Franklin Pierce: Family Life [cite this] ↑Franklin Pierce Home Page Franklin Pierce Essays Life in Brief Life Before the Presidency Campaigns and Elections Domestic Affairs Foreign Affairs Life After the Presidency Family Life The American Franchise Impact and Legacy [ print all essays ] Jane Pierce was a deeply religious woman, born into the Congregationalist church, and her beliefs penetrated almost every aspect of the family's life. No meal took place without grace. Before his tragic death, her son, Benjamin Pierce, was sent to church every single morning and after his death, religion seemed to be the only solace for his parents. In his rare time away from the cares of office and family, Pierce enjoyed fishing and visits to the country. With the President and his wife still in mourning when they moved to Washington, social life in the Pierce White House was limited. Because of Jane Pierce's frail health, opposition to drinking, and her depression over the loss of her child, social functions at the White House were almost nonexistent during the first half of the Pierce administration. In its later months, she did manage some appearances at events there, but she came to be known as "The Shadow in the White House." Franklin Pierce Essays Life in Brief Life Before the Presidency Campaigns and Elections Domestic Affairs Foreign Affairs Life After the Presidency Family Life The American Franchise Impact and Legacy [ print all essays ] Franklin Pierce Home Citation Information Consulting Editor Jean H. Baker Professor Baker is a professor of history at Goucher College. Her writings include: Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists (Hill and Wang, 2005) James Buchanan (Times Life Books, 2004) The Civil War and Reconstruction (Co-authored with Michael F. Holt and David Herbert Donald, W.W. Norton, 2001) American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!