President Franklin Pierce: Birthplace, Early Life & Education

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will look at the early life and education of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. You'll learn who he was, where he was born, and how he came to be involved in politics.

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. He entered office during a turbulent time in American history, during which the connections that kept America together were coming apart. As disagreements between Northerners and Southerners escalated into physical acts of violence, Pierce's time in office is often associated with the American Civil War that broke out a few years later.

But this lesson isn't about his presidency. Instead, it's about his birthplace, early life, and education.

Birthplace & Family

Pierce, one of eight children, was born on November 23, 1804 in rural Hillsboro, New Hampshire. His mother was Anna Kendrick Pierce and his dad was Benjamin Pierce, both of whom could trace their roots to Puritan settlements in America of the 1620s.

His dad was heavily involved in the American Revolution, considered a hero by some, and was relatively well-involved in local politics. In fact, Benjamin Pierce would later become the governor of New Hampshire. So while Pierce wasn't born into the wealthiest of families, he did have a leg-up in the political world.

Early Life & Education

Both of Pierce's parents wanted to ensure all of their children would have a great education. In fact, Pierce's mother made it her mission that they do so. Until about age 12, Pierce went to various local schools. However, after that, he was sent off to various private academies.

At age 15, Pierce found himself at Bowdoin College in Maine. It turns out Pierce was a bit of a party boy and was dead last in his class for some time. Eventually, he started to take his education more seriously. As a result, he developed the skills to be a great public speaker and he ended up graduating fifth in his class in 1824.

While at college, he became friends with writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. If that doesn't ring a bell, then perhaps his novel, The Scarlet Letter, does.

Franklin Pierce.

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