A well educated woman, the daughter of a Congregational minister and second president of Bowdoin College, Jane Means Appleton married Franklin Pierce on November 19, 1834 in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Mrs. Pierce's life was one of life-long depression, chronic illness and tragedy.

She lost all three of her sons, the last, Bennie, aged eleven, who was killed in a train accident in front of his parents just three months before his father's inauguration as our fourteenth president.

Jane, the daughter of a minister, met Franklin Pierce at Bowdoin College in Maine.

It was an attraction of opposites: he was outgoing, personable, and charming; she was somber, intensely religious, and beset by ill health.

Mrs. Pierce would often place fresh magnolias at each place setting of their guests at the White House state dinners.

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