Franklin Pierce (1804 – 1869) was the 14th president of the United States. (1853–1857). Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern sympathies). He went to college with writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the two became lifelong friends. He served in congress and fought in the Mexican-American War. As president, his popularity in the North declined sharply after he supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which re-opened the possibility of slavery in new territories. The passage of this Act resulted in so much violence between groups that the territory became known as "Bleeding Kansas," and was an important pre-cursor to the Civil War. His reputation was destroyed during the Civil War when he declared support for the Confederacy.