Rev. Jesse Ripley Appleton

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Rev. Jesse Ripley Appleton

Birthplace: New Ipswich, Hillsborough, New Hampshire
Death: November 12, 1819 (46)
Brunswick, Cumberland, Maine, United States
Place of Burial: Brunswick, Cumberland, Maine, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Appleton and Elizabeth Appleton
Husband of Elizabeth Appleton; Louisa Appleton and Abigail Sophia Mason
Father of Elizabeth Frances Appleton; Jane Pierce, First Lady of the United States; Unkown Packard and Unknown Aiken
Brother of Francis Appleton and John Appleton, Sr.

Managed by: Scott David Hibbard
Last Updated:

About Rev. Jesse Ripley Appleton

Jesse Appleton (November 17, 1772 – November 12, 1819), son of Francis Appleton and Elizabeth Hubbard, was the second president of Bowdoin College and the father of First Lady Jane Pierce.

Life and career

After having graduated from Dartmouth College in 1792, Appleton taught at several institutions including Amherst College and then worked at a parish in Hampton, New Hampshire. In the early 19th century, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from both Dartmouth and Harvard University. In 1807, he was appointed president of Bowdoin, where he remained until he died of tuberculosis in 1819. A congregationalist minister and prominent Christian lecturer, Appleton was notably determined to make Bowdoin students more pious. He worked at the school, right before it reached its full prominence in the 1820s, when Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Franklin Pierce attended. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810.

He married Elizabeth Means, daughter of Robert Means (Stewartstown, County Tyrone, Ireland, August 23, 1742 – Amherst, New Hampshire, January 24, 1823) and wife (m. November 24, 1774) Mary McGregor (December 6, 1752 – January 14, 1838), and was the father of five children who survived through infancy, including Jane who would become First Lady to President Pierce, and Frances who would marry famed Bowdoin professor Alpheus Spring Packard, Sr. In 1837, Packard went on to edit The Works of Rev. Jesse Appleton, D.D., with a Memoir of His Life and Character. His wife's sister was Mary Means (Amherst, New Hampshire, October 20, 1777 – April 12, 1858), married on November 6, 1799 to Jeremiah Mason.

Father of first lady Jane Pierce. He was the fourth son of Francis and Elizabeth (Hubbard) Appleton.He Entering Dartmouth at the age of sixteen, he graduated in the class of 1792, and spent the next two years teaching at Dover, N. H., In 1800 he married Elizabeth Means, daughter of Col. Robert Means of Amherst, N.H. They had six children. The third of these, Jane, became the wife of Franklin Pierce, president of the United States. In 1807 He was elected president of Bowdoin College.


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Rev. Jesse Ripley Appleton's Timeline

November 17, 1772
New Ipswich, Hillsborough, New Hampshire
April 23, 1804
March 12, 1806
Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
November 12, 1819
Age 46
Brunswick, Cumberland, Maine, United States
Brunswick, Cumberland, Maine, United States