James Buchanan
Served 1857-1861

James Buchanan was born April 23, 1791, in a log cabin at Cove Gap, near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Buchanan served as a five-term Congressman, as a foreign diplomat who twice represented the United States, in Russia (1832-1834) and in England (1855-1856), as a two-term Senator, and as Polk‘s Secretary of State. After his successes as a diplomat and his eagerness to make American a more powerful force overseas, and his absence from the debates against slavery, he was elected the 15th President of the United States. His Vice President was John C. Breckenridge, and he was from the Democratic Party.

Next PageHe was affectionately known to many as “Old Buck.” Minnesota, Oregon, and Kansas became the 32nd, 33rd, and 34th states admitted to the Union. The admission of Kansas on January 29, 1861, was extremely controversial, as Buchanan proposed it as a slave state.

Buchanan was the only President never to marry. Before his White House years, his fiancee died, and he vowed never to marry. During many of his years, especially at the White House, his niece Harriet Lane became served as his hostess and became quite popular.

Buchanan had a difficult Presidency. He vetoed every bill passed by the Republican majority in Congress 1859-1861. His struggles to avoid war between the states made him many enemies, so he did not run for a second term. Late in his term, the Civil War was imminent when southern states insisted they would secede. Before Buchanan left office, seven states beginning with South Carolina seceded.

Buchanan died June 1, 1868.

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1 Comment

  1. Claire Mclean
    November 19, 2013

    Claire Mclean
    November 17, 2013
    The Presidential Museums website is launched today, November 18th, and we are notifying as many people as we can to come on board and join the celebration. It is an important part of this web site to institute the CALENDAR feature and to keep it up to date with the direct input and co-operation of each Presidential Museum and Library starting with our dear “friend” and number 31 President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. We will be in touch with the Museums, asking for their help, this week so be on the look out for our call.
    This feature along with the monthly Calendar will also, we anticipate, act as a round robin and a chatter box about not just the Obama presidency, while we admit there is a lot to chat about there, but also involve all the presidencies. Join in on the trivia, gossip, chatter and “twitter” will help make us all learned historians, so come on aboard and be our guest.
    Claire McLean,
    Founder and CEO


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