James Buchanan, 15th President of the USA

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James Buchanan, Jr.

Nicknames: "15th President of United States"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: near Mercersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Buchanan, Sr. and Elizabeth Buchanan
Brother of Alexander Buchanan; Catherine Elder; John Buchanan; Mary Buchanan; Jane Lane and 14 others

Occupation: 15th President of the United States of America, 15th President of the United States, President of the United States, 15th President of the US (1857-1861); 17th US Sect. of State (1845-1849); US Sen. from Pennsylvania (1834-1845), Politician, Lawyer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Buchanan, Jr.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States from 1857–1861 and the last to be born in the 18th century. To date he is the only president from the state of Pennsylvania and the only bachelor.

A popular and experienced state politician and very successful attorney prior to his presidency, Buchanan represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He also was Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as Minister to the United Kingdom under President Franklin Pierce, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.

After unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844, 1848, and 1852, Buchanan was nominated in the election of 1856 to some extent as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery issue; this occurred just after he completed his duties as a Minister to England. His subsequent election victory took place in a three-man race with Fremont and Fillmore. As President he was often referred to as a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, first and foremost an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law."

By the time he left office, popular opinion had turned against him, and the Democratic Party had split in two. Buchanan had once aspired to a presidency that would rank in history with that of George Washington. However, his inability to impose peace on sharply divided partisans on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents. Noted Buchanan biographer Philip Klein puts these rankings into context, as follows: "Buchanan assumed leadership...when an unprecedented wave of angry passion was sweeping over the nation. That he held the hostile sections in check during these revolutionary times was in itself a remarkable achievement. His weaknesses in the stormy years of his presidency were magnified by enraged partisans of the North and South. His many talents, which in a quieter era might have gained for him a place among the great presidents, were quickly overshadowed by the cataclysmic events of civil war and by the towering Abraham Lincoln."

Early life:

James Buchanan, Jr., was born in a log cabin in Cove Gap, near Harrisburg (now James Buchanan Birthplace State Park), Franklin County, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1791, to James Buchanan, Sr. (1761–1833), a well-to-do businessman, and Elizabeth Speer (1767–1833). His parents were both of Scotch-Irish descent, the father having emigrated from northern Ireland in 1783. He was the second of eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. Buchanan had six sisters and four brothers, only one of whom lived past 1840.

In 1797, the family moved to nearby Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. The home in Mercersburg was later turned into the James Buchanan Hotel.

Buchanan attended the village academy and later Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Expelled at one point for poor behavior, after pleading for a second chance, he graduated with honors on September 19, 1809. Later that year, he moved to Lancaster, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1812. A dedicated Federalist, he initially opposed the War of 1812 on the grounds that it was an unnecessary conflict; but, when the British invaded neighboring Maryland, he joined a volunteer light dragoon unit and served in the defense of Baltimore.

An active Freemason during his lifetime, he was the Master of Masonic Lodge #43 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. -------------------- James Buchanan

Tall, stately, stiffly formal in the high stock he wore around his jowls, James Buchanan was the only President who never married.

Presiding over a rapidly dividing Nation, Buchanan grasped inadequately the political realities of the time. Relying on constitutional doctrines to close the widening rift over slavery, he failed to understand that the North would not accept constitutional arguments which favored the South. Nor could he realize how sectionalism had realigned political parties: the Democrats split; the Whigs were destroyed, giving rise to the Republicans.

Born into a well-to-do Pennsylvania family in 1791, Buchanan, a graduate of Dickinson College, was gifted as a debater and learned in the law.

He was elected five times to the House of Representatives; then, after an interlude as Minister to Russia, served for a decade in the Senate. He became Polk's Secretary of State and Pierce's Minister to Great Britain. Service abroad helped to bring him the Democratic nomination in 1856 because it had exempted him from involvement in bitter domestic controversies.

As President-elect, Buchanan thought the crisis would disappear if he maintained a sectional balance in his appointments and could persuade the people to accept constitutional law as the Supreme Court interpreted it. The Court was considering the legality of restricting slavery in the territories, and two justices hinted to Buchanan what the decision would be.

Thus, in his Inaugural the President referred to the territorial question as "happily, a matter of but little practical importance" since the Supreme Court was about to settle it "speedily and finally."

Two days later Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the Dred Scott decision, asserting that Congress had no constitutional power to deprive persons of their property rights in slaves in the territories. Southerners were delighted, but the decision created a furor in the North.

Buchanan decided to end the troubles in Kansas by urging the admission of the territory as a slave state. Although he directed his Presidential authority to this goal, he further angered the Republicans and alienated members of his own party. Kansas remained a territory.

When Republicans won a plurality in the House in 1858, every significant bill they passed fell before southern votes in the Senate or a Presidential veto. The Federal Government reached a stalemate.

Sectional strife rose to such a pitch in 1860 that the Democratic Party split into northern and southern wings, each nominating its own candidate for the Presidency. Consequently, when the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be elected even though his name appeared on no southern ballot. Rather than accept a Republican administration, the southern "fire-eaters" advocated secession.

President Buchanan, dismayed and hesitant, denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the Federal Government legally could not prevent them. He hoped for compromise, but secessionist leaders did not want compromise.

Then Buchanan took a more militant tack. As several Cabinet members resigned, he appointed northerners, and sent the Star of the West to carry reinforcements to Fort Sumter. On January 9, 1861, the vessel was far away.

Buchanan reverted to a policy of inactivity that continued until he left office. In March 1861 he retired to his Pennsylvania home Wheatland--where he died seven years later--leaving his successor to resolve the frightful issue facing the Nation.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868, English pronunciation: /bjuːˈkænən/) was the 15th President of the United States (1857-1861). He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a life-long bachelor, and the last one born in 18th century.

Buchanan (often called Buck-anan by his contemporaries) was a popular and experienced state politician and a successful attorney before his presidency.[1] He represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He also was Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Minister to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.

After unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844, 1848, and 1852, "Old Buck" was nominated in the 1856 election. Throughout most of Franklin Pierce's term he was stationed in London as a Minister to England and therefore was not caught up in the crossfire of sectional politics that dominated the country. Buchanan was viewed by many as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. His subsequent election victory took place in a three-man race with John C. Frémont and Millard Fillmore. As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies, who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, first and foremost an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law."[2]

When he left office, popular opinion had turned against him, and the Democratic Party had split in two. Buchanan had once aspired to a presidency that would rank in history with that of George Washington.[3] However, his inability to impose peace on sharply divided partisans on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents. Buchanan biographer Philip Klein puts these rankings into context: "Buchanan assumed leadership [...] when an unprecedented wave of angry passion was sweeping over the nation. That he held the hostile sections in check during these revolutionary times was in itself a remarkable achievement. His weaknesses in the stormy years of his presidency were magnified by enraged partisans of the North and South. His many talents, which in a quieter era might have gained for him a place among the great presidents, were quickly overshadowed by the cataclysmic events of civil war and by the towering Abraham Lincoln."

-------------------- An active Freemason, he was the Master of Masonic Lodge #43 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

________________________________________________________________________________ Wheatland, or the James Buchanan House, is a brick, Federal style house outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster Township, Lancaster County. It was formerly owned by the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan.

The house was constructed in 1828 by William Jenkins, a local lawyer. It was sold to William M. Meredith in 1841. Wheatland changed hands again in 1848, when it was purchased by Buchanan. Buchanan occupied the house for next two decades, except for several years during his ambassadorship in Great Britain and during his presidency. After his death in 1868, Wheatland was inherited by Buchanan's niece, Harriet Lane, who sold it in 1881 to George Willson. It was inherited by a relative of Willson's in 1929. Wheatland was put up for sale again after the relative died in 1934 and was acquired by a group of people who set up a foundation for the purpose of preserving the house. Wheatland was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. It was designated a contributing property to the Northeast Lancaster Township Historic District in 1980. The foundation and the adjacent historical society merged in 2009.

Freemason: Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatland_%28James_Buchanan_House%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Freemasons_%28A_-_D%29

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James Buchanan, 15th President of the USA's Timeline

1791
April 23, 1791
Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States
1821
March 4, 1821
- March 3, 1823
Age 29
Washington D.C., Washington D.C., United States
1823
March 4, 1823
- March 3, 1831
Age 31
Washington D.C., Washington D.C., United States
1829
March 4, 1829
- March 3, 1831
Age 37
Washington D.C., Washington D.C., United States
March 4, 1829
- March 3, 1831
Age 37
DC, United States

President of the United States of America

1832
January 4, 1832
- August 5, 1833
Age 40
The United States of America
1834
December 6, 1834
- March 5, 1845
Age 43
Washington D.C., Washington D.C., United States
December 6, 1834
- March 5, 1845
Age 43
Federal Government of the United States
1845
March 10, 1845
- March 7, 1849
Age 53
Washington D.C., Washington D.C., United States
March 10, 1845
- March 7, 1849
Age 53
Federal Government of the United States