March 12, 2025

Jane Appleton Pierce

March 12, 1806

Jane M PierceJane Means Appleton Pierce—Born March 12, 1806 (Hampton, NH). Died December 2, 1863 (Andover, MA).

White House Years: 1853-1857

  • First Lady Jane Pierce did not want to become first lady; she opposed her husband’s political career long before he was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for president.
  • Tragically, the Pierces lost two children shortly after they were born, and months before Pierce’s Inauguration, their only surviving child, Benjamin Pierce, was killed in a train accident. Jane Pierce never fully recovered from these losses.
  • Because of the death of Benjamin Pierce, Jane Pierce did not attend the inaugural ball, and she found it very difficult to carry out the social responsibilities as first lady.


  • Oh, how I wish he was out of political life! How much better it would be for him on every account!”

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