James Buchanan

During one of the most difficult times in American history, old problems that had been solved were once again making things difficult. James Buchanan Jr. became President of the United States of America as the 15th President of the country. Until now, he is the only president who was born in Pennsylvania and stayed single his whole life. He also has the honor of being the last President of the United States who was born in the 1800s. He was elected to the presidency, and the optimists saw hope. They thought that a compromise could be reached on the issue of slavery, which was putting the country on the brink of a national crisis. However, he was not able to live up to these high expectations, and in his efforts to make peace, he alienated both the north and the southern states. His term in the White House has come to an end. By the time he left, the Southern States had said they were breaking away from the Union. This made the odds of a Civil War even more likely. People who write about history usually don’t like him because he couldn’t keep the peace. Check out this biography to learn more about this man, who is also known as the “dough face.”

Childhood and Early Life

In Pennsylvania, James Buchanan was the second oldest of the 11 children of James Sr. and Elizabeth. He was born in Cove Gap, and he lived there until he was eight years old.
His father was a well-known merchant, and his mother was a well-educated woman. This meant that he had more opportunities than most people of his time had.
When he was young, he went to the Old Stone Academy in his village. Later, he went to Dickinson College, where he graduated with honors in 1809.
After he finished college, he went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to learn more about the law. In 1812, he was able to join the bar.
He was against the United States going to war in 1812, but when British troops marched into Maryland, he joined the defense force that was set up to protect Baltimore.


First, Buchanan won an election and was elected to the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Federalist Party, which was a group that wanted to keep the country together.
Soon after that, from 1821 to 1831, he served as a member of the House of Representatives for five straight terms.
As President Andrew Jackson was leaving office in 1832, Buchanan was chosen as the American envoy to Russia by the then President. This job gave Buchanan a chance to show off his skills as a diplomat.
In 1834, he came back to the United States. He ran for a Senate seat as a Democrat and won.
When James K. Polk became president in 1845, he named him Secretary of State. He was a senator for about 10 years until 1845.
First, he tried to become the Democratic candidate for president in 1852. He lost to Franklin Pierce.
The president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, named Buchanan as the minister to England in 1853. He stayed in this job until 1856.
In 1856, Buchanan ran for president and won. On March 4, 1857, he was sworn in as the 15th President of the United States.
When the Southern States backed him in his presidential run-off, he won the election by a huge margin.
Historians say that Buchanan’s inaugural speech, in which he said that he would solve the north-south divide “swiftly and finally,” was a bad way to deal with the issue.
When there was a lot of unrest in Kansas because of slavery, Buchanan tried to solve the problem between 1857 and 1860, but he didn’t do very well.
Even though he tried to get the first state, South Carolina, to stay in the Union on December 20, 1860, it broke away.
Six more states left the Union by February of 1861 and formed the Confederate States of America.
A lot happened in March of 1861, when President Buchanan left. The country had a $17 million debt and was on the verge of going to war.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1819, he was going to marry Ann Caroline Coleman, who was the daughter of a wealthy businessman who sold iron. He was going to marry her then.
Ann broke off the engagement because Buchanan had been away for a long time and there were rumors that he had been seeing other women.
She died on December 9, 1819, and her family thought that Buchanan was to blame. He was not allowed to go to her funeral. Afterward, he made a promise not to get married, which he kept until the end.
He died at his home in Wheatland at the age of 77. He had trouble with his breathing. His body was buried in Lancaster, at Woodward Hill Cemetery, after he died.
A bronze and granite memorial to Buchanan was unveiled on June 26, 1930, at the corner of Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C. It was made of bronze and granite.
Three counties have been named after Buchanan. One is in Iowa, another is in Missouri, and one is in Virginia, so they all have his name on them now.


He was the only president in the history of the United States of America who was never married. It was during his presidency that his niece, Harriet Lane, took on the role of the first lady.
He has the honor of being the last American President who was born in the 1880s.
He was against slavery, so at times he bought slaves so that he could set them free.
Then he went into depression because he couldn’t handle the huge amount of criticism he was getting from everyone. Later, he started to defend himself, so he didn’t go into depression again.

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