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2024 LECTURE SERIES: “’Handsome Frank’ Defeats ‘Old Fuss ‘N Feathers!’” with Paula Fortner and Phyllis Gagnon

October 16 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Paula Fortner, accompanied by Phyllis Gagnon, will present the Election of NH’s “Handsome Frank” Defeats “Old Fuss ‘N Feathers”!  New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce was just who the Democrats needed to defeat the Whigs’ candidate General Winfield Scott. Pierce had it all. He was a young honest statesman, a top trial lawyer, a loyal party leader and a charismatic orator. While a Brigadier General in the Mexican War, Pierce’s leadership qualities had become evident. He was a man of integrity and tolerance who seemed untainted by sectional prejudice. Franklin was loved by his constituents and respected by his peers on both sides of the aisle. He exercised a strict adherence to the Constitution and held a strong commitment to preserve the Union at all costs. Paula Fortner will discuss Pierce’s road to the presidency within the framework of his times.

Paula Fortner is a board member of the Hillsborough Historical Society where she creates exhibits and serves as archivist and recording secretary. She is a board member at the Franklin Pierce Manse in Concord where she conducts tours and is co-manager of collections. She is a Granite State Ambassador and a member of the New Hampshire Historical Society. Since 2004, when she began giving tours of the Pierce Homestead in Hillsborough, she has been studying Franklin Pierce and the historical, social, and political events pertinent to his lifetime.

Phyllis Gagnon is a published freelance writer, poet and editor. She has written a book on President Franklin Pierce and his historic Concord home known as the Franklin Pierce Manse. She is a tour guide and board member at the Manse in Concord.

Program is part of the 2024 Lecture Series "Political Engagement in New Hampshire: Past and Present," and it begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Shaw Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenæum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, NH (unless otherwise noted). Reservations for each program are required as seating is limited. Online registration is below. If unable to keep your reservation, please call (603) 431-2538 to release the seat for someone else. NOTE: Online registration ends 24 hours before the program begins; thereafter, please call (603) 431-2538, if space is available.

Attendance is FREE for Athenæum Proprietors, Subscribers, and Friends. Guests and members of the public are welcome to attend the entire series by becoming a Friend of the Athenæum for as little as $25 per year, payable at the door. Admission to an individual program is $15.

The 2024 Lecture Series "Political Engagement in New Hampshire: Past and Present" is sponsored by Whole Wealth Management.

Image: President Franklin Pierce. Courtesy of www.whitehouse.org.


October 16
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Portsmouth Athenaeum, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, USA
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2024 Lecture Series: Paula Fortner and Phyllis Gagnon

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