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Title Jane Means Appleton Pierce
Collection First Lady Dolls
Catalog Number 2015.017.016
Description Jane Means Appleton Pierce (1806-1863)
Wife of Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

Jane Pierce was very slender, about 5'4" with chestnut hair parted in the middle and ringlets, brown colored eyes. She had a sharp nose and almost always a sad, distracted look. She dressed in dark colors, usually black, but on occasion would wear white with black lace.
Jane married Franklin Pierce on November 19, 1834 in Amherst, New Hampshire, in her grandmother's home. She was 28 years old and Franklin not yet 30. They had three sons. Franklin Pierce, Jr. died at three days old; Franklin Robert Pierce died at four years of age; and Benjamin, who died at the age of 12 in a train wreck on the way to Washington with his parents. Jane survived all three of her sons - No descendents survive today.
Because of the tragic death of Benjamin, Jane did not attend her husband's inauguration. She did not go to the White House until later in March 1853. It would be nearly two years following the death of Benjamin before she would receive guests at her husband's side.
Always kind to the White House staff, she usually had them attend church on Sundays. Both she and her husband were very strict about the Sabbath.
The Pierces oversaw many decorative changes to the White House, including a furnace, a tile-covered bathroom with hot and cold running water, a new rug in the East room, new ornate mirrors (still being used) and a handsome china service which the President purchased at the New York' World's Fair.
Mrs. Pierce's health became more fragile and the President would have nieces and nephews come to visit and care for her.
After they left the White House, they traveled to Europe and the Caribbean in an effort to renew Jane's spirits. Her depression had become chronic and she had contracted tuberculosis. They returned home in 1860. Jane died December 2, 1863 at her sister Mary Aiken's home in Andover, Massachusetts. She was 57 years old.
Event Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project
Creator Parks, Phyllis Juhlin
Costume Costume by Kathleen S. Siddway, MonteRae C. Showalter, Pam C. Pease
Given Given by Roy Showalter in honor of Opal B. Showalter
Source Uintah County Library