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He was president from 1857 - 1861, and by the end of his tenure, public opinion of him was almost entirely negative. His inability to keep the peace between the northern and southern states, and his subsequent refusal to take action against secession, have made him what people today regard as one of the worst U.S. presidents.
|Full Name||James Buchanan Jr.|
|Who||President of the United States|
|Birth Date||April 23, 1791|
|Death Date||June 1, 1868|
|Born||Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Died||Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Cause of Death||respiratory failure|
|Father||James Buchanan Sr.|
|Mother||Elizabeth Speer Buchanan|
Buchanan was appointed Minister to Russia in 1832 - 1833 by Andrew Jackson, a friend of his.
James K. Polk requested that Buchanan accept the position of Secretary of State in 1845. He also nominated him to serve as Supreme Court Justice in the same year, which Buchanan declined. Despite Polk's admiration of him at the time, he would later harshly criticize him, saying he "acted like an old maid."
George Dallas, the Vice President serving under Polk, was a rival of Buchanan's, and Dallas often rose objections about Buchanan's continued service as Secretary of State.
John C. Breckinridge served as Buchanan's Vice President. They remained friends and political allies after his term was over.
Buchanan was an intimate friend of William R. King, and shared a home together from 1840 until King's death in 1853. They never attended a party without the other, and contemporaries called them "siamese twins," as one was rarely seen without the other. There were and still are many speculations that the two men had a homosexual relationship together, which is in all likelihood true.
Buchanan and Nathaniel Hawthorne visited together in Liverpool (Buchanan was there as Minister to the United Kingdom, Hawthorne as American Consul) in 1855.
When running for President in 1856, Buchanan ran against and beat John C. Fremont, the first ever Republic presidential candidate.
As he was unmarried, after Buchanan was elected President, he made his niece Harriet Lane the First Lady. Buchanan was very close to Lane, and very fond of her, having adopted her as his own daughter after the death of her parents.
Abraham Lincoln argued with Buchanan in 1857, and the two became political enemies. Lincoln denounced him as "an accomplice to slavepower."
Buchanan considered his archenemy to be Stephen Douglas, and would fervently support anyone who ran against him for any office.
Buchanan was a friend of Winfield Scott.
Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, USA - Born here, 1791. Lived here, 1791 - 1796.
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, USA - Grew up here, 1796 - 1807.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA - Attended university here, 1807 - 1809.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA - Lived here, 1809 - 1814. Lived here, 1861 - 1868. Died here, 1868.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA - Served in military here, 1812.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - Lived here, 1814 - 1834.
Washington D.C., USA - Lived here, 1834 - 1861.
Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK - Visited here, 1855.