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"First Lady" Jane Means Appleton

"First Lady" Jane Means Appleton[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

Female 1806 - 1863  (57 years)

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  • Name Jane Means Appleton 
    Title "First Lady" 
    Born 1806  Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Residence 1853 - 1857  The White House, Washington, District of Columbia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The White House
    The White House
    The White House, Washington D.C.
    On Saturday, November 1, 1800, John Adams became the first president to take residence in the building.[13] During Adams' second day in the house, he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, containing a prayer for the house. Adams wrote:

    I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.
    Residence 1860  Pierce Manse, Concord, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    1860 U.S. Federal Census
    1860 U.S. Federal Census
    Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Concord Ward 5, Merrimack, New Hampshire; Roll: M653_675; Page: 859; Image: 191; Family History Library Film: 803675.
    The Pierce Manse
    The Pierce Manse
    The Pierce Manse, located in Concord, New Hampshire, was the home of the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce
    Died 2 Dec 1863  Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Pierce, Jane M. (Appleton)
    Pierce, Jane M. (Appleton)
    Jane M. (Appleton) Pierce
    Buried
    Pierce Family Plot
    Pierce Family Plot
    Pierce Family Plot -
    Franklin Pierce (1804 - 1869)
    Jane M. Appleton Pierce (1806 - 1863)
    Franklin Pierce (1836 - 1836)
    Frank Robert Pierce (1839 - 1843)
    Benjamin Pierce (1841 - 1853)
    Plot: Minot enclosure adjoining Old North Cemetery
    Pierce Family Plot
    Pierce Family Plot
    Pierce Family Plot -
    Franklin Pierce (1804 - 1869)
    Jane M. Appleton Pierce (1806 - 1863)
    Franklin Pierce (1836 - 1836)
    Frank Robert Pierce (1839 - 1843)
    Benjamin Pierce (1841 - 1853)
    Pierce, Jane M. Appleton
    Pierce, Jane M. Appleton
    Jane M. Appleton Pierce
    Notes 
    • Presidential First Lady. She even eclipsed Mary Todd Lincoln as the most tragic First Lady and was known as the "Shadow of the White House." She was born Jane Appleton in Hampton, New Hampshire to a father who was a Congregational minister and president of Bowdoin College. With the death of her father, the family moved to Amherst where she met the future President, a Bowdoin graduate, Franklin Pierce. He was an ambitious lawyer and active in politics. Jane abhorred politics imploring Franklin to leave the political arena. Two sons were born: Franklin died on the third day of birth and Frank at the age of five. Jane believed their demise was punishment from God for her husband's political involvement. Only after she contracted tuberculosis did he resign from the Senate to return home. He even turned down President Polk's offer to the post of Attorney General. When he became the President-elect, she lost all emotional stability. Then the ultimate tragedy struck. Before Pierce's inauguration, the family was returning from Boston after attending a funeral, the axle on the train broke, hurling their passenger car down an embankment and Benny, their eleven year old son, was thrown from his seat and instantly killed. Jane was now firmly convinced of punishment from God. She did not attend Franklin's inauguration and when finally joining him in the White House refused to leave her room. She attended no social functions while First Lady. She often sat crying by the fireplace while writing letters to her deceased son, Benjamin. Jane did little to help her beleaguered husband and he was not offered the nomination for a second term. She endured the four year term and upon leaving Washington was so weakened by tuberculosis that she had to be carried out. The Pierces sailed to the Caribbean on board the U.S.S. Powhatan, a government ship loaned to them by President Buchanan seeking relief from the tuberculosis and the chronic depression which had engulfed Jane. She lived almost the rest of her life in Andover, Massachusetts with her sister looking after her until her death at age fifty seven. The ex-president took his wife home to Concord, New Hampshire to lie beside their sons, Frank and Benjamin. Franklin, Jr was buried in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He outlived his wife by five years and upon his death was buried beside Jane in the Old North Cemetery in Concord. Very little remains of historic value in regards to Jane Pierce. In 1966, the only Concord house ever owned by Franklin Pierce and where the family lived in relative happiness, was threatened with demolition but saved and moved to the Concord Historic District. It has been restored and many of the furnishings belonged to the Pierce family. Some items are known as "White House Pieces." She is barely remembered today. (bio by: Donald Greyfield
    Person ID I145828  MRP Tree
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2014 

    Father Jesse Appleton, D.D.,   b. 17 Nov 1772, New Ipswich, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1819, Brunswick, Cumberland, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 46 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Means,   b. 1780, Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1844, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Family ID F21888  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Franklin "Frank" Pierce,   b. 23 Nov 1804, Hillsboro, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Oct 1869, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)  [8
    Married 19 Nov 1834  Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Franklin Pierce, Jr,   b. 2 Feb 1836, Hillsborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Feb 1836, Hillsborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     2. Frank Robert Pierce,   b. 27 Aug 1839, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Nov 1843, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 4 years)
     3. Benjamin Franklin "Benny" Pierce,   b. 13 Apr 1841, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1853, Andover, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 11 years)
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2014 23:15:24 
    Family ID F34954  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1806 - Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 19 Nov 1834 - Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1853 - 1857 - The White House, Washington, District of Columbia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1860 - Pierce Manse, Concord, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 2 Dec 1863 - Amherst, Hillsborough, New Hampshire Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Pierce, Benny
    Pierce, Benny
    Benny Pierce and his mother Jane Means Appleton Pierce.
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce
    Jane Means Appleton Pierce

    Census
    1850 U.S. Federal Census
    1850 U.S. Federal Census
    Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire; Roll: M432_435; Page: 3A; Image: 12.

  • Sources 
    1. [S9] Family Trees and LDS, This information is obtained from Public and Private Family Trees and Data Collections including but not limited to: LDS, Ancestry, WFT, MyFamily etc., (Note: This information comes from 1 or more individual private or public files. This infomation is not a "Primary Source".).

    2. [S61 ] Find a Grave, Cemeteries, Headstones, Various Private and Public Records including: Actual Headstones and Cemetery Records, Find A Grave, BillionGraves, and U.S. Veterans Gravesites and U.S. Headstone Applications, ((Click link to Find a Grave etc)).

    3. [S1330] Minnesota Cemetery Inscription Index, Select Counties, Dalby, John, (Ancestry.com Operations Inc).

    4. [S185] Millennium File, Heritage Consulting, (Ancestry.com Operations Inc).

    5. [S1385] Massachusetts Town Death Records, New England Historic Genealogical Society, (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data - Vital Records of Bellingham Massac).
      Name: Jane M Pierce
      Event Type: Death
      Birth Date: abt 1805
      Death Date: 2 Dec 1862
      Death Place: Andover, Massachusetts
      Death Age: 57
      Father Name: Joseph Appelton

    6. [S256] Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003, Ancestry.com, (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.Original data - State of Massachusetts. Massachusett).
      Name: Jane M Pierce
      [Jane M Appleton]
      Gender: Female
      Birth Date: abt 1806
      Birth Place: Brunswick ME
      Death Date: 2 Dec 1863
      Death Place: Andover, Massachusetts, USA
      Age at Death: 57
      Father: Joseph Appleton
      Mother: Elizabeth Appleton


    7. [S75] American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI).

    8. [S19] U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Yates Publishing, (Ancestry.com Operations Inc).
      Name: Jane Means Appleton
      Gender: Female
      Birth Year: 1806
      Spouse Name: Franklin Pierce
      Spouse Birth Year: 1804
      Number Pages: 1


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