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James Buchanan Biography and Facts For Kids


James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States, from 1857 to 1861, and the last president to be born in the 18th century. Buchanan often called Buck-anan by his contemporaries, was a popular and experienced state politician and a very successful attorney before his presidency. James Buchanan was neither exciting nor charismatic, but the power of his office and his character, principles, beliefs, and affinities blended with the extraordinary situations and events of his administration to make him a highly significant president. Historians may argue forever over whether or not the Civil War had become inevitable by the time Buchanan took office, but he clearly exercised a powerful influence on the crises leading to war. He is the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president who was a life-long bachelor.

Facts and Trivia about James Buchanan

When was James Buchanan born: April 23, 1791
Where was James Buchanan born: near Mercersburg, PA
What was James Buchanan’s job before he was president: Lawyer
Married: He was the only president never to get married
What number president was James Buchanan: 15th
What political party did James Buchanan belong to: Democrat
Who was James Buchanan’s vice president: John C. Breckinridge
When was James Buchanan president: 1857-1861
How many terms did James Buchanan serve as president: 1
When did James Buchanan die: June 1, 1868
How old was James Buchanan when he died: 77
Where is James Buchanan buried: Lancaster, PA

James Buchanan Quotes

  • “The distribution of patronage of the Government is by far the most disagreeable duty of the President.”
  • “Liberty must be allowed to work out its natural results; and these will, ere long, astonish the world.”
  • “If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed.”
  • “What is right and what is practicable are two different things.”
  • “To avoid entangling alliances has been a maxim of our policy ever since the days of Washington, and its wisdom no one will attempt to dispute.”

Timeline of the Life of James Buchanan

1791 James Buchanan was Born in Pennsylvania on April 23rd
1820 James Buchanan Elected into the House of Representatives
1831 Appointed as the minister to Russia
1834 Elected to the U.S. Senate
1845 Appointed Secretary of State
1853 Appointed as the minister to Great Britain
1856 Elected President of the United States
1857 James Buchanan was Inaugurated as the 15th President of the United States
1859 Construction began on the Suez Canal
1859 Oregon joined the Union
1860 The Pony Expresses was established and carried mail from Massachusetts to California
1861 ColoradoNevada, and the Dakotas are created as new U.S. Territories
1868 James Buchanan Died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on June 1st