Buchanan, James, 1791-1868

Alternative names
Dates:
Active
Active 1837
Active 1846
Active 1938
Active 1973
Birth 1791-04-23
Death 1868-06-01
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Epithet: US President

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000471.0x000128

James Buchanan, Jr. (1791-1868) was the 15th President of the United States, serving from 1857–1861. Prior to his presidency, Buchanan represented Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Secretary of State under President James K. Polk (1845-1849).

Source : About the White House: Presidents. 15. James Buchanan, 1857-1861. The White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamesbuchanan (accessed June 21, 2010).

From the guide to the United States Department of State Letter, 1845, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

15th president of the U.S., serving 1857-1861, here writing as U.S. minister to Great Britain.

From the description of ALS, 1852 April 28 : Wheatland, near Lancaster, to David Lynch. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14714092

James Buchanan was the fifteenth president of the United States (1857-1861), from Lancaster, Pa., and a moderate Democrat whose efforts to find a compromise in the conflict between the North and the South failed to avert the Civil War (1861-1865).

From the description of James Buchanan papers, 1811-1865. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 49317979

U.S. president, 1857-1861.

From the description of Letter: Washington, [D.C.], to Robert Tyler, 1860 June 13. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 27819348

From the description of Letter: Wheatland, [Pennsylvania], to James Campbell, 1853 March 16. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 27819336

From the description of Letter: Washington City, to John Black, 1858 Dec. 30. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 27819343

From the description of Letter: Lancaster, [Pennsylvania], to Thomas Elder, 1831 Nov. 23. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 27819332

U.S. President, Secretary of State, diplomat and U.S. representative of Pennsylvania.

From the description of Papers of James Buchanan, 1775-1868. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71068065

U.S. President from 1857-1861; he attended Dickinson College from 1807-1809. His niece and ward Harriet Lane served as his hostess during his presidency. Earlier, when Buchanan became Secretary of State under James K. Polk, he placed Harriet in the highly regarded Georgetown Visitation Convent, where she finished her education and graduated in 1848.

From the description of James Buchanan receipt and letter, 1808, 1847. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63936821

James Buchanan (1791-1868) was the 15th President of the United States, from 1857-1861. His presidency coincided with increasing tensions between North and South over states' rights and slavery, with the outbreak of hostilities at Fort Sumter coming barely a month after his successor, Abraham Lincoln, took office. Prior to his presidency Buchanan was elected five times to the United States Congress where he served as Representative for the state of Pennsylvania (1821-1831) and as Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary (1829-1831). After a brief period as Minister to Russia (1832-1833), he was a U.S. Senator (1834-1845), Secretary of State (1845-1849), and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James (1853-1856).

From the guide to the James Buchanan Collection, 1848-1862, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

David Conner (1792-1856) was a United States naval officer. He served as Navy Commissioner; chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repair; commander of the U.S. naval force in the Gulf of Mexico during the war with Mexico; and commandant of the naval base at Philadelphia.

From the guide to the David Conner papers, 1816-1856, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

James Buchanan, fifteenth president of the United States, 1857-1861.

From the description of Letters, 1845-1852. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 41417124

American lawyer and fifteenth president of the United States.

From the description of Amnesty proclamation, 1858. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122494672

Charles Nicoll Bancker was a merchant and financier.

From the guide to the Charles Nicoll Bancker family papers, 1733-1894, 1733-1894, (American Philosophical Society)

Buchanan was an American politician who served as the fifteenth president of the United States.

From the description of Letter, 1836. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81931206

Buchanan was the 15th U. S. President (1857-1861).

From the description of [Letters / James Buchanan. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 174550725

James Buchanan, a Pennsylvania Statesman, was born near Mercerburg in 1791. He was a lawyer, congressman, senator, and eventually president. In the years 1831-1833, Buchanan served as a diplomatic envoy to the Russian Tzar Nicholas. Buchanan's purpose in St. Petersburg was to establish two treaties. They were: a treaty of navigation and commerce, and a treaty on maritime rights. Both of there treaties were established after the U.S. Congress passed a tariff reduction package in 1832. Buchanan continued in politics ultimately being elected president in 1857. He served in this capacity until 1861.

From the description of James Buchanan papers : letter and land warrant, 1833-1860. (Kentucky Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 37458624

James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States from 1857-1861.

From the description of James Buchanan letters [manuscript], 1842-1845. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 670239318

Virgil David was president of the Lawrenceville Lyceum in Western Pennsylvania.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, D.C., to Virgil David, n.p., 1836 May 14. (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 79740324

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, D.C., to Virgil David, n.p., 1836 May 14. (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 55822918

James Buchanan was the fifteenth president of the United States (1857-1861), from Lancaster, Pa., and a moderate Democrat whose efforts to find a compromise in the conflict between the North and the South failed to avert the Civil War.

From the description of James Buchanan correspondence, 1837-1849. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 76956499

President of United States 1857-1861.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Wheatland, to C. Lyons, 1852 Apr. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270531273

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Senate Chamber, Washington, to Peter Wager, 1836 Apr. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270527617

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Henry A. Wise, 1857 Nov. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270530868

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Jefferson Davis, 1824 May 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270530839

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Elijah F. Purdy & al. committee etc., etc., 1848 Jan. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270530861

From the description of Autograph signature and insertions to printed invitation to the Washington Assemblies : to Miss E. W. Randolph, 1846. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270534474

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to S. Medary, 1859 Aug. 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270530874

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Wheatland, to Charles James Faulkner, 1856 July 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270531289

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to W. Nathan Tyson, 1830 Feb. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270530847

Fifteenth president of the United States, 1857-1861.

From the description of ALS, 1856 Nov. 17, Lancaster, Pa., to John Pettit. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122633571

From the description of ALS : Lancaster, Pa., to James Campbell, Washington, D.C., 1853 March 21. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122633576

U.S. president.

From the description of Letter to, [undated]. (Historical Society of Washington, Dc). WorldCat record id: 70953030

James Buchanan was the fifteenth President of the United States.

From the guide to the James Buchanan letters and documents, 1828-1864, n.d, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

U.S. Congressman.

From the description of Letter, 1827 December 13, Washington, [to] Thomas Elder, Harrisburg, Pa. (University of Toledo). WorldCat record id: 13490980

James Buchanan was Secretary of State from 1845 to 1849.

From the description of Letter to Miner, Lawrence and Co., 1846. (Harvard Law School Library). WorldCat record id: 234337907

Buchanan served as secretary of state under President Polk, 1845-1849.

From the description of James Buchanan letter : Washington, D.C., to Hon. Aaron Ward : ALS, 1848 Dec. 21. (California Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 122368965

Fifteenth president of the United States.

From the description of Proclamation, 1858. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435714

From the description of Letter to Samuel L. Southard. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 367388824

U.S. president, secretary of state, and representative and senator from Pennsylvania.

From the description of James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston papers, 1825-1887 (bulk 1840-1866). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70979881

President of United States.

From the description of Autograph signature to document : Washington, 1859 Dec. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270535257

From the description of Printed document filled out in another hand and signed by Buchanan : Washington, 1860 Sept. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270538582

U.S. President.

From the description of Selected art related letters from the James Buchanan papers, 1837-1867. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122577306

President of the United States.

From the description of Papers, 1838-1860. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20574926

James Buchanan, Jr. (1791-1868) was the 15th President of the United States, serving from 1857 to 1861.

Prior to his presidency, Buchanan represented Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Secretary of State under President James K. Polk (1845-1849). During his term as president, Buchanan primarily remained inactive in the face of slavery and territorial disputes between the North and the South, alienating his own party, and leading the country into the threat of secession. Ultimately, he denied the legal right of states to secede, but at the same time opined that the government could do nothing to prevent them from doing so. He retired immediately after leaving office in 1861, leaving the national issue to be addressed by the next president, Abraham Lincoln.

From the description of United States Department of State Letter, 1845 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 659566280

James Buchanan graduated from Dickinson College in 1809. He moved to Lancaster where he studied law and entered into practice in 1813. After the tragic death of his fiancee, Ann Coleman, in 1819, he left law and Lancaster for a political career in Washington, D.C.

He was elected to five terms as congressman, 1821-1831, running first as a Federalist but switching to the Jacksonian party in 1824. Buchanan served as Minister to Russia, 1832-1833; U.S. Senator, 1834-1845; and Secretary of State for President Polk, 1845-1849 before retiring from politics in 1849.

In 1853 he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain. Upon his return from Great Britain, 1856, he was named Democratic nominee for President and in November was elected President of the United States. He retired to his estate, Wheatland, in 1861 and remained there until his death in 1868.

From the description of Papers, 1775-1868. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122541049

Biographical Notes

James Buchanan

  • 1791, Apr. 23: Born, Cove Gap (near Mercersburg), Franklin Co., Pa.
  • 1809: Graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.
  • 1812: Admitted to the bar, Lancaster, Pa.
  • 1819: Death of fiancée, Ann Coleman
  • 1821 - 1831 : United States Representative, fourth district, Pennsylvania
  • 1832 - 1833 : Minister to Russia
  • 1834 - 1845 : Senator from Pennsylvania
  • 1845 - 1849 : Secretary of state
  • 1853 - 1856 : Envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain
  • 1854: Coauthor of Ostend Manifesto
  • 1857 - 1861 : President of the United States
  • 1861: Retired to Wheatland estate, Lancaster, Pa.
  • 1866: Published Mr. Buchanan’s Administration. New York: D. Appleton
  • 1868, June 1: Died, Wheatland, Lancaster, Pa.

Harriet Lane Johnston

  • 1830, May 9: Born, Mercersburg, Franklin Co., Pa.
  • 1840: Attended the Misses Crawford boarding school, Lancaster, Pa.
  • 1841: Became ward of her uncle, James Buchanan
  • 1843: Attended boarding school, Charleston, Va.
  • 1846 - 1848 : Enrolled in the Academy of the Visitation, Georgetown, D.C.
  • 1857 - 1861 : Served as White House hostess
  • 1866: Married Henry Elliott Johnston
  • 1903, July 3: Died, Narragansett Pier, R.I.
  • 1912: Opening of the Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children, as part of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md., established from the Harriet Lane Johnston estate funds

From the guide to the James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers, 1825-1887, (bulk 1840-1866), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

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