Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 - October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States of America. He is regarded by the few who know of him to have been the worst president ever. Pierce was a "doughface" meaning he was born without a chin and instead had loose, adipose tissue descending from his mouth to his chest.
Pierce's wretched personality and horrific appearance usually prevented him from making any friends. Those foolish enough to befriend the ugly, foul-odored Pierce always regretted it later on in life. As president, he made many pointlessly divisive decisions which ended up sending the United States into a chaotic civil war less than a decade later. Pierce favored the Kansas-Nebraska Act, repealed the Missouri Compromise, and renewed the debate over expanding slavery in the West. Pierce's credibility was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto.
The most disturbing of all of Pierce's traits, however, would have to be his complete lack of love and compassion for anything except alcohol and misery. Following his disastrous presidency, Pierce quipped, "there's nothing left to do but get drunk." He did. A lot.
Franklin Pierce died from cirrhosis of the liver, something that shocked no one, in Concord, New Hampshire on October 8, 1869. The alcoholic beverage industry entered a mini-recession the following day.
Pierce's lack of a chin made his birth quite difficult for the delivering doctor who had nothing to grab hold of as he pulled the little Pierce from his mother's womb. Plus, he was born in a log cabin in
Canada New Hampshire. Splinters were everywhere, and many left scars on the young Pierce, making him look even worse.
Pierce was the fifth of eight children. No one ever speaks about his seven siblings, but they were well-respected, nice smelling members of society with chins. Franklin's father was the heroic General Benjamin Pierce, a Revolutionary War soldier, a state militia general, and a two-time Democratic-Republican governor of New Hampshire. His mother was Anna B. Kendrick, mother to eight and home cook.
Living up in suburban New Hampshire was hard for the young Pierce. He had no friends for his stench was too atrocious. When he was just under eight, two of his brothers were sent off to fight in the War of 1812. Franklin wanted to join them and the other kids his age fighting the British, but he was denied this right by his father who feared Pierce's wretched stench would give away the American forces location.
Pierce's native county Hillsborough, at the period of his birth, covered a much more extensive territory than at present, and was home to many memorable men: General Stark, the hero of Bennington, Daniel Webster, Levi Woodbury, Jeremiah Smith, the eminent jurist, and governor of the state, General James Miller, General McNeil, Senator Atherton, just to name a few. No one ever expected the chinless Franklin to rank among these illustrious men, and he never did. He did, however, permanently ruin the reputation of Hillsborough, and no more heroes have been born there since.
Pierce flunked out of two before being assigned to a remedial education academy. He still struggled in the remedial school, but it was completely intentional. He would do extremely well on all tests, but would doodle images of him spanking his teachers with a wooden paddle. He would also have sudden outbursts in the class where he would rub the faces of his classmates in his armpit. These disciplinary issues, combined with the sexual harassment he exhibited toward any and all women he encountered during his pubescent years, made Franklin's teenage years quite hard to anyone he encountered.
Pierce began his college education late, at the age 16, when he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He joined the school's celebrated debate, literacy, and political clubs. According to fellow literacy club member and well-known author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Pierce "managed to mangle the memories of most renowned members" of each club during his first year. He joined a frat. It is believed Pierce became addicted to alcohol after a night of chugging brewskies with fellow fratboy Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which the two set fire to a local fire station.
In his second year of college, his grades were the lowest of his class, but he had his rich influential father pay off the teachers. This allowed him to be ranked third among his classmates when he graduated in 1824. In 1826 he entered a law school in Northampton, Massachusetts, studying under Governor Levi Woodbury, and later Judges Samuel Howe and Edmund Parker, in Amherst, New Hampshire. He was admitted to a bar and began drinking heavily in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1827. He was then admitted to the bar and began studying law in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1827.
Early political career
Upon passing the bar exam, Pierce commenced the practice of law in the office of Judge Woodhury, a distinguished lawyer and a man of great private worth. Judge Woodhury hoped he could turn Pierce's lackluster life around by molding him into a fine lawyer. Pierce, however, had other ideas. This is when Pierce began destroying Woodhury's law firm by purposely losing cases. One particularly disturbing incident was the case of Raymond Edwards. Judge Woodhury was defending Edwards in what was supposed to be a simple horse parking violation. Edwards had illegally parked his stallion in front of a slave barn which caught fire. His horse blocked the door and all seven of the slaves in the barn were burned alive. Edwards claimed he was not liable since a no parking sign was not visible at the time.
Just as the jury foreman began reading the not guilty verdict, Pierce burst into the courtroom doors and yelled,
|“||I have new evidence that will blow this case wide open!||”|
Not wanting to stifle the young and chinless Pierce, Woodhury allowed him to present what he had gathered. Unfortunately for Woodhury and Edwards, Pierce had obtained photos of Edwards having consensual sex with a slave. This alone would not matter much but the slave was male. The jury immediately yelled, in unison, "EXECUTE THE HARLOT!", and Judge Woodhury was reprimanded for defending a homosexual.
Shortly after ruining Woodhury's career, Pierce commenced the practice of law in Hillsborough, and was elected to represent the town in the state legislature. He served there for four years and was chosen as the Speaker of the House during the last two years by the governor, his own father. As Speaker, Pierce racked up the worse debt the state of New Hampshire had ever seen.
In 1832, the people of New Hampshire elected Pierce, 27, to the House of Representatives just to get him out of the state. He was the youngest U.S. Representative at the time. Lacking seniority, Pierce was unable to do anything destructive to the country. In 1836, he was elected by the New Hampshire General Court as a Democrat to the United States Senate, serving from March 4, 1837, to February 28, 1842, when he resigned. He was chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Pensions during the 26th Congress. He cut the pension of several government officials, namely post office workers, which garnered him much popularity with the American populace.
After serving in the Senate, Pierce returned to New Hampshire to practice law with his partner Asa Fowler. He was appointed the United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire from 1845 to 1847, during which he managed to send over a hundred people to there deaths for the frivolous crime of growing uneven handlebar mustaches. He declined the appointment as Attorney General of the United States tendered by President James K. Polk after Polk called him "No Chin Pierce."
Family life“Train beats everything.”
~ Franklin Pierce on fatherhood
On November 19, 1834, Pierce married Jane Means Appleton (1806–63), the daughter of a former president of Bowdoin College. Jane was extremely shy, often ill, deeply religious, pro-temperance, and a Whig Party member; everything Pierce hated. It is unknown why the two married at all as it is known that they never loved each other. They had three children, all of whom died in childhood. The last born managed to live the longest, but he was killed in a train wreck at the age of 11. None lived to see their father become president.
Jane was never happy with her husband's involvement in the political world. She took no pleasure in knowing that her husband was one of the douches ruining the country and encouraged Pierce to resign his Senate seat and return to New Hampshire. He never did, though. In fact, his entire Presidential run was just to spite her.
One thing to note is the mysterious and violent ways all of Pierce's children died. Rumors at the time, spread around by Pierce's political opponents, claimed Pierce was the responsible. Unfortunately, most Americans did not believe it until he had already become President.
- Franklin Pierce, Jr. (February 2, 1836 – February 5, 1836) died three days after birth. It is believed he was smothered in his sleep by his father.
- Frank Robert Pierce (August 27, 1839 – November 14, 1843) died at the age of four from epidemic typhus. Newly found evidence supports the claim that he and his brother Bennie were purposefully exposed to typhus by their father to kill them, however Bennie lived.
- Benjamin "Bennie" Pierce (April 13, 1841 – January 6, 1853), named after his war hero grandfather, Benjamin Pierce, died at the age of 11 in a railway accident in Andover, Massachusetts, which his parents witnessed. Some speculate Pierce may have thrown Bennie into the front of the train in a drunken rage as they made their way to Washington shortly before Franklin Pierce was inaugurated President, but no evidence has been found to verify this just yet.
During Pierce's president, Jane was rarely around. Some say Franklin kept her locked in a White House closet or that she spent most of her time as first lady at the grave sides of her children in New Hampshire. The few occasions she was around, she closely followed her disgusting husband. This earned her the unaffectionate nickname "the shadow of the White House" though it may also be a reference to the five o'clock shadow she would sport.
Fighting the Mexicans
In March 1847, Pierce enlisted in the volunteer services to fight in the Mexican-American War. He did so just to avoid throwing his only living son at the time a birthday party. It actually ended up being Benjamin's best birthday as it was the only one where he did not get empty beer bottles thrown at his head by his drunken father.
Pierce's foul odor, atrocious looks, and drunken rampages terrified everyone in his battalion. One of his commanding officers appointed the disturbed Pierce to the rank of colonel to try to increase the chances that Mexicans would try to kill him. Pierce then appointed himself to the rank of brigadier general and forced a brigade of Winfield Scott's reinforcements to march on Mexico City. Hundreds of soldiers died during the march because Pierce provided them inadequate food rations and inferior body armor. The few survivors of his brigade managed to join Scott's army in time for the Battle of Contreras. During the battle he was seriously wounded in the leg when one of his own men pushed him from his horse in front of a group of enemy combatants. When the enemies caught a glimpse of Pierce's face, they all died from the sheer horror of Pierce's lack of a chin.
He returned to his command the following day, but during the Battle of Churubusco the pain in his leg became so great that he passed out and had to be carried from the field. His political opponents later used this against him, claiming that his men pulled him out of the war because he was screwing everything up and because he was a coward rather than because of his injury. He returned to command and led his brigade throughout the rest of the campaign, resulting in the capture of Mexico City. Although he was a political appointee, he proved to be effective as a military commander. He returned home and served as president of the New Hampshire state constitutional convention in 1850, just to keep him out of public view for awhile until he took a shower and washed the stench of the war off.
The United States later returned Mexico City to Mexico after Pierce's attempts at transforming it into a slave state came to light.
1852 Presidential Election
During the run-up to the 1852 election, former President Martin Van Buren felt the Democratic Party wasn't doing enough to expand slavery to the western states and founded the Free Soil Party. This left all of the moderates who felt "maybe slavery is in enough states and we shouldn't have it in every state" as the sole representatives in the Democratic Party. It was widely expected therefore that the Democratic nomination would lead to a deadlock at the convention as none of the slave-owning moderates would appeal to enough racists to gain a decisive majority. The New Hampshire Democrats threw their support behind Associate Justice Levi Woodbury as the "just the right amount of racist" candidate. Woodbury, who previously had employed Pierce at his law office and Pierce went drinking one night to celebrate Woodbury running for the presidency. This - unfortunately for Woodbury - would prove to be his undoing, as Pierce got angry and stabbed Woodbury to death at the pub and declared himself as the Democratic nominee.
Pierce ran on as racist as platform he could at the time which included giving a speech - while in blackface - in favor of the controversial Fugitive Slave Act.
Pierce formally was declared the candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination on June 3rd, 1852. When news of his nomination broke, his son Benjamin sent his mother a letter saying he wished his father's candidacy had been unsuccessful and that someone else had gotten the nomination. The letter reads as follows:
Pierce spent his general election campaign bar-hopping, spewing extremely racist vitriol. This was a century and a half before you could log on to social media and send drunken tweets. Despite what should've been a losing campaign strategy, Pierce's supporters came up with a meme about "Franklin will Pierce the Democrats enemies", and it unfortunately caught on. Pierce won the election by over 200 electoral votes, but failed to carry his home state of New Hampshire because the locals knew him as "the hero of a well-fought bottle", a reference to Pierce's alcoholism.
Prior to the inauguration, Pierce, his wife and their son Benjamin were taking a ride by train. It was then that Franklin - already drunk at 9 AM - heard his son say "I am quite fond of black people and view them as equals" and retaliated by throwing him in front of their train, decapitating him. He then forced his terrified wife to look at their dead child because he was that fucked up in the head. This event left her a despondent shell of a woman. It took her nearly two years before she broke from her catatonic state and began attending formal events as the First Lady.
Franklin - then the youngest person to ever be elected President - was not sworn in on a Bible as the Priest at the inauguration said doing so would be "an affront to God" after what Pierce did to his child.
Pierce's Cabinet was filled to the brim with the least qualified and apt people he could find.
- William Rufus King (purported long-term boyfriend of future President James Buchanan) technically served as Vice President under Franklin Pierce for a month and a half before dying; the vacancy he left after dying was not filled.
- Jefferson Davis, the future traitor and President of the Confederacy, served as Pierce's Secretary of War. It was in this position he learned many of the military tactics he would have the Confederacy use militarily against the United States a decade later.
- William L. Marcy served as the Secretary of State under Pierce and drew up the Let's Invade Cuba Act of 1854, which basically said "Spain should either sale Cuba to the US or the US should take it by force"; he literally wanted to go to war with Spain just because they refused to sale Cuba.
Jefferson Davis lobbied Pierce to buy the territory that would become the state of Arizona from Mexico. Pierce did so for nearly 50% of the fair value, paying $10 million when the territory only cost a bit over $7 million
Members of his administration put together a number of publicly popular doctrines, including the ever popular Manifest Destiny Act, and the Let's Invade Cuba Act of 1854.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act“Slavery? Don't care.”
~ Franklin Pierce on passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act
After proving himself to be an abject failure as President, the Democratic Party chose to ditch Pierce as their nominee, siding with James Buchanan as the nominee. He remains the only sitting President who sought his party's nomination for reelection that did not receive it. Pierce gave an impassioned speech on the convention floor where he purportedly claimed to be sober and that it wasn't fair that Buchanan had two chins while he lacked one. Half way through his concession speech to Buchanan, a flask of liquor flung out of Pierce's overcoat and onto the ground. Pierce proceeded to jump onto the ground and lapped up the spilled liquor like a cat at a water bowl before resuming his rant.
Buchanan, by virtue of not being a worse human being than Pierce, won the Presidency. During the lameduck session following Buchanan's win and Pierce being thrown out of the White House, Pierce wrote an angry letter to Congress where he defended his non-existent fiscal policy to Congress and proclaimed he would "smash in the glass jaws of anybody he saw at the bar."
After being denied the Democrat nomination for the presidency in 1856, Pierce began searching for stuff to do with the rest of his life. Since he had no living sons, becoming the coach of a little league baseball team was out of the question. After all, everyone would have thought he was a pedophile or something. Eventually, Pierce decided to be perpetually drunk. He would often stay in a drunken frenzy for several months at a time. Once, Pierce ran down a pedestrian while drunk-driving a stolen baby carriage with the baby still inside.
In 1860, the Democrats offered Pierce the Presidential nomination for two reasons, to get Buchanan, a complete loser, out of the White House, and to get Pierce off of the streets. Pierce declined the nomination saying he was "rather enjoying running around drunk flashing innocent bystanders." This allowed Abraham Lincoln to win the 1860 Presidential election.
For some odd reason, the drunken Pierce blamed Lincoln for him not winning. He also attacked Lincoln for his order suspending habeas corpus. Pierce argued that even in a time of war, the country should not abandon its protection of civil liberties, despite that he did the same to several of his own clients when he was an attorney. Pierce spent much of the time between beers writing love letters to the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, in which he bitched about the North and drew naughty pictures of Abraham Lincoln and his wife.
After being called a member of the seditious Knights of the Golden Circle by Lincoln's Secretary of State William Seward, Pierce sent Seward crudely drawn pictures of him giving Seward's wife a Tokyo-sandblaster along with a letter in which he described Lincoln as, "a lil bitch", and claimed he could drink Lincoln under the table. Pierce finished his letter by demanding it be put in the official files of the State Department. When that didn't happen, Pierce's drinking buddy Senator Milton Latham of California read the entire Pierce-Seward correspondence into the Congressional Globe.
In 1864, Pierce wrote a letter to the Democrats to inform them he would reject any more Presidential nominations, even though no one offered it to him.
He died in bed all alone surrounded by empty beer bottles. Following the announcement of Pierce's death, President Ulysses S. Grant, who previously had fought on the battlefields with Pierce during the Mexican-American War, declared a nation day of celebration.
In his will, last revised by Pierce in the spring of 1868, he left quite an odd assortment of arrangements to several people. Some of the oddest things he left were Nathaniel Hawthorne's children to the Smithsonian Institute and a picture of Abraham Lincoln getting teabagged to Jefferson Davis. He left a thousand dollars to the local library with the interest to be used to purchase books, but the withdraw date was already set as "the day after the Apocalypse." His nephew Frank Pierce received Pierce's last worn pair of underwear; covered in residue.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh often drinks while the Supreme Court is in session. When he pressed on his drinking by the other Justices during what he thought was an intervention, Kavanaugh cited Franklin Pierce as his hero and proclaimed unilaterally that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was unconstitutional.