One game that professional and amateur historians like to play is rate the presidents. Abraham Lincoln gets the top spot in many polls, but the bottom spots have changed over the years. When I was junior high school, Warren G. Harding and Ulysses S. Grant got the bottom spots because of the scandals that marked their time in office. Today Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan get the lowest marks because of their inability to deal with the issues that lead to the Civil War. Here is a rare campaign piece that was isued on behalf of candidate "General" Franklin Piece. This piece is made of white metal and there are very few original examples like this one. This variety is most often find as in bronze. Those pieces, which are scarce, were made for collectors in the 1860s Franklin Pierce was a political "boy wonder" in his youth. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1833 when he was 28 years old. He moved up to Senate in 1837 when he was 32. In both houses he supported the Democratic line and had no scandals attached to his name. Frank was a party animal, however, and he did enjoy his liquor. That was one thing that made him popular in Washington. His wife, who was a withdrawn and deeply religious woman didn't care for that, she finally pushed him to resign his Senate seat and go back home to New Hampshire to practice law. Politics was still in Frank's blood, however, he made himself available for the 1852 Democratic presidential nomination. When the party deadlocked, Frank won the nomination as a dark horse candidate on the 49th ballot. For much of our history, a candidate who could claim a good military record got a big boost in the polls. Frank claimed to be a hero of the Mexican War. While he had served, his record had not been stellar. He was injured early on when his horse bucked and pushed his groin on the pommel of his saddle with resulted a painful injury. Later he wrenched his knee twice and passed out on two more occasions from the heat. One Louisville newspaper put this way: “Pierce tumbled from his horse just as he was getting ready for one fight … fainted and fell in the opening of the second … got sick and had to go to bed on the eve of the third, and came pretty near to getting into a fourth, missing it only by an hour.” Pierce's problems with alcohol were noted in one slogan, "A general who never lost a bottle." The Democrats were the majority party, and the opposition Whigs were in the process of disintegrating. The Republican Party would rise in part from the Whig ashes. All of this led to the election of Franklin Pierce as president over General Winfield Scott. Pierce would serve only one term. In 1856 Pierce wanted to run for a second term, but the Democrats refused to nominate him. After he lost the nomination, Piece commented to one of his friends, "Well I guess there's nothing else to do but to go get drunk." During the Civil War Pierce came out for the South, which was a very unpopular position in his native state of New Hampshire. He died in 1869 reportedly from cirrhosis of the liver.