After Pierce left military service in 1847, he returned home and engaged in the practice of law. As an advocate many considered him unsurpassed at the New Hampshire bar. He had the external advantages of an orator, a handsome, expressive face, an elegant figure, graceful and impressive gestures, and a clear,...
After Pierce left military service in 1847, he returned home and engaged in the practice of law. As an advocate many considered him unsurpassed at the New Hampshire bar. He had the external advantages of an orator, a handsome, expressive face, an elegant figure, graceful and impressive gestures, and a clear, almost musical voice which could move his hearers to joy or tears. He was also actively involved in Democratic politics, and that involvement grew in the congressional and state election year of 1851. The Democrats chose to campaign on their support of the Compromise of 1850, while the Whigs were split between the free soil and compromise wings of their party. New Hampshire was then a Democratic stronghold, and in the end, the Democrats retained their two congressional seats, the governorship, and state legislature, thought by reduced margins. So they lost ground despite the fact that their opponents were split.
Autograph Letter Signed, Concord, N.H., March 20, 1852, to Samuel C. Baldwin, publisher of the newspaper The New Hampshire Democrat, and clerk of the court in Belknap County. In it, he puts the rosiest possible face on the Democratic Party’s performance and praises Baldwin and his paper for its support. “I have not received the docket left to you to be marked and for the entry on a blank leaf of these cases in the new docket in which my name appears. In a contest like that through which we have just passed, it is no small honor to have conducted the Democratic paper in the banner county. The Democracy behaved nobly everywhere, but little Belknap [County] covered itself with glory. Give my kindest regards to Brother Walker when you see him & send the docket along.”
Just a few months later, Pierce became the dark horse candidate of his party for president. And in the 1852 presidential election, the Whig division played a major role and Pierce was elected. Just a year after he wrote this letter, Franklin Pierce was in the White House.
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