Franklin Pierce is a largely forgotten president from the 1850s whose primary achievement seems to have been not getting us into the Civil War that eventually broke out a half dozen years later. He was the head of the New Hampshire Democratic party, something the Democrats of today would probably like to forget given his tepid stand on the issue of slavery. He did not help his own cause very much by maintaining his friendship with Jefferson Davis even after Davis became president of the confederacy. Pierce drank himself to death after his wife died shortly after the civil war.
This grave is worthwhile as an attraction in large part because it is so unremarkable. This was a man who was a general in the Mexican-American War, a U.S. Congressman, a U.S. Senator, and a U.S. president, yet he is all but forgotten. The cemetery is just outside the immediate downtown area and a block or two from the relocated Pierce Manse. You can just drive in and walk 100 feet (maybe less than that) up to his tomb.
The cemetery is not very large - Pierce's tomb is in the gated area off to the side. It was easy to find as they still have a wreath and red white and blue banners on it.
One sad thing to note is the ages of his children on one side of the monument, two of whom are buried in the same place. Pierce's first son died 4 days after childbirth while Pierce was a congressman - no-one knows where he was buried. The second died of typhus at age 4, and is buried here. The third died in a train accident shortly after Pierce was elected President, plunging his wife into depression for obvious reasons. Regardless of the merits of his presidency, it is heartbreaking to see that all three of his children never saw adulthood.
A piece of trivia: The character "Hawkeye" Piece in the old M*A*S*H show played by Alan Alda was actually named "Benjamin Franklin Pierce".
The Pierce Tomb is worth a short stop if you are in Concord and/or visiting the nearby Pierce Manse.
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