September 10, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Jane Pierce

Jane was very dedicated to her children. Sadly, one son died in infancy and a second son died at age four. Benjamin was the Pierce's only remaining child, and Jane focused most of her attention on him and his upbringing.

The daughter of a minister, Jane was devoutly religious. She made sure "Bennie" received a strong religious education. His days were filled with worship, Bible readings, and hymns.

When her husband Franklin was being urged to run for the presidency in 1852, Jane was quite unhappy. She had never liked his involvement in politics, and was happy in Concord where Franklin had set up a law practice. Bennie picked up on his mother's angst and said he hoped his father would not be elected.

Franklin was elected, and the family made arrangements to move back to Washington. Two months before the inauguration, the three of them were on board a train from Boston to Concord when it derailed. The cars of the train fell down an embankment, and Franklin pulled his wife from the wreckage. He found his son crushed beneath a beam. The Pierces' thirteen-year-old son was dead.

Jane never really recovered from the loss of her third son. She didn't attend her husband's inauguration and when she did arrive in the White House she kept pretty much to herself for the first two years. Jane reconciled her son's death as God's will, deciding that God didn't want Bennie to be a distraction to his father while he was president.

Posted by Jennifer at September 10, 2003 01:54 AM