James Buchanan was one of the Presidents to born in a log cabin. He was born on April 23, 1791, at Stony Batter in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of 11 children in his family.
When Buchanan was young, he didn't behave in school. First he went to school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania then he entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. When he went to study law and was later admitted to the legal profession of lawyers in 1812. After that he went to the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania to set up his law practice.
When Buchanan was 28 years old, he was engaged to a woman named Anne Coleman, who was a daughter of a millionaire. One day Anne heard rumors about Buchanan wanting to marry her for the money so they broke up. His engagement was not so good. A few months later Anne was found dead, people thought she committed suicide. Buchanan promised that he would never marry and he didn't. He was the only President that was a bachelor all his life.
Before Buchanan was President, he was a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania for more than ten years. He began his political career in 1814 with his election to the House of Representative. He served as Secretary of State under President James K. Polk and as President Pierce's minister of Great Britain. During his foreign service, Buchanan's name was brought up as a Democratic party's nominee for the 1856 Presidential election. He ran against John C. Fremont. Buchanan polled 174 electoral votes and 1,832,955 popular votes.
His Presidency was tough for him. Even though he was against slavery, Buchanan felt that he had to follow the constitution and uphold the law that allowed slavery. When Buchanan left office there were seven states that had joined to create the Confederate States of America and left the union. The Civil War was about the begin.
Buchanan retired at the end of his first term in 1861. After he retired, he published a book. The book was written to explain his policies and activities which led up to the Civil War. He was upset that he couldn't solve the problems that led to the war between the states. He died on June 1, 1868, at the age of 78 of pneumonia and heart problems, in his hometown of Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Pocantico Hills School | Presidents' Page | Home
email us at: