James Buchanan Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1791 - 1868 *** Full Name: James Buchanan, Jr. *** Occupation: American Lawyer, Diplomat, Politician and 15th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: James Buchanan was born on April 23rd 1791 *** Place of Birth: James Buchanan was born in a log cabin in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, United States *** Family background: His father was James Buchanan, Sr. who had been a merchant, farmer and businessman and his mother was Elizabeth Speer a well-educated woman. His parents were both originally from Ireland with their descents having emigrated from Scotland to Ireland *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with four brothers and six sisters and lived in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania *** Education: James Buchanan attended the local village school, the Old Stone Academy and went on to Dickinson College in Carlisle ***
James Buchanan Fact 1: James Buchanan was born on April 23rd 1791 and during the 18th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with slave revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
James Buchanan Fact 2: Completing his educated with honors he relocated to Lancaster and began to read law and would be admitted to the bar in 1812.
James Buchanan Fact 3: Although he had been opposed to the War of 1812, when the British attacked Maryland he volunteered with the light dragoon unit as private where he defended Baltimore.
James Buchanan Fact 4: Buchanan would be the only President who although he served in the military he was the only one that did not reach an officer rank, he did however become a Freemason and would qualify for the Master of Masonic Lodge No. 43 in Lancaster and as District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
James Buchanan Fact 5: Between 1814 and 1816 he was the member for the Federalist Party and began his career in politics in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
James Buchanan Fact 6: He would also be elected to the 17th United States Congress and to the four following Congresses as well as serving as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary during the 21st United States Congress.
James Buchanan Fact 7: He would be one of the members appointed to conduct the impeachment of James H. Peck who was the judge of the United States District Court for the District of Missouri.
James Buchanan Fact 8: With the demise of the Federalist Party, Buchanan became a member of the Democratic Party and would be elected as the United States Senate.
James Buchanan Fact 9: Millard Fillmore, a former President would assist Buchanan in his run for the presidency.
James Buchanan Fact 10: Buchanan would become the second oldest man to become President of the United States and would also be the last President of the time born in the 18th century.
James Buchanan Fact 11: Buchanan would be the sitting President during the Bleeding Kansas crisis which involved proslavery settlers and antislavery settlers, also known as Free-Soilers, in the argument about whether or not to choose to become a state that would or would not allow slavery when they joined the Union which could only be approved once a state constitution was agreed.
James Buchanan Fact 12: During his time, he was a considered a Doughface, a northern with southern principles.
James Buchanan Fact 13: In Buchanan's opinion it was the antislavery movement that was causing most of the unrest and stated "Before the abolitionists commenced this agitation, a very large and growing party existed in several of the slave states in favor of the gradual abolition of slavery; and now not a voice is heard there in support of such a measure. The abolitionists have postponed the emancipation of the slaves in three or four states for at least half a century."
James Buchanan Fact 14: He would also be President when the Panic of 1857 started during the summer, predominantly brought on by the over-consumption of products from Europe.
James Buchanan Fact 15: In 1860 the Democratic Party sectioned off into three parts during their convention, the southern part wished John C. Breckinridge, the current vice president to run for the presidential election, John Bell was the nomination choice for the second part as he was neither for or against slavery and for his own part Buchanan’s support was with Breckinridge.James Buchanan Fact 16: The Republican nomination would be Abraham Lincoln and it was Lincoln that won the next election.
James Buchanan Fact 17: By 1860 seven states including South Carolina had formed the Confederate States of America.
James Buchanan Fact 18: His passing remark to Lincoln on his final day as President was “If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man.”.
James Buchanan Fact 19: During the years since being president Buchanan found himself constantly defending himself from being blamed for the Civil War his health became an issue when he went into decline.
James Buchanan Fact 20: James Buchanan died on June 1st 1868 from respiratory failure at his home at Wheatland aged seventy seven years. His body was laid to rest in the Woodward Hill Cemetery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Influence & Legacy of James Buchanan: Not one of the better thought of presidents, Buchanan served in office during a turbulent time in the United States when slavery was a massive issue. Indeed he left office and shortly thereafter the American Civil War erupted.
Short Facts about James Buchanan for Kids
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