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The wife of 14th U.S. President Franklin Pierce, Jane Pierce served as first lady of the United States from 1853 to 1857.
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Franklin decided to accept the nomination, and went on to win the presidency.
This good news, however, was countermanded by the third and final familial tragedy for the Pierces: While the family was traveling by train soon after Pierce took office, on January 6, 1853, their car derailed and 11-year-old Benjamin was killed right in front of his parents. The presidential inauguration unfortunately followed soon after, and it was a gloomy affair,
as the nation mourned for Benjamin. Jane Pierce was not in attendance, and she never fully recovered from the loss of her sons.
Subsequent events darkened the clouds over the Pierce White House: Abigail Fillmore, the wife of previous president Millard Fillmore, died in March 1853, and Pierce's vice president, William R. King died the following month. Jane soon fell into a deep depression, and she rarely left the White House.
Franklin Pierce's presidency was less than successful, and his party did not nominate him for a second term. The Pierces spent a year abroad after Franklin left the White House, and then returned to Concord, New Hampshire. Jane Pierce died a few years later, on December 2, 1863, in Andover, Massachusetts.
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