James Buchanan

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Cove Gap,
Birth Sign
Cove Gap,

During one of the most trying times in American history, when previously settled problems started to resurface and become more complicated The 15th President of the United States of America was James Buchanan Jr. He is still the only president who was born in Pennsylvania and lived his entire life as a bachelor. Additionally, he holds the distinction of being the final American president born in the eighteenth century. The optimists’ belief that a compromise could be achieved on the subject of slavery, which was putting the nation on the verge of a national crisis, was revived by his election the president. He was unable to live up to these high expectations, and in trying to mediate peace, he actually alienated both the northern and southern governments. The Southern States had declared their secession by the time he left the White House, shattering the Union. This increased the likelihood of a coming civil war. Most historians rank him among the worst American presidents due to his incapacity to keep the peace. Read this biography to learn more about this man, also known as “the doughface.”

Early Childhood & Life

James Buchanan was the second oldest of the couple’s eleven children when he was born in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania.
Because of the fact that his mother was educated and his father was a successful merchant, he had more possibilities than most people of his era.

Old Stone Academy in his hometown provided him with his early education. He eventually enrolled at Dickinson College, where he got an honors degree in 1809.
He moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania after graduating to further his legal education, and in 1812 was admitted to the bar.

He was a staunch Federalist and opposed the war in 1812; yet, when British troops entered nearby Maryland, he enlisted in the defense army established to defend Baltimore.

James Buchanan’s  Career

When Buchanan won an election and was elected as a delegate of the Federalist Party to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1814, his lengthy political career officially began.
He then served in the US House of Representatives for five consecutive terms, back-to-back from 1821 to 1831.
Buchanan was chosen by president-elect Andrew Jackson to represent America in Russia in 1832. Buchanan had the opportunity to demonstrate his diplomatic abilities in this position.

In 1834, after his return to the country, he ran for and was elected to the Senate as a Democrat.
He held the position of Senator for over ten years until 1845 when he resigned because President James K. Polk had appointed him Secretary of State.

Franklin Pierce defeated him in his first attempt to secure the Democratic presidential candidacy in 1852.
Franklin Pierce, who had just been elected as the President of the United States, chose Buchanan to be his envoy to England in 1853. He served in this capacity until 1856.

On March 4, 1857, Buchanan took the oath of office as the 15th President of the United States after running successfully for office in 1856.
Due to his support from the Southern States, he defeated Republican contender John C. Fremont by a wide majority in the presidential election.

The historians criticize Buchanan for taking a poor and deceptive approach to the issue when he promised to “speedily and finally” end the division between the north and south in his inauguration speech.
Attempts by Buchanan to quell the upheaval brought on by the slavery question in Kansas between 1857 and 1860 met with little success.

On December 20, 1860, the first state to separate from the Union was South Carolina, despite his best efforts.
By February 1861, six more states decided to follow the pattern and secede from the Union, creating the Confederate States of America.

On March 3, 1861, Buchanan stepped down as president. At the time, the nation was on the verge of civil war and had a $17 million federal budget deficit.

Personal Legacy & Life

In 1819, he became engaged to Ann Caroline Coleman, an iron trader’s heiress, and successful businesswoman.
Due to Buchanan’s extended absences and rumors that he was seeing other women, Ann called off their engagement.
She was very depressed when she passed away on December 9, 1819, and her family blamed Buchanan; as a result, he was not permitted to attend her funeral.

As a result, he made the commitment to never get married, which he held until the bitter end.
At the age of 77, he passed away at his house in Wheatland due to respiratory failure. His bones were interred in Woodward Hill Cemetery in Lancaster.

A bronze and granite monument honoring Buchanan was unveiled on June 26, 1930, near the intersection of Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C.
Three counties—one in Iowa, one in Missouri, and one in Virginia—have been given Buchanan’s name.

Estimated Net Worth

One of the wealthiest and most well-liked US presidents is James Buchanan. According to our analysis of information from sources including Business Insider, Forbes, and Wikipedia, James Buchanan’s net worth is about $1.5 million.


In the country’s history, he was the only president who was never married. His niece Harriet Lane assumed the role of the first lady throughout his administration.
He holds the distinction of being the final President of the United States born in the eighteenth century.

He personally opposed slavery and occasionally purchased slaves in order to free them.
He fell into despair after retiring because he was unable to take the widespread criticism the public had for him, but he eventually started defending himself.
In a book he published in 1866, he attributed the Civil War to Republicans and abolitionists.