Jane Pierce (1806-63) was an American first lady (1853-1857) and the wife of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States. Although Franklin Pierce was candid about his political ambitions and was already a rising member of Congress when they married, Jane intensely disliked the role of political wife and eventually encouraged her husband to retire from public life. However, when Franklin was elected president in 1852, she reluctantly agreed to accompany him to the White House. The tragic death of their sole surviving son in a horrific accident just before Franklin's inauguration cast a further pall on the the couple, and Jane spent the majority of her time as first lady in seclusion, enlisting friends and family to play the role of White House hostess.
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On this day in 1815, President James Madison (1809-1817) presents to Congress a trade agreement with Great Britain that would regulate commerce between…
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Jane Pierce was so devastated by the death of her sole surviving son in January 1853 that she did not attend her husband's inauguration two months later and her husband, President-elect Franklin Pierce, cancelled plans for an inaugural ball.
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