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Franklin Pierce collection (M148)

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Title:
Franklin Pierce collection
Creator:
Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869
ID:
M148
Date [bulk]:
Bulk, 1823-1869
Date [inclusive]:
1823-2010, undated
Extent:
0.5 linear feet
Language:
English
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
The collection contains correspondence spanning the period from Pierce's election to the New Hampshire legislature to his death in 1869; oratory exhibitions from Pierce's Bowdoin years; newsclippings; commemorative materials; photographs; and ephemera.
Preferred Citation:

Franklin Pierce Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth president of the United States (1853-1857), was born in a log cabin in Hillsboro, New Hampshire on Nov. 23, 1804. He was the fourth son of Benjamin Pierce (1757-1839), who had fought in the Revolution, and later became governor of New Hampshire (1827-1829), and his third wife, Anna Kendrick Pierce. Pierce was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1824, and was a friend of schoolmates Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Pitt Fessenden, Calvin E. Stowe, and John P. Hale, who later became Pierce's greatest political rival. Before becoming president, Pierce served in the New Hampshire Legislature (1829-1832), where he was speaker of the House (1832); in the U.S. Congress as a representative (1833-1837) and a U.S. senator (1837-1842); and as brigadier general of volunteers, Mexican War (1846-1848), during which he was wounded at the Battle of Contreras.

While a student at Bowdoin College, Pierce met Jane Means Appleton (b. March 12, 1806, Hampton, NH), the third daughter of Rev. Jesse Appleton, who was president of Bowdoin College from 1807 to 1819. The couple married in 1834, but throughout their marriage were plagued by personal and political misfortunes. They had three sons, all of whom died young: Robert (b. 1836); Frank (b. 1839); and Benjamin (b. 1842). Although a brilliant lawyer, Pierce damaged his political career when, as president, he signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise.

Jane Pierce, who never recovered from her frail health, died in 1863. Pierce died at his home in Concord, New Hampshire on October 8, 1869.

The collection contains letters, mostly to and from Franklin Pierce spanning the period from his election to the New Hampshire legislature to his death in 1869; oratory exhibitions from Pierce's Bowdoin years; newsclippings; commemorative materials; photographs; and ephemera. Correspondents include Pierce's classmates and friends Horatio Bridge and George Washington Pierce, both of the Class of 1825, Bowdoin professors Nehemiah Cleaveland and Alpheus Spring Packard, and Jane Pierce. Also included are indices and articles relating to the former president.

Series Description:

The correspondence consists chiefly of letters by Pierce to friends, especially his associates from Bowdoin. It covers the period after his election to the New Hampshire legislature to his death in 1869, but is most extensive during his term as president of the United States. Many of the letters, especially those to Bowdoin classmates Horatio Bridge and George Washington Pierce, have a personal tone, and at least one of the letters to Bridge concerns another famous life-long friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Organized chronologically, with a chronological and alphabetical listing of correspondents at the beginning of Box 1.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Electrostatic copies, Franklin Pierce to George Washington Pierce, 1828-1835; originals owned by Wm. C. Pierce

Vault-Box 1 Folder 1

1837 Apr 20, Hillsboro, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 2

1837 May 2, Hillsboro, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 3

1845 Jul 28, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 4

1846 Feb 20, Dover, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 5

1846 Oct 2, Concord, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Alpheus Spring Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 6

1849 Oct 19, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 7

1850 Sep 20, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Alpheus Spring Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 8

1852 Sep 11, Portsmouth, Franklin Pierce to Mr. Ticknor

Vault-Box 1 Folder 9

1854 Jan 15, Washington, Franklin Pierce to Miss Elizabeth McNiel [fragment]

Vault-Box 1 Folder 10

1854 Mar 4, Washington, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Mrs. A.S. Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 11

1854 Jul 4, Washington, Franklin Pierce to Nehemiah Cleaveland

Vault-Box 1 Folder 12

1854 Jul 8, Brooklyn, Nehemiah Cleaveland to Franklin Pierce

Vault-Box 1 Folder 13

1854 Aug 4, certificate of appointment as surveyor and inspector of the Port of Dubuque, State of Iowa

Vault-Box 1 Folder 14

1854 Sep, Washington, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Mrs. A.S. Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 15

1854 Oct 28, Brooklyn, Nehemiah Cleaveland to Franklin Pierce

Vault-Box 1 Folder 16

1855 Mar 1: Executive Pardon for Frances Wheeler

Vault-Box 1 Folder 17

1855 Apr, Washington, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Mrs. A.S. Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 18

1855 Nov 13, Washington, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Mrs. A.S. Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 19

1856 Mar, Washington, Mrs. Franklin Pierce to Mrs. A.S. Packard

Vault-Box 1 Folder 20

1857 Jan 31: Executive Pardon for William Nicholson

Vault-Box 1 Folder 21

1858 Mar 28, Funchal, Madeira, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 22

1859 Sep 11, Andover, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 23

1863 May 11, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 24

1864 May 26, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Mrs. Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 25

1865 Nov 27, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 26

1868 Sep 3, re. Franklin Pierce

Vault-Box 1 Folder 27

1868 Oct 11, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 28

1869 Feb 16, Concord, Franklin Pierce to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 29

n.d., Rockingham House, Franklin Pierce to Mrs. Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 30

Typescripts of Franklin Pierce letters to Horatio Bridge

Vault-Box 1 Folder 31

Series Description:

Pierce's exhibition parts and orations during his tenure at Bowdoin; newsclippings of various types and subjects dating from 1850 to the present; commemorative material; and images. Also included are copies of Pierce manuscripts in other Bowdoin collections, as well as an index to the Franklin Pierce Papers at the Library of Congress.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Articles and addresses:

Box 1 Folder 32

"Franklin Pierce, Popular Sovereignty, and Manifest Destiny..." by Peter Steinbrueck

Box 1 Folder 33

"Oratio Salutatoria De Seculo Augusti," May 20, 1824

Volume 1 Vault

Clippings: 1850-1899

Box 1 Folder 34

Clippings: 1900-1949

Box 1 Folder 35

Clippings: 1950-1959

Box 1 Folder 36

Clippings: 1960-current; miscellaneous

Box 1 Folder 37

Ephemera: Commemorative medal: gift of Evelyn H. Dupont, February 10, 1981

Box 1 Folder 38

Ephemera: Franklin Pierce presidential dollar coins, one roll, released into circulation 2010 May 20

Box MRealia 3

Ephemera: Miscellaneous documents signed while president

Ovsz-Box C2

Ephemera: Miscellaneous ephemera

Box 1 Folder 39

Ephemera: Picture on commemorative stamp envelope

Box 1 Folder 40

Ephemera: Stationery

Box 1 Folder 41

Images

Box 1 Folder 42

Images

Ovsz-Box C2

Lists and indices: Copies of mss. in other collections

Box 1 Folder 43

Lists and indices: Library of Congress-index to the Franklin Pierce Papers, 1962

Box 1 Folder 44
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