Died: October 8, 1869
Buried: Old North Cemetery, Concord, New Hampshire
Learn more: read my article Franklin Pierce, the “Buy Local” President. A number of presidents are considered failures; Franklin Pierce is one of them. But he had a pretty good excuse: everyone in his life was dying around him, including his sole remaining child and his own vice president, and his understandably inconsolable wife allegedly started holding seances. Pierce himself nearly bought the farm before taking office, which would have dumped a constitutional crisis on top of a family tragedy. We’ll explore all this, plus why his native state decided to hold off on giving him a statue for nearly half a century after his death.
See him: Old North Cemetery is on the north side of Concord, near an elementary school and a residential neighborhood. There are a few signs pointing out the cemetery, but few that show Pierce’s exactly location. He’s about halfway in, toward the northern end. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll eventually find him.
Also see: The Pierce statue in front of the State House in Concord; Frank wears a snappy cape. Then drop by the Pierce Manse for a look at some Pierce-abilia, and drive to the town of Hillsborough to see the Pierce Homestead. The Manse, by the way, was Frank’s house; the Homestead was his dad’s pad, and the house where the future president was born.