tv Franklin Pierce Manse CSPAN August 18, 2018 12:59pm-1:16pm EDT
broadway now and in the past that lionizea play his alexander hamilton and and ignoresferson pain and see the distribution of wealth in the united states and the amount of money that ,uffuses american politics today they would see or fear that many of these things that are going on in the united states today bore an uncanny to the england they had revolted against. >> at eight next, we travel to concord, new hampshire to visit the home of america's 14th president. it was the only home franklin pierce ever owned and lived in.
>> franklin pierce is the 14th president of the united states, the only president from new hampshire. he was a lawyer. a charismatic politician, he lived in a house here from 1842 to 1848. he resigned a senate seat to come back to concord and to be with his family and work on his law practice. he resigned a senate seat to come back to concord and to be with his family and work on his law practice. he was born in hillsboro on november 23, 1804. before he was one year old, his father mentioned the big
georgian mansion, where he ran a tavern. pierce grew up in social circumstances, a lot of people coming and going, a lot of political discussions. he was educated at some of the academies around hillsboro. when he was 16, his father took him up to brunswick, maine, to go to college. he made good friends there. one of them was nathaniel hawthorne. he ended up graduating third in his class. franklin pierce's interest in politics came about when he was young. his father's tavern had political conversations going on. his father was involved in politics and represented hillsboro in the state legislature and went on to be governor twice. when he was 23, pierce ran for the legislature. he was elected.
when he was 26, he was the youngest speaker of the house we have ever had in new hampshire. at that time, there were 200 members in our house. represented today, 435, it is a large legislative body. he went on to run for the house. he went on to run for the senate. he resigned in the senate seat. -- he resigned his senate seat. he served for four-to five years. his wife, jane, did not like washington, did not like politics. she was a very shy, retiring person. she preferred to be in the bosom of her family. he was the opposite. i think he decided to give up his senate seat to come back and be with his young family in concord. then, he was going to work on his law practice to support his family. this house is known as a greek revival house. it was built in 1838. you see them all throughout
concord, it is a common architectural style for this area. we are in the parlor. behind me is one of three portraits done of franklin pierce in 1852, when he was running for president. you can see he was a handsome gentleman. he had a couple of nicknames, one was handsome frank. the other was young hickory of the granite hills. he had the same politics as andrew jackson. over here on the wall is a copy of a letter owned by bowden college. this is franklin pierce writing to a friend, horatio bridge. in the letter, they are trying to find a job for nathaniel hawthorne. nathaniel hawthorne was an author, he liked to write books. he also had a family that he
needed to support. this is a theme throughout the lives of the two men. there are always trying to find work for nathaniel hawthorne, so he could support his family. over here on the wall is an order of cincinnati certificate. franklin pierce is one of the presidents who belongs to this organization. this is the first veterans' organization in our country. it was formed by the offices of the line under george washington. the organization is hereditary and pierce is one of the presidents that belong to the order of cincinnati. george washington, monroe, and pierce are the three presidents. there are several pieces of furniture in the house that franklin and jane took to the white house to furnish the eight rooms to be used for their personal life. one is the sofa over here, under
the portrait. the table in the center of the room was known as the white house table. evidently, they were borrowing furniture from friends and relatives to furnish these rooms. against the wall is a writing desk and chair that belonged to franklin pierce. he would be up until 3:00 in the morning, sometimes, answering correspondence and writing speeches, sitting in the little chair. and this room, this is the dining room of the franklin pierce manse. in this room, we have the secretary from his law office. when he went through this, he gave it to his law partner. it was in the family when the house opened. they very generously gave it to the berg grade to demonstrate his law practice. this is how it opens.
he would sit and write on the desk and have his law books case above there. the books in this case are pierce owned by jay or franklin pierce. they have instructions in front of them. it has two bedrooms upstairs. there is a back part of the house that has smaller rooms, used by the irish girls and children, when they lived here. one of the bedrooms was a guest room. when the guests came, they would stay for extended periods of time. they lived in the house from 1842 to 1848. pierce came back from the mexican war, the house was sold. during the time they lived here, frankie, the four-year-old, died of typhus in the bedroom upstairs.
that was a sad time for the family. when pierce went off to the mexican war in 1847, he raised 1000 troops. they made him a general. they went to newport, rhode island, and boarded sailing vessels to go around to mexico. they spent about one month out on the ocean. the winds died down. they made it to vera cruz, where he fought in a couple of the battles they are. then, they returned back to concord after that. back, and heame sold the house and they never owned anything after that. they either rendered property -- rented property or stayed in boarding houses from that point on. in 1852, the democrats were meeting in baltimore. there were three men for the nomination. they could not seem to make a
decision. virginia, on the 35th ballot, nominated franklin pierce. on the 49th ballot, they selected him to be the nominee for the democratic party. jane and franklin pierce were riding in a carriage south of boston when the messenger caught up with them to give them the news. jane promptly fainted. that was the last thing she wanted. she was upset to think they might need to go back down to washington. she was happy in her life as it was. she realized that pierce would always answer the call of the country asked. she agreed he should go ahead and run as the democratic candidate. pierce went home, it was ungentlemanly for the candidate to campaign at that time. his vice president went out and
campaigned along with his friends. they won the election in 1852. king was ill so he went to cuba. when it came time for the inauguration, congress had to pass an act for him to take the oath of office on foreign soil, which he did. he returned to washington two months later and died two or three days after. pierce never had a vice president. there was nothing in place to put someone into office at that time. that was a lonely time for him. pierce had a tragedy, they were returning from a funeral in massachusetts. the car they were riding in turned around on the track, and -- an axle broke, and it tumbled
down an embankment. benny was the only fatality. he was killed in front of both of his parents right before they were due to go down to washington. this was devastating to both of them. particularly to jane, she never really recovered from it. pierce was left with trying to handle his own grief and to shore his wife up. then, faced with going to washington to run the country. it was a stressful and difficult time in their lives. pierce's presidency had a few successes. he reduced the national debt by 60%. he had trade agreements with canada on fishing treaties. the trade with japan opened up. admiral perry came back and we
trade agreements with the japanese. the southern border of the united states was defined by the gadsden purchase during his time. the army and the navy was modernized under the secretary of war, jefferson davis, who went on to be the president of the confederacy during the civil war. pierce was a lawyer. he felt slavery should be handled with an act of congress. there should be legislation that would prohibit it. he was not in favor of it but he was afraid the country would split over that. his focus when he was president was to keep the country together. ofunderstood the hardships
fighting the revolution was to create the country. he was trying to keep it together. it did split after lincoln was elect. franklin pierce had one term in office and the democratic party did not want him to run again. he had quite a few good accomplishments. we do not hear about those because the kansas nebraska act, which occurred at the end of his presidency, was turned into bloody kansas. it was a disaster as far as trying to achieve what it had hoped to achieve. they nominated buchanan to be the candidate in the next election cycle. franklin pierce left the presidency. they came back up to new hampshire for a short time. jane was not healthy, she was suffering over the death of benn
y. she probably suffered from depression. jane passed away in 1863. then, he passed away in 1869. franklin pierce, unfortunately, was not well liked in new hampshire after he left the presidency over the kansas nebraska act. it took the state a long time to -- before they correct did -- erected a statue. they finally put up a statue for franklin pierce. his mark is, i do not think, that much because of the way his presidency ended. we hope people, when they visit the house, will have a better understanding of franklin pierce. we invite them to learn some of the accomplishments of pierce's administration in washington and to understand what he was like as a person.
i think he deserves a lot of credit for the things he did accomplish while he was president. watch this and other programs on the history of communities across the country at c-span.org city tour. this is american history tv, only on c-span3. on september 15, 2014, president barack obama awarded the congressional medal of honor to bennie adkins for his actions in combat 48 years earlier. tv, hen american history talks about his experiences during the war with a co-author of his book a tiger among us, a , story of valor in vietnam's a shau valley. describes how he and 16 of his fellow green berets were attacked by a large force of
north vietnamese from march 9 to march 12. he tells the story of a tiger that saved his life during the battle. the national archives hosted this hour-long event. >> i ask all vietnam veterans or united states veterans who served on active duty in the u.s. armed forces at any time during the period of november 1, 1955-may 15 1975 to stand and be recognized. [applause] as you exit the theater after this program, national archives staff and volunteers will present you with the the unum veteranole -- vietnam lapel