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Precious Ones
Jane Pierce, Two of Diamonds

Oil on linen, 70 x 48"
©1998, Tina Mion

Jane and Franklin Pierce had three sons. One month before Franklin’s 1853 inauguration, they lost their last one, 12-year-old Bennie, in a train accident before their eyes. Jane believed this tragedy to be God’s way of providing her husband more time to devote to the Presidency. For the next 2 years, Jane refused to come down from the second story of the White House, where she spent her days writing letters of apology to Bennie.

Jane kept a box with locks of hair of all her dead children. She called the locks of hair her “precious ones.” My painting of Jane is how I imagined she might have looked — unable to sleep, pacing the White House with her precious ones.

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