Jane Pierce's tenure as First Lady is considered one of the most tragic of all. After her husband, Franklin, won the presidency, they boarded a train for Washington, D.C. The train subsequently derailed and killed their third son. Following his death, the former First Lady, Abigail Fillmore, and sitting Vice President, William King, both succumbed to illness and died. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne once referred to Jane Pierce as "that death's head in the White House." In an attempt to raise his wife's spirits, Franklin took Jane on a cruise through the Caribbean. Jane contracted tuberculosis and died soon after.
The obverse of the Jane Pierce coins was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Don Everhart to show a portrait of the former First Lady. On the reverse we find Jane in the visitor’s gallery of the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building listening to a debate. The reverse was also designed by Donna Weaver but sculpted by Charles Vickers.