James Buchanan

1791-1868 (15th US President)

Early Life

James Buchanan was born near Mercersburg, Pa. He graduated from Dickinson College where he studied law. Shortly after he became a lawyer in Lancaster. During his engagement his fiance unfortunately died, leaving him the only president to never marry when he was elected. However his political career started at a young age of 23.

Political Achievements

  • elected to PA state legislature (age 23)
  • later became a U.S. Senator for the Democratic party
  • had a more conservative view on slavery than those of other politicians
  • President Polk appointed him to the office of Secretary of State
  • handled border disputes between Texas and Mexico
  • became president (1857-1861)
He was born in a log cabin around Mercersberg Academy. James Buchanan High School is named after him.

Important Things to Know about James Buchanan

  • Fought in the War of 1812
  • Supporter of Andrew Jackson
  • Believed in the Constitutional Right to have slaves
  • Buchanan sent US Marines with Robert E Lee to stop John Browns Raid
  • Believed in the Right of Secession
  • Supported Lincoln during the Civil War