The Presidency That Almost Wasn’t

It's Also History

It’s Also History: Tales & Tidbits from Alan’s Archives

Alan Foulds is a local historian who has written several historically related articles in addition to his book, “Boston’s Ballparks &  Arenas.” He is a major contributor to the writing of “At Wood End.” Mr. Foulds is also Reading’s Town Moderator.

On a cold January day, President-Elect Franklin Pierce and his family boarded a train in Andover, Massachusetts, two months before he took office. A mile later, the train left the track and tumbled down an embankment. The horrible accident nearly ended his presidency before it started, He survived, but the tragedy hobbled his administration for the entire term, destroyed his home life, and probably led to an early death…

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