Around New England

New Hampshire Colleges Considering Removing Franklin Pierce From Their Name

June 18, 2020

Two colleges in New Hampshire are facing pressure to drop the name Franklin Pierce from their names.

The country’s 14th president didn’t own slaves — he was from New Hampshire, where slavery wasn’t legal.

The charge is that he was complicit in racism and slavery, The Union Leader reports.

The University of New Hampshire at Concord’s law school is named after Pierce (Franklin Pierce Law Center), and so is Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire.

In an email message to The Union Leader, UNH officials said they will come to a decision on renaming the law school.

At Franklin Pierce University, a former student started a petition to change the school’s name. 

The school told The Union Leader that changing the name is under consideration.

“The process we put in place to discuss concerns related to the namesake of our university — Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States — will be equally respectful and inclusive for our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” the school’s statement said.

The report says that Pierce was opposed personally opposed to “involuntary servitude” and never owned slaves.

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