Franklin Pierce was born on the 23rd of November 1804 and became the 14th president of the United States. Benjamin Pierce, his father, was an American Revolutionary War hero who was highly respected in his hometown. Aside from Franklin, his parents had seven other children who were all well-educated. Pierce attended private academies growing up after leaving the public education system. He was enrolled in Bowdoin College in Maine and was a great public speaker. At only age 24, Pierce was elected to the New Hampshire State Legislature and selected as the House Speaker with Benjamin Pierce’s help.
Pierce became a state representative in the 1830s and rose in the world of U.S. politics quickly. Nevertheless, he was an intelligent man who became bored of the monotony in his life and soon found himself addicted to alcohol. Later, he married a religious and timid woman called Janes Means Appleton, who supported the temperance movement. She and her husband found their dislike of the Washington style of living common, but Pierce still accepted the election in the U.S. Senate. After his wife’s consistent urging, Pierce left the U.S. Senate in 1841 and joined the temperance movement as an attorney.
Pierce also served in the Mexican American War and got a leg injury when he fell off a horse which made him miss the victory at the Battle of Chapultepec. After he returned to his family in New Hampshire, he became the state’s Democratic Party leader. Later, when the party sought a leader who was a pro-slavery Northerner to run for the elections, Pierce was the perfect candidate.
Pierce was elected president while campaigning against General Scott, but a personal tragedy befell him, as his son died in a train accident. Pierce also played a major role in the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. His work in the office made him one of the most unpopular presidents of the United States. Nevertheless, he was an intelligent man well-versed in politics and was a great speaker.
Here Are Some of the Most Inspirational Franklin Pierce Quotes
1.”I speak of the war as fruitless; for it is clear that prosecuted upon the basis of the proclamations of September 22d and September 24th, 1862, prosecuted, as I must understand these proclamations, to say nothing of the kindred blood which has followed, upon the theory of emancipation, devastation, subjugation, it cannot fail to be fruitless in everything except the harvest of woe which it is ripening for what was once the peerless republic.” – Franklin Pierce
2.”But let not the foundation of our hope rest upon man’s wisdom. It will not be sufficient that sectional prejudices find no place in the public deliberations. It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human passion are rejected. It must be felt that there is no national security but, in the nation’s, humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence.” – Franklin Pierce
3.”I never justify, sustain, or in any way or to any extent uphold this cruel, heartless, aimless unnecessary war.” – Franklin Pierce
4.”The founders of the Republic dealt with things as they were presented to them, in a spirit of self-sacrificing Patriotism and as time has proved, with a comprehensive wisdom which it will always be safe for us to consult.” – Franklin Pierce
5.”I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity.” – Franklin Pierce
6.”While men inhabiting different parts of this vast continent cannot be expected to hold the same opinions, they can unite in a common objective and sustain common principles.” – Franklin Pierce
7.”There is nothing left to do but get drunk.” – Franklin Pierce
8.”The revenue of the country, levied almost insensibly to the taxpayer, goes on from year to year, increasing beyond either the interests or the prospective wants of the Government.” – Franklin Pierce
9.”You have summoned me in my weakness. You must sustain me in your strength.” – Franklin Pierce
10.”I can express no better hope for my country than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited.” – Franklin Pierce
11.”With the Union, my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.” – Franklin Pierce
12.”A Republic without parties is a complete anomaly. The histories of all popular governments show absurd is the idea of their attempting to exist without parties.” – Franklin Pierce
13.”The dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.” – Franklin Pierce
14.”Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.” – Franklin Pierce
15.”If your past is limited, your future is boundless.” – Franklin Pierce
16.”Of all knaves, the religious knave is the worst.” – Franklin Pierce
17.”In a body [like Congress] where there are more than one hundred talking lawyers, you can make no calculation upon the termination of any debate.” – Franklin Pierce
18.”After the White House, what is there to do but drink?” – Franklin Pierce
19.”The constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government, assuming to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of providing for the care and support of all those … who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public philanthropy. … I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.” – Franklin Pierce
20.”I find the remark, “Tis distance lends enchantment to the view” is no less true of the political than of the natural world.” – Franklin Pierce
Judging the Franklin Pierce Presidency
No survey of America’s worst presidents would be complete without our 14th president, Franklin Pierce, whose reputation for amiability and good looks (and his introduction of perforated postage stamps) was offset by his support for the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which led to clashes between pro-and anti-slavery forces. Correspondent Mo Rocca looks at the legacy of a president whose actions in office brought the nation closer to civil war.
Summary of Franklin Pierce’s Quotes
Franklin Pierce was the 14th president of the United States of America. He was well-educated and known to be a great orator. He rose quickly in politics with the help of his father, Benjamin Pierce, and became president, winning against General Scott. Some of his policies are thought to have pushed America into Civil War, and his dubious opinions about slavery have made him an unpopular president. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that he remains an important historical figure in the history of the United States.
Image Credit – Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit – Mathew Benjamin Brady, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit – The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit – George Peter Alexander Healy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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