- Franklin Pierce became 14th President of the United States at a time of apparent tranquility (1853-1857). By pursuing the recommendations of southern advisers, Pierce -- a New Englander -- hoped to ease the divisions that led eventually to Civil War.
- Born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in 1804, Pierce attended Bowdoin College. After graduation he studied law, then entered politics. At 24 he was elected to the New Hampshire legislature; two years later he became its Speaker. During the 1830's he went to Washington, first as a Representative, then as a Senator.
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