The Tragedy behind those Melancholy Eyes: A Look at the History That Made Jane Pierce Such a Tragic Figure


Featured on the 15th Coin in the First Spouse Gold Coin series is First Lady Jane Pierce. When she married an ambitious lawyer by the name of Franklin Pierce, she didn’t dream of the life a politician’s wife. Yet that is what she became, and she grew despondent and melancholy while in Washington during her husband’s time as a U.S. Senator; losing three young children didn’t make her mood improve. In fact she encouraged her husband to resign his Senate seat and return to New Hampshire—he complied and they returned to their home in 1842. Settling in Concord with their remaining child “Benny,” the Pierce’s settled into what was to be their happiest years as a family.

The happiness was short lived, the Democratic Party nominated Pierce for candidate in the 1852 Presidential Election: when Jane heard news of this she fainted. Finally convinced by Pierce that his Presidency would be good for Benny’s future, Jane and her family set off for Washington for the swearing in of the new President. It was on the train ride to Washington that true tragedy struck, a derailment caused the train to fall down an embankment near Andover, Massachusetts. The only casualty in the mayhem was young Benny; who died right before his parent’s eyes.

Jane saw the accident as a testament from God that he was displeased with Pierce’s political ambitions. Both parents never fully recovered; while Jane wrote letters to her son in her depressed state for two years, President Pierce turned to the bottle. Lady Pierce eventually emerged from mourning to attend to Congressional debates, and appear by her husband’s side starting with the New Year’s Day reception in 1855. Eight years later she would pass away from tuberculosis and was interred with her children in Concord. Several years later her husband would succumb to his drinking problem and would eventually be laid to rest next to Jane and his children.


A terrific value, and a memorable addition to any collection: The Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin is an exceptional find. With such interesting history, both from the First Lady herself, and the First Spouse program, the Gold Coin is a fantastic investment. If you’d like to find out how you can make this beautiful gold coin a part of your investment, or collection please call the experts at Global Monetary Reserve today at 877-795-9585. Or if you would like to take a look at our fantastic inventory—Click Here.