Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pierce On Jeopardy Again

The excitement was palpable on the set of Jeopardy tonight as the Double Jeopardy categories were revealed.

Not really, but I got interested when one of the categories was "The Gadsden Purchase."

Sure enough, the $800 answer was:

Deepak rang in, and gamely offered the question, "Who was Buchanan?"

Close, Deepak, but no cigar. You were one administration late. Neither of the other contestants tried.

The answer, of course, is none other than our obscure 14th POTUS, Franklin Pierce!

The Gadsden Purchase

The story of the Gadsden Purchase is pretty interesting. It was driven by the desire for a transcontinental railroad via a southern route. The story involves war, diplomacy, Indian raids, the slavery debate, the gold rush, etc. I'd love to recount it here, but it would be too much work, so I'll just refer the reader to a thorough Wikipedia article about the Gadsden Purchase.


  1. I was thinking that maybe the deal he thought about was the Ostend Manifesto, which had a Buchanan connection -- although Buchanan wasn't president and it was in 1854. And Pierce didn't authorize it. I think.

  2. Right on. Old Buck was ambassador to England at the time.