Home / Guided Primary Source Analyses / Featured Source: Pierce examining a witness–the good Samaritan Guided Primary Source Analyses Featured Source: Pierce examining a witness–the good Samaritan November 24, 2011March 15, 2020 Hoppin, Augustus & Strong, Thomas. "Scene in a New Hampshire court.--General Pierce examining a witness. Scene in a New Hampshire village.--Pierce the good Samaritan." 1852. Summary: Two humorous incidents supposedly from the life of Franklin Pierce. On the left, a repartee wherein Pierce, the distinguished trial lawyer, is embarrassed by an ignorant witness. Armed with notes, Pierce addresses the witness accusingly, "You are sworn to tell the truth, Sir, and how dare you say you carried that bureau out of the house, without assistance, when you know it takes three men to lift it?" Behind Pierce is a chair, several books on the floor beside it, and a table with several more volumes. The witness is on a small stand at left, with a spittoon on the floor before him. The witness replies, "Wal, General, I "did" carry that bureau without help, and I did'nt faint either, as you did, before that battle in Mexico." He refers to the Battle of Churubusco in the Mexican War when Pierce, weak from a wound suffered in a previous encounter, fainted and was carried from the field. According to the text below, the witness's response is followed by "Laughter in the court," and "Pierce sits down in confusion." Behind Pierce is a row of amused spectators or jurors. Above them, on the far wall, is a large statue of Justice. At right is a high bench with two men, probably the judge and recorder. The second scene takes place on a cobblestoned street. On a pile of rocks at left sits a wailing urchin, behind whom stand three other ragged boys with candy sticks. On the right stands Franklin Pierce, reaching into his pocket with a look of concern on his face. Pierce: "Hallo, boy what are you crying about?" Boy: "them three boys is a eating sticks of candy, and I've no money to buy any. Hoo! Hoo!" Pierce: "I swow that's a hard case. See, boy, you're a stranger to me but I've a benevolent heart and cannot bear to see any one in distress without helping them. So, here's a cent for you, buy a stick of candy and remember to vote for Pierce, if ever he is nominated for President."