President #3 (again)

I've already done President Franklin Pierce, but didn't like the first one. You deserve better. So, let's try this again: In 1853, President-elect Franklin Pierce and his family were traveling together by train. It jumped the track, rolled down the embankment, and the couple watched as their only son, Benny, had his head nearly torn from his body. He was eleven. Franklin and Jane's other two children never made it past early childhood, and they lost their third just two months before his father's inauguration.

Twenty years earlier, Pierce was a war hero known for his apetite for partying. He had just been elected as Congressman. Jane was very religious, a shy and frail girl. Although she had always hated Washington, she married the young career politician and instantly badgered him to resign. This would go on for decades. She was a fierce proponent of temperance; Franklin was an alcoholic. They both contracted tuberculosis, and would have bloody coughing fits throughout their lives.

It was a surprise to nearly everyone when Franklin was nominated for President, a true dark horse candidate. Neither Jane nor young Benny wanted Franklin to win the presidency, but Franklin convinced his wife that it would be helpful to their son's future success. Upon Benny's death, Jane's tenuous hold on sanity was broken, and she spent her years in the White House wearing black and hidden away in the residency, writing constant letters to her dead child, a shadow of her old self.

Saddled with an ever dividing nation, Franklin's drinking became worse. After his term ended, he remarked there was nothing left to do but drink. Jane eventually died from tuberculosis. Franklin, on the wrong side of history and disdained for his politics, died from a rotted liver and was buried next to his wife and three children.

President Franklin Pierce by Barak Hardley