Franklin Pierce Monument

Pierce's grave is located in the Minot enclosure,  Old North cemetery in Concord, N.H.