Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Tragic Death Of Little Bennie Pierce

  Jane Pierce, the wife of President Franklin Pierce, did not want to go to Washington because she had a terrible premonition of tragedy. She was terrified that her husband would be assassinated while in office. She had experienced enough tragedy for a lifetime already. Her first two children had died as children. Her first son died only three days after birth and her second son Frank died of Typhus in 1843. The death of children was a common occurrence in families of the 1800's but no less painful and tragic as it is today. Her third son Benjamin or Bennie was born on April 13, 1841. Jane was opposed to her husband Franklin being in politics and she fainted when she heard that her husband had been elected president. On January 6, 1853, two months before the inauguration Franklin, Jane and Bennie were traveling on a train in Massachusetts when an axle broke on the passenger car that they were riding in. The car derailed and went over the side of a steep embankment. There were moans and screams as the passengers came to their senses after what was left of the car came to rest. The car had broke in half. Franklin and Jane were still in their seats but Bennie was missing. Suddenly Franklin spotted his son's crumpled lifeless body in the wreckage. He would be the only passenger killed that day. Jane's premonition had been wrong. It would be her son, not her husband that would die. Jane would not be one of our best First Ladies because she would be a recluse for the rest of her life.


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