Pierce, Jane Means Appleton, 1927, Biographical Sketch

THE DAUGHTER of the president of Bowdoin College, from which President Pierce had graduated, Mrs. Pierce disliked public life as much as her husband. Washington was regarded as a place of exile and so much was it dreaded that when her little son, Benjamin, who was away at school, uas killed in a railroad wreck while en route home to accompany his parents to the Capitol, Mrs. Pierce regarded it as "an act of God," and induced her husband to engage an attorney to defend the railroad from the suits of others against the charge of negligence. As a result the tenancy of the White House by the Pierces was shadowed throughout the entire term by a pall of tragedy.

References
1. Brief Biographies of our Presidents and the First Ladies of the Land, 1927, American Weekly, Inc., page 15.

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