The Presidents of the USA

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Fast Facts

15
James Buchanan
1857-1861


picture of President James Buchanan
R R R R R
 

birthplace

Cove Gap, PA

birthday

April 23

Life

1791-1868

age

OFC:65 , d. 77

party

Democratic

presidency highlights

Failed to resolve split over slavery. South Carolina seceded

nickname:

Old Buck

vice-president:

John Breckinridge
picture of President James Buchanan

previous office

Minister to the UK

key background fact:

Had tried 3 times to be party’s candidate but was passed over

occupation

Lawyer, Diplomat

military service

Private - U.S. Army (State militia, PA), never became officer

children

wife:

height

6' 0'' / 1.83 m

higher education

Dickinson College, B.A.

religion

Presbyterian

 

quote

"The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there."

actions & events

  • 1857 Dred Scott decision: States can decide on slavery
  • 1857 Mormons challenged federal authority in Utah.
  • 1860 Sth Carolina seceded. 7 states followed.

economy

  • 1857 Tariff of 1857. Reduction. North complaining
  • 1857 Depression of 1857.
  • 1860-61 "King Cotton" trend. Financial independence illusions in the South.

foreign affairs

    military activity

    • 1857 Utah War: 2500 soldiers were sent to oust Mormon gov. Brigham Young
    • 1860 Ship "Star of the West" to fort Sumter in South Carolina

    unique facts

    • The only bachelor president.
    • The only president from those served in the army who remained a private.
    • The worst president of USA

    interesting

    Never married. His niece was the White House hostess. Strong evidence he was gay. Lived with ex-VP Rufus King. Jackson referred to them as "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy".

    military activity

    • 1857 Utah War: 2500 soldiers were sent to oust Mormon gov. Brigham Young
    • 1860 Ship "Star of the West" to fort Sumter in South Carolina

    Legacy

    His administration was dominated by fighting between pro-and antislavery forces. Few presidents have entered office with more experience, and few have so decisively failed. Probably the worst president.

    Fort Sumter bombing

    Fort Sumter bombing