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On this day in 1804, 14th president Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsboro, New Hampshire
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On this day in 1804, 14th president Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. During his administration, Pierce encouraged and supported the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed for the expansion of slavery throughout the territories. The act, famously condemned by future president Abraham Lincoln, invoked outrage and actual violence in Kansas, only increasing tensions between North and South.
Pierce later opposed Lincoln’s Civil War policies and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Did you know? While attending Bowdoin College, Pierce became close friends with classmate Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter. The men remained longtime friends – Hawthorne dedicated a book to his old friend despite Pierce’s unpopularity and the men were traveling together when Pierce discovered that Hawthorne had died in his sleep.
In the year of Pierce’s election, the party slogan, referring to James Polk and Pierce, was “We Polked you in 1844; we shall Pierce you in 1852!”
Franklin Pierce, George Peter Alexander Healy, 1853