Reference Entry

Buchanan, James

William E. Gienapp

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:
Buchanan, James

Show Summary Details


Buchanan, James (23 April 1791–01 June 1868), fifteenth president of the United States, was born near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the son of James Buchanan, a storekeeper, and Elizabeth Speer. He was educated at a local academy and then at Dickinson College, where he graduated in 1809. He then studied law in Lancaster and was admitted to the bar in 1812. He prospered in his profession and through shrewd investments acquired considerable wealth. In 1819, for obscure reasons, his fiancée broke off their engagement, and when she died shortly thereafter, he vowed never to marry. Though he subsequently carried on many flirtations, he remained a bachelor throughout his life. Henceforth, he found his deepest friendships in the world of politics, while his family interests increasingly centered on his many nephews and nieces....

Reference Entry.  3065 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.